The Justice For Life organization conducted interviews on the dates of 23,24 and 25 of August with Abu Ahmad,Mr.Kareem and Mr.Omar (nicknames because the witnesses refused to reveal their real names due to Security Considerations ) and all of them are sons of Deir Ezzor city so they told us the stories of their displacement from the Islamic state group-Held areas in Deir Ezzor.
The Reasons of displacement:
Abu Ahmad says:” One of the main reasons for our displacement is the continuous aerial bombardment on the civilian areas, in addition to the tightening restrictions imposed by the Islamic state group, like the prosecution for the slightest things, They were accusing us of apostasy if we don’t respond to their orders, and they forced us to deal in the currency released by them, moreover, the announcing of Conscription for the young men between 20 and 30 years old”.
Kareem talked about the Islamic state perception of civilians in Deir Ezzor saying: ” Whoever pledging allegiance to the Islamic state is a Muslim and anyone who doesn’t pledge allegiance is an ignorant person and doesn’t know anything about the Islam, and sometimes things can be exacerbated to accusing some people of apostasy”.
The way of getting out of Deir Ezzor:
About the way of getting out of Deir Ezzor along with his family Abu Ahmad said: ” We made a deal with a smuggler to help us to flee because the Islamic state group prevented us from getting out of Deir Ezzor, if the Islamic state members arrested anyone trying to flee they punish him with various penalties “. Omar talked about the penalties of the person who get caught while trying to get out of the Islamic state group areas in Deir Ezzor saying: “They confiscate his personal identification papers,his phone and subject him to legitimate courses, and in case they arrested him trying to escape for the second time he might be executed”.
Abu Ahmad continued his talk saying: “I paid 300 US Dollars to the smuggler to get me out along with my wife and my 8 children to the Syrian Democratic Forces-Held areas, some smugglers were dealing with the Elements of Islamic state because the smuggling operations are very lucrative”, In the same context Omar said: ” I had an argument with the smuggler-who had 30 armed men with him-Because we were mistreated by him, so he pointed his gun at me and my mother and threatened to kill both of us”.
In this regard, Kareem said: “The costs of fleeing Deir Ezzor toward Idlib exceeded the 700 US Dollars, so I had to borrow a part of that amount of money from my relatives in Europe, and the destinations of most people who get out of Deir Ezzor are Idlib province and Turkey”.
Abu Ahmed continued talking about his journey saying: “We walked a long distance in uninhabited desert areas, and when we get tired we were sleeping in the Houses of smugglers if they were close, or in the abandoned houses on our way, one of the most exhausting things was hearing the babies crying because they were so scared of the darkness and cold weather”. In this context the witness Omar said: “We walked for 25 KM in a road full of landmines”.
Reaching the camps:
Abu Ahmad continued: ” When we arrived at the checkpoint of the people’s protection units which its members were Arabs and Kurds, they forced us to go to Mabrouka camp even though we asked them to go to Al-Shaddadi because our relatives are there, and despite the fact that we didn’t intend to stay in Al-Hasakah province.
And about the displacement density, the witness Omar said: ” When we reached Rajm slaibi chekpoint-which is controlled by the people’s protection units- I have seen about 1500 families from different areas, and During my stay at the checkpoint I have seen civilian patients in critical condition due to the hot weather and water shortage”, Omar continued his talk about the treatment of the checkpoint Elements: “Rajm Slaibi was the only checkpoint that that i wasn’t obliged to pay money to the Elements of it, but they mistreated the displaced civilians and they refused they entry of a diabetic child, when I approached the checkpoint along with hundreds of people we asked the members of the checkpoint to give us drinking water so they gave us a 25 liters bottle despite the fact that we were 582 people”.
The food prices at the checkpoint were as follows :
Bread 2000 SP per loaf
Martadella (Luncheon) 2000 SP per can
Sardines 2000 SP per can
Biscuits 1000 SP per packet
Omar completed his testimony to the Justice for Life organization : ” We stayed 4 days in Rajm Slaibi checkpoint without tents, Because the tents burnt in the last offensive by the Islamic state group on the checkpoint awhile back, after that, they transferred us to Al Hol camp, where they took pictures of us and interrogated us, The camp was provided with everything the displaced people need from markets and shops”.
Omar concluded by talking about the way he got out of Al-Hol camp: ” After about two weeks I managed to get out of the camp because one of my relatives and he is from the locals of Al-Hasakah city paid a bail to get me out of the camp and took me to Al-Hasakah after that, However, I paid 50000 SP for each person of us”.