KRG PM says ‘deeply concerned’ by plight of Kurdish citizens migrating to Europe

KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani speaks to reporters in Erbil, February 10, 2021. (PM office)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Sunday expressed “concern” over the wave of Kurdish migrants heading to Europe.

Hundreds of people from the Kurdistan Region are stranded on the border between Belarus and Poland, hoping to reach Germany.

“I’m deeply concerned by the plight of our citizens, as well as the many others on the EU borders,” Barzani said in Tweet.

“Their wellbeing is our shared responsibility. They’ve been deceived by traffickers; exploited by networks abroad. I’m working with our partners to ensure their safety & security,” he added.

Kurdistan Region presents itself as a haven of relative stability, but is regularly criticized for restricting freedom of expression.

Last May, the U.N. denounced “arbitrary arrests”, unfair trials and “intimidation of journalists, activists and protesters” in Kurdistan.

About 3,000 Kurds have left the region in the past three months, of whom 1,600 have gone to Belarus on tourist visas, according to the Kurdistan Refugee Association.

The Belarusian honorary consul in Erbil, Fouad Mamend, told AFP that they were using travel agencies to obtain tourist visas and plane tickets.

Several Kurdish people have died on the border of Belarus.

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