KRSC: Citizens exploited by PKK, smugglers, tourism companies, politicians to migrate to West
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) on Sunday accused the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), smugglers, tourism companies, and unnamed political groups of exploiting the migrant issue to harm the Region's reputation.
"The phenomenon of migration to Western countries has been going on for a while," a KRSC statement said, highlighting the recent surge in Kurds heading to Belarus to obtain asylum in Europe and the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded.
The agency called attention to the humanitarian situation and stated that people from the Kurdistan Region must not become victims of international disputes.
"Some of these citizens were exploited by PKK, a group of smugglers, a number of tourism companies, and political sides" as part of their campaign to undermine the Kurdistan Region's reputation, the statement added.
The KRSC highlighted that the Kurdistan Region has been "a safe haven for coexistence and individual freedom," adding, "many foreigners, neighboring countries and other parts of Iraq came to the Kurdistan Region" seeking its safety better livelihoods.
The newcomers have led to the creation of "many job opportunities, benefiting the people of the region as well."
"The people who are now stuck in Belarus spent a lot of money and traveled by legal means to reach that country, and from there, they crossed to other countries."
None of the people from the Kurdistan Region who are now in Belarus went there "because of a political problem or personal freedom" in the Region, the statement added.
"Untrue" accusations to that effect are "defamatory" and only made in an attempt "to obtain the right of asylum."