Second stage of "Women Rise Up for Afrin" campaign launched

Kurdish women's movement Kongreya Star has announced the launch of the second phase of the campaign "Women Rise Up for Afrin" at Camp Berxwedan in Shehba and announced their current demands.

The women's movement Kongreya Star has launched the second stage of its campaign "Women rise up for Afrin" at the Camp Berxwedan in the northern Syrian canton of Shehba. The Kurdish women's movement has appealed to women worldwide to continue their opposition to the Turkish-Islamist occupation of Afrin.

Speaking at a press conference in the camp, Raperîn Xelîl on behalf of Kongreya Star, in the presence of other members of the Kurdish women's movement and the local government, as well as representatives of various institutions, said that the resistance of Afrin had aroused great interest worldwide.

"Our city has become a symbol of women's liberation and democracy. Afrin is also considered a city where human values have always been upheld. For the first time in this area, the patriarchal system of rule over which women's labor and bodies are exposed has encountered the women's revolution.

In the revolution of Rojava, women rebelled against this bloodthirsty system. In the land of goddesses, women have fought against state repression as well as against the violence of Islamist groups such as IS and al-Nusra. Since 2011, women in Rojava have been leading a democratic, ecological and liberal system that has become a source of hope for people worldwide. Hêlîn Qereçox (Anna Campbell) and Lêgerin Çiya (Alina Sanchez) have recognized this hope and, like many other women, have come to Rojava.

The invasion of the Turkish state in Afrin, which began on January 20, continues with undiminished violence. Hundreds of women and children, the old and young have been killed in the city and the surrounding areas. Hospitals, dams, historic sites, schools, bakeries and holy places have been bombed. The occupiers have plundered our homes and businesses. Our people have been tortured and raped.

Everything that has happened has been supported by Europe, Russia and the USA. In particular, Russia's dirty negotiations with the Turkish state over the distribution of Syria played an important role in these crimes. The United Nations and the European Union have given their consent through their silence. As women of Afrin we will never forget this collaboration and always condemn it.

After nearly 2,000 people fell in the resistance, we were forced to leave home on March 18 to prevent an even bigger massacre. Since then, we have continued to resist under severe conditions and without any support from international organizations in the Shehba region. We will continue to fight for the liberation of our homeland from the Turkish occupation.

In the context of the campaign "Women rise up for Afrin" actions have taken place in support of Afrin worldwide. In the second stage of this campaign we have to increase our fight. Our actions must continue until the international public meets their role and mission."

The current demands of the women's movement in the second phase of the campaign were named by Raperîn Xelîl as follows:

"The UN and international agencies must provide humanitarian aid and ensure the protection of the population. The Turkish occupation must be ended and the conditions must be created so that the people of Afrin can return to their homeland and live there free. The war crimes of the Turkish state in Afrin must be prosecuted at international courts."