On July 17, the South Kurdistan official of the Turkish secret service (MIT) was assassinated in a restaurant in the city of Hewler (Erbil). The security forces of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) then closed all ways in and out of the Maxmur Camp, which is now surrounded and under a strict embargo. While members of the democracy and freedom movement were arrested and tortured, the arrests were carried out by KDP security forces together with representatives of the Turkish intelligence service MIT.
13,000 people cut off from care
Several parliamentary and diplomatic initiatives to lift the embargo on the refugee camp have so far been in vain. The Foreign Relations Committee of the self-governing refugee camp also sent a letter to KDP Leader Massoud Barzani, which said: “As refugees from northern Kurdistan, we have been living in southern Kurdistan for 26 years. There are about 13,000 people in Maxmur. On behalf of the camp we address our request to Mr. Massoud Barzani. To end the problems, he should meet with 15 representatives of the refugee camp.”
All regional and international initiatives to lift the embargo were also unsuccessful. Many critically ill patients could not travel to Hewler because of this. Two pregnant women have lost their babies.
Many people from Maxmur who work in Hewler or other places in southern Kurdistan have been fired because of the embargo.
Resistance of Peace Mothers continues
A group of Peace Mothers have been involved in a sit-in action at a KDP checkpoint since 1 September, protesting against the embargo imposed on the camp. They actually wanted to travel to Hewler for talks but have been stuck at the checkpoint ever since. Despite enormous heat, isolation from visits and repeated attacks, the mothers do not retreat, and remain determined to continue their protest until the embargo is lifted.
Maxmur Camp suffers shortages in medicines due to embargo
The Martyr Rüstem Cudi (Maxmur) Refugee Camp Health Committee announced that the camp is suffering from lack of the medicines needed.
The Camp has already experiencing serious difficulties in vital issues. Precisely to expose the problems faced by the camp, the Maxmur Camp Health Committee held a press conference.
Several doctors and health professionals attended the press conference. Health Committee member Dimen Bilen read the press statement.
“The lives of 12-13,000 people living in the camp – Bilen said – have been seriously affected by the embargo imposed on the camp on 17 July”.
Bilen added: “Two women suffered miscarriages because of the embargo and the babies could not be saved. The supplies of urgent medicines are running out, and we already have some problems.”
The statement ended with a call to “the President of the Kurdistan Region and all appropriate institutions to lift the embargo on the Maxmur camp.”