Yazidi girls trapped in al-Hawl camp

Just today, we heard about Ronya on PKK-affiliated news outlets. Ronya was saved from ISIS enslavement in al-Hawl camp. Ronya was not the first to be ‘saved’ from the camp, reports of Yazidi girls showing up after months of imprisonment in the camp are released almost every week. But why was she there in the first place? Why are the people in the camp not screened? Is there no control at all?
The al-Hawl refugee camp is a refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the town of al-Hawl in northern Syria, close to the Syria-Iraq border, which holds individuals displaced from Islamic State group-occupied territory. It is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). As of April 2019, the camp’s population was 74,000, having grown from 10,000 at the beginning of the year. The refugees are women and children of many countries primarily from Syria and Iraq, but also the foreign wives and children of foreign fighters reside there.
The camp has a dire security situation, revolts have taken place and most of its inhabitants still follow radical ISIS ideology. In 2019, 517 people have died in the camp, mostly children, due to the bad hygienical and medical situation.
A few days ago Ronya was rescued from the camp. She had been able to contact a maternal uncle via Facebook, who gave her the phone number of the Yazidi House (Mala Êzidîyan) of the Cizîrê region. The Yazidi House is an institution in Hesekê, which works under PYD-ruling has dedicated itself to the search for abducted Yazidis from Shengal. After a call to the organization, it took only a few hours to free Ronya, who is now 16 years old and had been enslaved for 6 years.
The Yazidi House has been able to rescue 236 Yazidi women and children from Hol Camp since the military victory over ISIS. However, the organization suspects that there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of Yazidis in the camp.
Yazidi House Leadership commented as following to the question why these girls are rescued so late. “Many Yazidis do not dare to signal their true identity and instead claim to be Muslims. For years they have been inculcated with the idea that their families will reject or kill them because they have converted to Islam. Or they are directly threatened with death if they tell the camp leaders about their Yazidi identity,”
The camp organization should impose one-on-one screening to track down the remaining Yazidi victims in the camp. Unfortunately, even the guards themselves reportedly do not dare go to certain parts of the camp.

Previous «
Next »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *