News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
According to an article appearing Yeni Özgür Politika, women and girls from families living in refugee camps under KDP administration in Hewlêr and Duhok are being sold to wealthy buyers from as far away as Mosul, Baghdad, Dubai, and Qatar. The refugees came to the KRG fleeing fighting in Rojava, but are now rarely able to return.
The article cites a report from on the website of the Kurdistan Strategic Research Center, which says that the refugee families have been treated as if they were hostages and have been denied permission return to Rojava. Many are living in severe poverty and are desperate, and women can be sold at rates of between ten and forty thousand dollars. Traffic in women within in the camps is reportedly under the control of functionaries of the Azadi Party and El-Party, as well as widely considered proxies of the KDP in Rojava, as well as local Peshmerga.
Women as young as 13 and 14 are sold, and women under the age of 18 are said to fetch higher prices. Buyers are not only foreigners but also locals, many of whom visit the camp looking to marry a second or third wife. According to the testimonies of a couple of those buyers, interested customers are brought to the camps by officials of the Azadi and El Parties, who present them at the Peshmerga checkpoints at the entrance of the camp. The Peshmerga then call men from the camp involved in the trade, who show buyers photographs of women for sale on the computer. No price is listed, but when a buyer likes a woman the family and the girl are called and a negotiation takes place. After the money is handed over an imam arrives and performs a marriage ceremony. The Peshmerga then provide the buyer with the necessary documents to take the woman out of Iraq if necessary. The Peshmerga, the drivers, and those brokering the sales within the camp all take shares of the money. What is left then goes to the family.