Syrian refugee girl commits suicide in Iraqi Kurdistan



ARA News

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan− A 14-year-old Syrian refugee girl committed suicide in Korekosk camp in the suburb of Erbil, capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan on Saturday.  

After several failed attempts, Fatima Hussein Sheikhmous committed suicide in Karakosk camp for Syrian refugees. According to Shekhmous’ family, the 14-year-old Syrian Kurdish girl “took 150 diabetes capsules”.

Sources in Karakosk camp said that Fatima attempted more than 8 times to kill herself after her family forced her to marry someone, “while she was in love with someone else”. 

Fatima’s suicide incident coincided the International Women’s Day. 

Forced marriage repeatedly occurred among Syrian refugee families who apparently attempt to lighten the economic burden amid deteriorating humanitarian situation these families suffer from in refugee camps in Syria’s neighbouring countries.  

Diyar Hishyar, a Syrian activist based in Erbil, told ARA News that Fatima was transferred to a hospital in Erbil immediately after taking in the capsules.

“However, she couldn’t survive,” said Hishyar. “The young girl committed suicide due to her parents’ pressure to marry a man, while she was in love with someone else.” 

The Syrian female activist Hamdiya Ismail told ARA News that the parents are to blame for the incident.

“Fatima’s parents couldn’t understand that the pressure may lead to such a tragic end,” she said. “However, committing suicide remains a taboo which must be avoided as no reason deserves killing oneself for the sake of others.” 

According to Ismail, lack of awareness among parents contribute to occurrence of such incidents.  

Jalila Ouje, member of Rojava Women Union in Syria, stated in an interview with ARA News: “I do not deny that the suffering of the Syrian refugees is immense, but parents should avoid putting psychological pressure on their children, especially the teenagers who are mostly unaware of their reactive behaviours.”  

Fatima left her hometown of Tel Kocher in Hasaka province north Syria with her family and resorted to the Iraqi Kurdistan nearly one year ago, after the escalation of violence in the area amid clashes between Islamists and Syrian Kurds. 

Fatima’s suicide incident is deemed unprecedented among Syrian refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to official records, more than 230,000 Syrian refugees (most of them Kurds) have taken refuge in the Kurdistan Region north of Iraq over the three-year-old war in Syria. 


Reporting by: Slava Ahmad and Ridwan Bizar

Source: ARA News


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