Êzidî refugees in Midyat living in prison conditions

The Êzidî refugees in Midyat are living in prison like conditions in the state-run AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) camp.

More than one thousand Êzidîs who left Shengal after ISIS attack in 2014, were settled in Amed at first. But Turkish officials forced these Êzidî refugees to move to AFAD camp in Midyat, a district of Mardin province.

The refugees are allowed to leave the camp and shop for their needs only once a week. Turkish officials also stopped financial assistance to the Êzidî families and refused to provide a place to worship for Êzidîs.

Xebat E., an Êzidî refugee from the AFAD camp in Midyat said: “This place has nothing in common with our camp in Amed. There were Syrian refugees when we came here and they (Turkish officials) put us next to them. We were discriminated. At first the officials didn’t pay attention to health problems and they wouldn’t let us out of the camp. Now we can go to the town centre once a week but it depends. There are times that we are kept inside for two weeks. Now the winter is ahead and we don’t know what we will face. I can say that we are living like prisoners at this camp.”

Another Êzidî refugee Qasim H. also compared the conditions in AFAD camp with the camp in Amed and said: “In Fidanlik camp (in Amed) we would go out of the camp anytime we want. The people of Amed visited us, we had a relationship with people so we visited each other. The people of Amed and the municipality always supported us but here it’s different. Now we don’t know what rules they will enforce in winter conditions. We are worried about this. We were forced to move here and now we are living here like a prisoner.”

After the attacks on Shengal, tens of thousands of Êzidîs had to leave their hometown and took refuge in neighbouring countries. A large majority of the refugees in Turkey returned to Shengal or moved to European countries.