The extent of the crackdown in the context of the military offensive raises serious concern that the authorities are using military operations in northern Syria as a pretext to further crush dissent and inflict fear.
The examples outlined in this briefing show the abusive application of anti-terrorism laws to silence all critical discussion of the military offensive, and clamp down on dissent on issues of Kurdish rights and politics more generally, intensifying the climate of fear already present across the country in stark violation of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, expression and fair trial rights.
In this sense, the agenda pursued by the government is reminiscent of crackdown during the two-year state of emergency which went far beyond the legitimate aim of countering the threat posed by the coup attempt, and broadened into an attack on all forms of peaceful dissenting opinion. A year and a half after the state of emergency has ended, the military operation should not be used to further shrink the space for dissenting or alternative views. Dowloand PDF