Visitors, believed to be UNHCR staff, came to Shagarab camp on 4 March 2020 and had meetings in the camp. When leaving the camp, a large group of desperate refugees rushed to talk and discuss their plights with them. But they were blocked by the security personnel of the camp. The refugees resisted the blockage and pushed towards the visitors. Finally, two representatives were selected to speak with the visitors, who, unfortunately, were later taken by the security to unknown place. The rest were chased by tear gases and live bullets. Refugees are in terror running away and hiding in the camp.
According to reliable sources refugees are facing numerous obstacles to get their refugee status document. Widespread bribes and corruptions, negligence, and harassment, including sexual harassment are daily practices of the camp. Security personnel pay unwarranted visits to women’s barakas and pretend to help them facilitate their files to get done faster. Many of the refugees say there is nothing that can be done without giving them bribes. Whoever has no money, his/her file remains unprocessed.
The working hours and conditions of the camp are unbelievable. They work less than 10 hours a week, reception is terrible and no respect, and processes only 10 files per day – 7 times less that before. Blocking refugees from talking with visitors is also common. Overall refugees are frustrated of the delays of the identification process, hunger, shelter, water, and other basic necessities. These challenges made them to demand for justice, and wanted to talk to whoever can be of help, like to the visitors from UNHCR.
At this very moment, refugees are more concerned and worried about the two arrested who are taken to unknown location. They believe that it is the responsibility of COR and UNHCR to make sure that their safety and security is not compromised. They are demanding their safe return to the camp. International community has a duty and responsibility to follow the developments in the Shagarab camp and help these desperate and helpless refugees. They are crying out for your help; what would you say if your own sons and daughters fell in a such situation. Act responsibly and humanly.