NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — At the end of 2019, Turkey and its Syrian National Army (SNA) proxies captured three fighters from the Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulḥoyo Suryoyo, MFS) while responding to the Turkish attack on Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn). They were recently sentenced to life imprisonment for “disrupting the unity of the Turkish state” in an illegal trial. The three men were reportedly forced to sign confessions in Turkish, a language none of them speak.
In an interview with North Press Agency, Spokesperson for the Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulḥoyo Suryoyo, MFS) Aram Hanna stated that the Turkish court initially issued a prison sentence of more than seven years to the MFS fighters, before issuing a new life sentence.
The trials, said Hanna, were a clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
He called on the international community and all actors involved in the Syrian crisis to put an end to the Turkish violations.
On 29 June 2020, MFS issued a statement indicating that Turkey had sentenced three of their fighters to life in prison.
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the individual or mass forcible transfer and deportation of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the occupying power, regardless of their motives.