Popular protests erupted in the cities and towns of Afrin, Marea, Suran, al Bab, and Jandeiras in the suburbs of Aleppo on Friday night June 3, 2022, with protesters rejecting recent price increases by the Syrian-Turkish Energy Company (STE), which supplies the region with electricity, and demanding that the firm reduce the cost of electricity bills and increase the number of hours of electricity currently provided under a rationing system.
Protesters in the city of Afrin in the northern suburbs of Aleppo governorate stormed and set fire to the offices of STE’s main branch in the city’s al Mahmudiya neighborhood, with some protesters reportedly looting devices and equipment before the offices were set alight. The protesters then stormed the headquarters of the company’s second branch in the city’s al Seyasa neighborhood, before going on to the local council building in the city, setting all these offices on fire, with one civilian burnt to death in the blaze in the council building, which, like STE’s offices and their contents, also sustained significant material damage as a result of the fire.
When the protesters arrived at the residence of the Turkish governor in the Saraya building in the city, the Turkish guards opened heavy gunfire at the protesters to force them to retreat, causing a state of great panic, with three civilians wounded, suffering light injuries.
The protests subsequently spread to the city of Marea in the eastern suburbs of Aleppo and the town of Suran in the northern suburbs of Aleppo, where dozens of civilians demonstrated and stormed STE’s branch in both areas, setting the offices on fire, causing huge material losses.
In the city of al Bab in the eastern suburbs of Aleppo, protesters stormed the electricity company building in the city and set tires on fire in front of the building.
In Jandeiras county, in northern Aleppo governorate, the Turkish guards stationed on the roof of the local council building serving the county fired tear gas at the protesters and shot bullets into the air as the protesters attempted to storm the building. The incident was followed by a shootout between some of the protesters and the Turkish guards, which resulted in the fatal wounding of one of the protesters, a fighter from al Sharqiyya Army, who died in a Turkish hospital on the morning of June 4, 2022.
SNHR calls on the controlling forces to launch independent judicial investigations, to hold the perpetrators of the violations accountable, and to compensate the victims.