Residents say conditions in the northeastern Syrian camp are like living in a ‘death camp’ amid lawlessness and regular crime.
Residents of al-Hol . camp in northeastern Syria have experienced frequent “violence and exploitation” with no formal legal policy to protect them in what they describe as a “death camp,” a new report by the Organization of the United Nations. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said.
Al-Hol camp is located in an area controlled by the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and holds displaced refugees, as well as families of ISIL fighters (ISIS), including thousands of people. foreigner. It is the largest camp in the war-torn country, housing about 60,000 people, the vast majority of whom are women and children.
“Under the auspices of the global war against The ISIL . groupSpecial policies have been implemented regarding the indefinite and arbitrary detention of women, children and men in the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria,” the report said.
The report’s authors said these measures failed to “ensure the safety and security” of those detained in the camp.
“Residents have described themselves as caught between two flames: on the one hand, the persistent threat of extreme violence posed by armed groups in the camp, and on the other, security measures. increasingly harsh practices by the camp authorities in an attempt to manage the situation in al-Hol,” the report notes.
Fight this early year between ISIL and the SDF in al-Hol killed three camp residents, including a child.
More than three years ago US-led coalition captured the Syrian village of Baghuz, the last piece of territory held by ISIL that had previously controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria, leaving thousands dead.
One resident of the camp described the situation in the camp as “terrible”. “We are in al-Hol because they promised us freedom, they promised us good conditions,” the person said.
“I am pregnant and have five children, so I decided to leave Baghuz. Now I regret leaving. I believed it was true, that we would be free, but nothing. If I knew, I’d rather die than come here. “
To others, the camp is like “Guantanamo Bay” and “death camp”.
“Once my dad was at the main gate but they wouldn’t even let me see him at the gate,” said another resident. “This is when I thought: ‘Yes, we are in prison.’ We need people to be able to visit us, and we need to be able to interact with the outside world.”
The report emphasized that Criminal activities rampant in the camp, including theft and extortion, with crime-related deaths accounting for “38% of all deaths” in al-Hol.
“I was walking with a friend at sunrise and we saw a blanket. Including a dead body. We did nothing because we were too afraid of the security forces. But the body has no head,” one resident told MSF.
Residents reported a lack of protection with security forces being reluctant to help, or reacting only when it was too late.
MSF recommends that a permanent solution offered by coalition forces includes “the right to due process” – including the right to a free trial, where camp residents can contend with the nature of their crimes. legality and necessity of their detention.
Furthermore, MSF said countries should speed up the repatriation process for what they say is more than 11,000 many foreign countries still in camp. The group said some countries had previously refused to take back their citizens or even give them stateless status.