"It's like hell in occupied Girê Spî"

Meryem Mihemed, who fled from the Turkish occupied region of Girê Spî, reports of atrocities committed by the occupation forces in the northern Syrian city.

More than 100,000 people from the occupied regions around Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) and Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) live in refugee camps in Northern Syria. More and more of them are coming to the camps because they can no longer bear living under the terror of the occupation regime. One of them is Meryem Mihemed. She fled from Girê Spî together with her family three months ago and now lives in one of these refugee camps. She calls her time under occupation "my hell".

Forced to cover up

Meryem has difficulty putting the extent of the horror into words. She has not yet been able to process much of what she has experienced. She reports how houses were looted and women were forced by violence to cover themselves; "Under death threats, the militias stormed the houses of the civilian population and took everything. They stole everything from my apartment, only the bare walls are left. Everything was looted, we had nothing left. I could not resist and had to leave my house helpless."

"Women experience all forms of violence"

The woman continues: "Every form of violence is practised against women. They are forced to wear black. Those who refuse are threatened. They are told that their fathers, brothers or partners will be arrested Through looting and extortion, the entire civilian population is impoverished. The people can no longer meet even their most basic needs."

Meryem explains that the Turkish state wants to expel the civilian population through this policy and change the demography of the region. She concludes with the words: "We live on the hope that the Turkish state will leave our country and we will be able to live in safety in our region again."