The Syrian Women’s Political Movement Statement on the Detention of Rahaf Hassan Al-Saleh – Syrian Women in the Heart of the Storm

For nine years, Syrian women have been exposed to all kinds of violations whether in the regime-controlled areas or ones controlled by the warring factions, and the areas of de facto control.

And in an accident we hope it be the last on its kind; The internal security forces in northern and eastern Syria, which are affiliated with QSD forces, arrested Rahaf Hassan Al-Saleh, 21, while she was travelling through one of these forces checkpoints. This arrest opened the door for many unjustified accusations, speculation, and abuse by their supporters to Rahaf with Inhumane justifications accusing her of being the daughter of a Free Army fighter.

This was followed by the issuance of a statement justifying the detention with a lack of identification documents for Rahaf without any explanation about what these documents were, and whether this shortage justifies this arbitrary detention!

The Syrian Women’s Political Movement expresses its grieve concern about the fate of Rahaf and her unspoken about alike women especially with the policies pursued by these forces towards women, such as kidnapping and forced participation in military operations (including those under eighteen), as well as Detention camps for former ISIS families.

Although some positive steps were taken in the SDF-controlled areas, such as the passage of the Women act in Self-Management Zones 2014, on protecting women from all forms of abuse. Still, we consider what happened against Rahaf an explicit violation, and she must be released immediately and provided with protection to reach a safe place.

The Syrian Women’s Political Movement also stresses on the necessity of releasing all detainees and prisoners of war on all sides, and not to leverage them.

The Syrian Women’s Political Movement affirms that the humanitarian organizations and defenders women rights active there should take their role by standing up to these violations to monitor them and put pressure on the de facto authorities to abide by the laws and respect international rights, especially Resolution 1325 on the conditions of women during the conflict.

The SWPM also demands the international community to practice pressure on the conflicting parties to accelerate the pace of the political solution in order to end the increasing suffering of the Syrians especially after the implementation of the Caesar Act, and the laws and consequences that will follow it, especially that the Syrians will pay the price for it in all regions no matter what controlling party they are subject to in the field.

Long live Syrian people and land

The General Secretariat of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement 

21 June 2020