photo: Eddy van Wessel


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Yazidis fear ISIS radicals in Greek refugee camp

Having fled the murderous threat of the "Islamic State" (ISIS) group, Yazidi families from Iraq now live in fear in refugee camps in Greece. Judit Neurink reports from Malakasa.

A view of Malakasa camp near Athens on a quiet afternoon  PHOTO JUDIT NEURINK
"If the Afghans know I am Yazidi, they will burn me alive. They don't see us as human beings." Kheiri Zabri, 37, casts a worried look as his caravan's curtains move in the wind in front of the open window. Since December, he has been living in a camp in Malakasa, just outside the Greek capital, Athens, with his wife Zairan and their three young daughters. There are hundreds of other refugees in the camp, many from Afghanistan and Syria.

Last month, a fight broke out one night in front of his caravan involving a hundred or so Syrians and Afghanis. A 31-year-old Syrian refugee was killed, and eight others were wounded. Dozens of those involved were arrested by the Greek police. The small camp is overflowing with people seeking refuge, with newer arrivals living in tents as extra housing is constructed.

Zabri told DW that neither the police posted outside the camp nor the army from the base next door interfered and he and his family now live in fear, as do the other three Yazidi families in the camp seeking asylum. They are all members of an Iraqi religious minority that was persecuted by ISIS.

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