The YPG has released a response to a controversial Amnesty International report published last week which accused the Kurdish forces of forcibly displacing Arab civilians from villages. The report was apparently the result of a ‘fact-finding mission’ to Rojava, but its findings have been heavily disputed by solidarity activists, Kurdish political organisations and now the YPG itself, which says: “The report contains fallacies since the testimonies of the individuals interviewed by Amnesty International were incorrect and contradictory to the facts and evidence, widely available and easily accessible to everyone. In this official statement, we will mention some of these flagrant fallacies that put the credibility of the report and Amnesty International at stake.”
The introduction to the report is here. To read the full report, which unpicks the evidence, or lack thereof, of war crimes committed by Kurdish forces, here.
A Statement by the General Command of the People’s Protection Units
To the Press and the General Public
Amnesty International Report, published on 12 October 2015 and titled, “We Had Nowhere Else to Go – Forced Displacement and Demolitions in Northern Syria” is contradictory and puts the credibility of the organisation at stake.
The Basic Argument to Respond
The content of the report contradicts its title, and this is enough to prove its invalidity and to call for the prosecution of its authors. The accusations in the report contradict Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
- Hurling unsubstantiated accusations without sufficient evidence.
- Relying only on the words of the people, who are unsure of witnessing the events, without verifying their accounts.
- Some of the eyewitnesses in the report are members of terrorist organisations, and have been involved in criminal activities and are part of this conflict.
- YPG’s statements deny the content of the Amnesty report.
- During the preparation of their report, the authors of the Amnesty report were hosted by political parties hostile to the YPG and the Self-Administration in Rojava.
On 12th October 2015, Amnesty International published a report, titled “We Had Nowhere Else to Go – Forced Displacement and Demolitions in Northern Syria” in reference to the Self-Administration in what is known in Kurdish as Rojava. According to the report, Amnesty International researchers worked in Rojava after obtaining the necessary permission from the relevant authorities in the administration, and they were free to conduct their filed work without being hassled by the authorities. The Amnesty report is based on testimonies obtained from local villagers, who were allegedly subjected to “forced displacement” and their houses were “demolished”, and on evidence gathered from satellite images. However, the report contains fallacies since the testimonies of the individuals interviewed by Amnesty International were incorrect and contradictory to the facts and evidence, widely available and easily accessible to everyone. In this official statement, we will mention some of these flagrant fallacies that put the credibility of the report and Amnesty International at stake.
Read the full report