In an interview via WhatsApp on 19th August 2017, Mohammed(nickname) who just got out of the Islamic state group-Held areas in Deir Ezzor talked to the Justice for life organization about his displacement Journey from the province.
Mohammed is a civilian fled from Deir Ezzor toward Al-Hasakah province, he was detained at Al-Sadd camp in Al-Hasakah province between 7th and the 10th of August 2017, he talked about the difficulties facing civilians on their way to get out of Deir Ezzor, he also talked about their struggle in the camps nearby Al-Hasakah province and answered the questions of the JFL about the Humanitarian situation of civilians on the way of displacement and the conditions inside Al-Sadd Camp.
We were obliged to get out:
Mohammad said: “I escaped from the Islamic state-Held areas due to the sustained Bombardment and the lack of necessities of life in the neighborhoods under the domination of the Islamic state, I couldn’t stay there, i was afraid for my children life.
We got out of the city toward the SDF-Held areas but the smugglers took us to Abo Khashab village which belongs to Al-Kasra township in the countryside of Deir Ezzor and left us there, after that we walked for about 12 Km, we had elderly women among us, and we had to carry them on our back”.
And about the costs of going to Abo Khashab Mohammed said: “we were 11 people and we had a pregnant woman,children and an elderly woman with us, we have paid 85000 SP to the smuggler for each one of usو, so I paid about 1700 Dollars for my whole family”.
Getting into Al-Sadd camp:
Mohammed continued his testimony saying:” after that long journey we arrived a people,s protection units checkpoint, after that they took us by KIA trucks, we were 53 people in each truck, they put a wood board in the back of the truck, dividing the truck into two parts, the Women sat under the wood board whereas the Men sat on the board.
We got out of the checkpoint at 11:00 am and arrived about 4:30 pm, they gave us drinking water but it was boiling due to the extreme hot weather, moreover we paid from 3000 to 4000 SP for each passenger in the car to the members of each checkpoint of the People,s protection units checkpoints on the way, the militants of the checkpoints threaten us with torture as we arrive the Camp.
I have seen more than 150 cars carrying civilian displaced people toward Al-Sadd Camp”.
The Humanitarian conditions in the Camp:
While Mohammed was talking about the camp he said:” the camp is located in the village of Arisha in the Al-Hasakah,s countryside, it’s in a barren desert and still under construction, the camp is under the domination of the People,s Protection Units 2 Km away from the riverbed, that area is full of sand cyclones, those cyclones destroy the tents and cause the suffocation of the displaced people.”
A photo of Al-Sadd Camp on the date of 8/8/2017, the JFL got it from a civilian was detained in Al-Sadd camp, he took this photo by his phone and he told the JFL that he published it on the internet before he sent it to us.
Mohammed continued:” there are about 5 thousands internally displaced people in the camp, more than 90% of them are from Deir Ezzor and the rest Are from Al-Raqqa and Iraq, Hundreds are entering the camp daily and most of them come from Deir Ezzor”.
And about the healthcare and Aid Distribution Mohammed says:” I stayed in the camp for three days and didn’t see any doctor, an elderly woman from Deir Ezzor died in the camp and been buried near the camp, when we asked one of the officials in the camp about the situation of my sick grandmother who is suffering from the blood pressure,blood sugar and needs a surgary he said:” we will perform a surgery to her and bring her back to the camp, nobody will get out of the camp until after 6 months, and the people who will get out are families,children,women and elderly, the young men will stay here”, and about the availability of water Mohammed said:” a water tanker bring about 6 to 7 tanks of water to the camp, and we don’t know if the water is sterilized or not but we have to drink it anyway because of thirst, There is no other source of drinking water in the camp, two organizations which I don’t remember their names distributed two Packages of pasteurized water to us once in three days I spent in the camp, those two packages were enough for only two hours”.
The witness clarified:” There are no toilets at all so we had to go to the wilderness, In addition to the absence of dumps of dirt and the spread of diseases in the camp”.
And about the availability of Food Mohammed says:” In our food, we relied on canned food, which caused digestive problems especially to children, and we bought the canned food from our own Money”.
Getting out of the camp:
Mohammed talked about the way and costs of getting out of the camp:” I paid 400 thousands SP to get out along with my family as we were stopped by an armed group, and they took us to a security headquarter of the Self-Rule as they said, they told us that they will take us back to the camp unless we pay them money, they insisted to take 450 thousands SP in addition to my brother,s phone, so the amount of money we paid reached about 500 thousands SP, the costs of the journey from the moment I got out of the camp along with my family till we entered Al-Hasakah city reached about 1700 US Dollars”.
Mohammed added:” A smuggler got me into Al-Hasakah and after a week another smuggler took to Al-Bab city, so I spent 15 days of torture since I got out of Deir Ezzor till I arrived Al-Bab City”.
Mohammed described what he saw in the camp saying:” I have seen Men crying because they were unable to do anything, and families wishing they hadn’t come to the camp”.