Maxmur Camp: One month under embargo

All the parties concerned are aware of the situation, and the United Nations has been informed, but no progress has been made to remove the embargo on the Maxmur Camp.

On 17 July Osman Köse, one of the MIT officials in the South Kurdistan region, was shot and killed in the Huqqabaz restaurant in Hewlêr. 

The KDP imposed an embargo on Martyr Rüstem Cudi Refugee Camp (Maxmur) using this incident as an excuse.

A month has passed and the camp is still under embargo. The embargo hit the life of the camp's residents. Students could not go to university and workers saw their job affected. Even worse, the embargo had fatal consequences. Fatma Kara and Zeynep Ehmed, two pregnant women, lost their babies because they could not go to hospitals in Hewlêr’.

Talks by the Maxmur People's Assembly and the camp's Foreign Affairs Committee about lifting the embargo have yet to yield results.

Speaking to ANF, diplomatic committee member Bêwar Unver said that a 10-member delegation of the camp's older people (rûsipî) was established to hold talks about the embargo.

This delegation met Maxmur District Governor and the KDP public forces said Mihyemed Unver adding that the embargo led to a very heavy humanitarian situation. Unver said that the embargo is both "unlawful and contrary to human rights."

Given the lack of results, this time, the diplomatic committee and the People's Assembly formed a delegation and held meetings with the relevant parties, the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi parliamentarians.

The first meeting was held with Celal Cewheri, in charge of the Goran Movement. The Goran movement was requested to take initiatives with the regional government. According to Unver, Cewheri said that the government has just been established and therefore not fully functioning but added that they will raise this issue in the coming period.

Unver added the delegation also had a meeting with Soran Mehmud, a Kurdistan Region parliamentarian from Komele Islami, who said that he had submitted a file to the parliament regarding the embargo.

During a meeting with Seliber Ehmed, a member of the Red Cross in the region, the situation of the camp's residents who were detained following the embargo was discussed as no news about their situation has been learned.

The delegation also met with many human rights institutions and presented reports to international NGOs and the Council of Europe on the embargo imposed on the camp and the situation of the detainees.

Unver said that on the other hand they could not communicate with any KDP officials adding that they have closed the door to dialogue.

Stating that they could not understand why the KDP officially imposed an embargo on the camp Unver said: “Under a legal situation they should act according to the law. They can check identities but let patients, workers and students go in and out of the camp. When schools are opened, students will need to continue their education. Many workers also lost their jobs."

Unver said that all the parties concerned are aware of the situation, and that the United Nations has been informed, but that no progress has been made to remove the embargo.