Displaced Yezidi woman commits suicide in Zakho

Her body was found hanging in her tent.
The Bersive IDP camp in Zakho (Photo: Bersive camp 1/Facebook)
The Bersive IDP camp in Zakho (Photo: Bersive camp 1/Facebook)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A 62-year-old woman from Sinjar (Shingal) committed suicide at the Bersive internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Zakho on Thursday.

Her body was found hanging inside her tent. Zakho police said that their preliminary investigation indicates it was suicide.

This is the second suicide in two weeks in an IDP in the area. On Apr. 24, a 20-year-old girl hung herself in Zakho’s Darkar camp.

“Yezidis have suffered from trauma and elevated rates of suicide ideation and actually committing suicide for the last years since the Yezidi Genocide. With the fighting over the last days, thousands of more Yezidis are displaced,” Pari Ibrahim, Founder and Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF), told Kurdistan 24.

“Yezidis suffer in every way imaginable. But the common thread is the loss of hope,” she added. “We are saddened that more Yezidis commit suicide, we must find solutions to bring back hope for our people.”

Hundreds of thousands of Yezidis remain displaced in the Kurdistan Region despite the liberation of Sinjar from ISIS in November 2015.

Yezidi civilians say they do not want to return due to insecurity in Sinjar, lack of reconstruction and services, and lack of economic opportunities.

Nearly 1,000 families were displaced again by clashes in Sinjar on Monday. A number of them have returned after calm was restored in the Yezidi-majority town.

Read More: KRG facilitates examinations for students displaced by Sinjar clashes

In March 2020, the Iraqi government endorsed a national plan to close displacement camps and asked the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to close camps in its region.

However, Kurdish officials say they will not force IDPs to return home and camps will remain open for as long as they are needed.

Read More: Duhok governor pledges not to close camps before displaced Iraqis can safely return home

The necessities for many residents of the Kurdistan Region-based IDP camps are provided by the Barzani Charity Foundation, UN humanitarian agencies, and various other international and local organizations.

Still, most of the costs are shouldered by the KRG. The Government of Iraq has never allocated any budget for running IDP camps in the Kurdistan Region.