Maxmur Refugee Camp under embargo for two months

The embargo of the southern Kurdistan’s ruling KDP party against the self-governing Maxmur refugee camp has lasted for two months. For 15 days, Peace Mothers have been protesting at a checkpoint with a sit-in action against the embargo.

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.

Workers unemployed

Many people from Maxmur who work in Hewler or other places in southern Kurdistan have been fired because of the embargo.

Crisis of medical care

The medical care in the camp and especially access to medicines is becoming increasingly difficult due to 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.