Press Release on the Assassination of Yusra Derviş, Co-Chair of Qamichli Canton in Syrian Kurdistan, and Attacks on Civilians in Northern Syria

June 21, 2023

Yesterday, on June 20, 2023, Yusra Derviş, Co-Chair of Qamichli Canton in Syrian Kurdistan, in the de facto autonomous region of Rojava, was tragically assassinated in an attack carried out by Turkish aircraft.

We express our deep shock and indignation at this assassination and the attacks perpetrated against civilians in northern Syria.

Yusra Derviş was a passionate advocate for human rights, democracy, and the fundamental rights of Kurds and all residents of Rojava. Her commitment to social justice and peaceful coexistence was exemplary. Her loss is a tragedy for the region and for all who share the same values.

This assassination cannot be considered an isolated incident. It is part of the broader context of the Turkish invasion in Syria and the systematic attacks by the Turkish government on civilians in the northern part of the country.

The Zagros Human Rights Center strongly condemns this invasion and all the attacks that have caused immeasurable suffering and deprived civilians of their most basic rights.

Reports of civilian casualties, massive destruction of infrastructure, and forced displacement of populations are deeply concerning. These actions violate international humanitarian law and the fundamental principles of human rights. We urge the Turkish authorities to immediately cease these indiscriminate attacks on civilians and to fulfill their obligations under international law.

We call on the international community to take concrete measures to end this violence and protect innocent civilians. We urge all relevant actors to respect international humanitarian law and ensure the safety and protection of civilian populations in the region.

We also support efforts towards a peaceful and sustainable solution to this conflict. It is imperative that all parties engage in constructive negotiations to achieve a resolution that respects human rights, democratic aspirations, and the cultural diversity of the region.

Zagros Human Rights Center