After Turkey’s Afrin operation launched on 20 January 2018 eleven civilians from Afrin were detained by the members of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), which later took the name of Syrian National Army (SNA).
İdris Mustafa and Mesud Mecid Kılkavi, two of those detainees, have been held in a prison in Turkey’s bordertown of Hatay. In a recent lawyer-client visit, they have shared details of the circumstances they were kept when detained by the Free Syrian Army members.
Based upon the recounting of the stories by the two Syrian Kurdish prisoners, the lawyers issued a report, the details of which were shared by the MA.
According to the report, both prisoners from Afrin who were detained when the FSA entered Afrin, remained in detention for 12 days and were tortured and subjected to degrading ill-treatment, they were forced to confess that they were a members of the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
The prisoners both stated that the FSA members threatened to rape the female members of both their families.
Idris Mustafa has not been able to see any of his family members, including his wife whilst he has not been afforded his right to phone call or his right to write a letter to his family members.
Mustafa detailed how, during the time he spent in detenion, he was hung on the wall for hours on end. After 12 days of non stop torture and threats, Mustafa said that they were delivered to the Turkish soldiers, who made them sign documents, which were written in Turkish and were not explained to them what was written on the documents, even though the Turkish soldiers knew that they did not understand a single word of Turkish.
After a trial, which lasted for a year and three months, Mustafa was sentenced to aggreviated life in prison, three times.
If this decision is approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals of Turkey, Mustafa is contemplating ending his own life, he told his lawyers.
Mesud Mecid Kılkavi is also married with two kids, but he also was not able to contact his wife and children for three years. Similar to Mustafa, he has also had no contact with the outside world since he was jailed in Turkey.
Kılkavi stated to the lawyers that he was also handed to the Turkish soldiers after 12 days of torture by the FSA.
When he was also made sign documents that he could not understand in Turkey, he was immediately taken to a Turkish prosecutor.
“Whatever the prosecutor tells you, say yes and accept it, otherwise you will be handed back to the FSA.” These were the words of the translator supplied to them by the Turkish state in order to help them communicate with the prosecutor.
Despite this pressurised wrong advice, Kılkavi did not accept any of the accusations the prosecutor listed, and his trial process began and at the end of a year and three months, he was sentenced to aggreviated life in prison, again, three times.
The mainstream Turkish media mainly controlled by the government have been calling it a “special operation” when eleven civillians from Afrin named Raşit Maho, Cengiz Mustafa, İdris Mustafa, Mesud Mecid Kilkavi, Firaz Kilkavi, Hüseyin Kilkavi, Ahmet Maho, İbiş Maho, Ramadan Hanif Maho, Muhammed Cafer and Rezzan Behcet Ahmet were kidnapped by the FSA members by a series of raids on 3 September 2018.
These eleven people were handed over to Turkish National Intelligenvce (MIT) on 22 September and they were all brought to Turkey where they were tried and sentenced.
A High Criminal Court in Hatay charged eleven Kurdish civilians from Afrin with disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the Turkish state, homicide and membership of a terrorist organisation.
Seven of them were sentenced to three aggreviated life sentences in prison for all charges whilst four were sentenced to 12 years for charges of terrorism.