Yazidi migrants stranded outside refugee camp in Greece

Yazidi migrants stranded outside refugee camp in Greece
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The Yazidi migrants are neither allowed inside the camp nor allowed to return to their homeland

In Northern Greece, 150 Yazidi migrants from Sinjar (Shengal), Iraq, are stranded outside the refugee camp in the city of Serres. One of the migrants, Eido Khalaf, said that they have been sleeping outside the camp and the Greek authorities do not let them in since the 20 empty caravans inside the camp are reserved for Ukrainian refugees.

According to the Yazidi migrant, the authorities do not let them return to Iraq either. Khalaf added that when they asked for help from the United Nations, but they said that it was out of their control.

Mainly young people from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Iraq desperately go through the smuggling routes in hopes of escaping the crisis in Iraq due to lack of jobs, political instability, and corruption in the country. Greece is a key route for migrants and refugees to enter the European Union.

The President of Sinjar Academy, Murad Ismael said that civilians in Sinjar selling their houses to afford the smuggling process is increasing. He called for the people to not sell their houses since Sinjar is the land of their ancestors. A total of 4,377 Yazidis moved out of Sinjar and the refugee camps in Duhok according to Sherzad Pirmusa, head of the Aland Organization.

More than 90 people died on the migration route from Iraq to the EU according to Pirmusa.

Khalaf said that at least two people from their group, a young child and a teenager, passed away.

In July, the bodies of three Kurdish migrants who drowned on the Greek coast were returned to KRI, and in December, 27 Yazidi migrants, 16 of them from the KRI, died in the English Channel.

Displacement of Yazidis in 2014 Genocide

Thousands of Yazidis were killed and thousands of women and children were enslaved by the Islamic State (ISIS) in August 2014. The ISIS attack also resulted in the complete displacement of the Yazidi people living in the towns and villages south of Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq.

Half a million people fled, left defenseless against the attackers as the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi troops withdrew. Tens of thousands of Yazidis took refuge in Mount Sinjar.

It is now estimated that almost 350,000 Yazidis are currently living in refugee camps in KRI and other areas.