The mother of Hevrîn Khalaf, a Kurdish feminist, politician and civil engineer who was assassinated by one of Turkey’s proxies near Qamislo in northern Syria on 12 October 2019, said that nothing has been accomplished to bring the culprits before justice in the two years since her daughter’s death.
Sûad Mistefa indicated that while the officials of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) had declared clearly that the attack itself constituted a crime against humanity, they remained hopeless regarding the legal processes and results.
Speaking to Hawar News Agency on the second anniversary of Hevrîn Khalaf’s death, Mistefa stated that the United States, which was supposed to prevent attacks and an invasion at the time, had just let the incident happen, and they actually knew who the perpetrators were.
The only step by the US regarding the incident was sanctioning, two years later, Ahrar al-Sharqiya, the Turkish proxy jihadist group which assassinated Hevrîn Khalaf.
“I went all the way to Europe for her case, met with European lawyers as well as Kurdish lawyers,” Mistefa said.
“They all promised me with words of dedication that they would struggle to find the murderers and have them convicted. (…) It’s also been said that the US issued a warrant and put a bounty on two of them, the murderers of Hevrîn Xelef. They informed me about this and asked me if I was pleased. My response was quite clearly ‘no!’ Why? Because Hevrin was murdered in a territory which the US was supposed to secure and defend. What was expected from the US was to prevent attacks in this territory and to prevent it from being invaded. But the US let them do it! And the US knows who they are, how many they are, what their names are, where they are from. (…) And, of course, the US also knows who their teacher is.”
Mistefa went on to say that she didn’t have any faith in the international bodies or in judges whose responsibility is to ensure justice and human rights in the face of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
“It’s already been two years since she passed away, and nothing has happened. Hevrin Xelef was also struggling for human rights, like they did. She was fighting for a free land for all people, religions, sects, ethnicities, parties; for a pluralistic society living in fraternity, liberty and equality with fundamental legal rights based on diversity in a unified Syria. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything done in her memory within the last two years.”
She said the assassination was actually part of a plot to break the women’s will in the region.
“The murderers and invaders tried to break the will and self-confidence of women by targeting Hevrîn Xelef, because they were aware that the women have just become a power in society, with a political will. They’ve become the revolution itself, the party, and actually everything that men represented.
“They will never be able to break women’s will in these lands, because thousands of women like Hevrîn Xelef were martryed for this. Let the fascist Erdoğan and all the murderers know that even in the last two years after she passed away, thousands of Hevrîns were born, and named Hevrîn.”
Pointing out that the officials of international institutions were themselves not confident about the outcomes of legal processes, she said the global powers were only after their own interests.
“The United Nations and the International Criminal Court officials declared to us clearly that the attack itself was a war crime and constituted a crime against humanity, and that we do have, as her family, the right to bring the suspects to trial. Yet, they were very hopeless over the process and the results. Actually, we saw that all these international bodies and powers have been working in cooperation for their own short term interests and benefits. They all just try to sell their weapons, chemical products or their fighter planes. This war apparatus is used against people like us who are struggling for their fundamental human and national rights; who are defending their homeland to live freely.”
She expressed how it was fruitless to expect anything from such initiatives.
“Look, believe me. (…) I assure you,” she continued. “These institutions are so oriented in their own interests and so focused on their own gains that they’d never react even if the whole world, not only Kurds, were attacked and destroyed before their eyes. And then, they obviously never react when the Kurds are concerned.”
She underlined again that her daughter was killed because of the political will she represented: “Hevrîn Xelef was not killed because she was a Kurd or an Arab or even because she was a woman. No! It was an idea, a thought. (…)
“It was the will embodied in her that was targeted and that they tried to destroy. But they couldn’t foresee that this thought and will would be so much stronger; it would grow and spread all over the world.”
As Sûad Mistefa noted, the legacy of Hevrîn Khalaf has been recognised in many places all over the world, including France, where the city administration of Lyon named a square after her in July this year.