Kurdish lawyer tortured to death

Brutal violence in northern Syria

The Society for Threatened Peoples has condemned the brutal killing of Kurdish lawyer Luqman Hanan in the region of Afrin in the north-west of Syria. The 45-year old was tortured to death by Turkish-controlled Islamist militiamen. “On December 20, 2022, Luqman Hanan was arrested in Afrin by the Turkish Secret Service and Syrian Islamists. Two days later, his family picked up his dead body from a military hospital,” stated Dr. Kamal Sido, the STP’s Middle East Correspondent.

Kurdish activists and family members of the victim informed the STP that the father of three was brutally tortured. Several photos (which were made available to the STP) show clear signs of torture on the entire body. Most of his family members had fled from Afrin and are now living in Germany or Denmark. Only he and his brother had decided to stay in Afrin – despite the imminent danger. He didn’t want the Turkish army and the Syrian Islamists to take his land, especially the olive groves.

At least 50 Kurds have been tortured to death since the Turkish invasion of Afrin in 2018 – which was an internationally wrongful act. Around 7,000 people are said to be missing, and hundreds of thousands are still on the run. To be able to stay, the few Kurds still living in Afrin are forced to pay ransom money to Syrian Islamist forces who, due to the ongoing financial crisis in Turkey, often don’t receive their pay. In these cases, the Arab Emirate of Qatar often helps out with financing the Syrian Islamists.  

Meanwhile, Turkey continues to kill Syrian refugees at the border. Turkish border troops are said to have killed 542 people in 2022, including 103 children. A total number of 2,246 people were injured. Most of them had tried to get to Europe via Turkey. However, some of the victims were farmers from northern Syria who were working on their fields near the border.

On the occasion of the death of Luqman Hanan, people from Afrin living in Germany are mobilizing for a demonstration in Brussels – under the motto “Stop torture in Afrin! Condemn the Turkish occupation!” The signatories of the appeal are demanding the international community to no longer tolerate the war crimes committed by NATO-member Turkey. The demonstration will take place in front of the EU Parliament on Friday, January 6, 2023, from 1 pm to 3:30 pm.