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A CAMPAIGN has been launched to demand justice for Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf, who was brutally executed by Turkish-allied jihadists in northern Syria last October.
Launching the campaign, the Centre for Research and Protection of Women’s Rights in Syria condemned international silence over the assassination of the Future Syria Party’s general secretary during Operation Peace Spring, Turkey’s illegal invasion of the Kurdish enclave Rojava.
Ankara has insisted that the offensive was legitimate, that it was targeting terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers Party near its border and that it had been given the green light by US President Donald Trump.
But it is accused of a litany of ongoing war crimes, including the extrajudicial execution of Ms Khalaf, who was dragged from her car and killed by members of the Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sharqiya militia before her brutalised body was dumped by the side of the road.
Ms Khalaf was born in the city of Derik, northern Syria, into a family with a long history in the Kurdish liberation movement.
She became active in the struggle after university and participated in the democratic structures being built in Rojava before being elected as leader of the Future Syria Party.
Seen as a unifying force, Ms Khalaf stressed the importance of dialogue among all Syrian political factions and communities.
But this made her a target for the Turkish state.
Her dead body showed signs of torture and mutilation.
In a statement, women’s rights advocates warned that despite appeals from human rights organisations and with evidence of the atrocities committed during the invasion and subsequent occupation, Turkey has continued to operate with impunity.
“The whole world saw the abominable method by which [Ms Khalaf] was murdered.
“Yet nothing was done to stop these militias from continuing to spread fear and destruction and from committing further crimes against the civilian population, especially women and children, in the occupied territories,” the statement said.
The group warned that Turkish officials are able to evade prosecution as Ankara is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
It demanded that the UN security council establish a special committee to investigate Ms Khalaf’s murder and for the case to be sent to the ICC so that the perpetrators can be held to account.
Earlier this month, three women from the Kongreya Star political organisation, Zehra Berkel, Hebun Mele Xelil and Amina Waysi, were killed in a targeted attack by a Turkish drone near the northern Syrian city of Kobane.
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