Female YPJ fighter in Syria allegedly murdered by relatives in ‘honor’ killing
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on Monday reported that a member of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) was killed by her brother in the Syrian town of Darbasiyyah, located near the Turkish border.
One source claimed that her brother said he killed her because she “brought shame and dishonour upon the family.”
In the region, there is a history of men being accused of killing women or girls perceived to have brought shame to a family or tribe being given token sentences, or in other cases, escaping justice entirely.
Even though such acts are technically illegal in Syria, Iraq, and other nearby countries, their prosecution, in practice, is sometimes dealt with as a “family” matter and kept out of the courts.
In other cases, the murders are made to look like suicides.
A source from Kongra-Star in Darbasiyyah, a confederation of women’s organizations, told Kurdistan 24 that the woman was known as Beritan, had lived with her family in the town until she told them she had joined the YPJ. According to the source, her father and step-siblings were not pleased with her decision. After her two stepbrothers tried to force her to go with them to go to Hasakah instead and she refused, one of them allegedly shot and killed her.
The source added that the family members are ethnic Arabs, remarking, “As you know, joining YPJ is not something uncommon among the Arab community.”
An official Kongra-Star statement read, “Violence against women is one of the most common violations of human rights, but most of these violations are not reported because of the absence of penalty.”
“We, as women’s movement, call on all the women, civil rights institutions and the civic society institutions to take a rapid initiative to stop these crimes and not to be slow in holding the criminal accountable and applying the heaviest penalty so we can see that justice is done.”