Madam Speaker, I rise to remember the life of 34-year-old Kurdish democracy activist Hevrin Khalaf, murdered last year in October by Turkey-backed militia along the M4 highway in Syria.
Khalaf was an engineer by trade and rose to prominence as a powerful diplomatic voice in the Syrian civil war. She was a dedicated peace broker between Muslims, Kurds and Christians in the region. Khalaf established civil society organizations and encouraged dialogue between all parties in the name of peace.
On October 12, 2019, the vehicle she was travelling in was targeted by Turkey-backed forces south of Tal Abyad. Khalaf would be dragged out of her vehicle, savagely beaten, tortured and executed. Her body would be mutilated and defiled by militiamen of the opposition Syrian National Army.
Hevrin's extraordinary life serves as a poignant example of the struggles Kurdish people face throughout the region. May she rest in peace.