Where to for Syrian Kurdish kids after mom is murdered by dad?

Three Syrian Kurdish children are awaiting their fate in an Athens hospital hallway, where they have been placed “under protection” after their father killed their mother last month.

According to the report of Cagdas Kaplan from Gazete Karinca on Friday, three children of Syrian Kurdish Awin Akram (Evin Ekrem) are sleeping on stretchers at the hospital waiting for the decision of the local authorities to reunify them with their uncle and elder sister living in Switzerland.

Behzat Ali stabbed his 35-year-old wife to death on January 29 in Laurium, a town in the southeastern part of the Attica region, on the upper floor of a police station where several refugees have taken shelter.

A Greek court arrested Ali over the murder, and authorities sent the mother of four’s body back home for a funeral in Qamishli in the northeast of Syria.

Akram and her family left their hometown in 2017 due to the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS ) and Turkey’s military operations in the region, according to the report.

After arriving in Greece from Turkey, the family was planning to go to Switzerland and had not applied for asylum to avoid being deported.

The Syrian Kurdish family arrived in Sweden last year, but the authorities deported them back to Greece, the report says.

Apart from children aged 5, 7, 11, Akram’s 13-year-old daughter managed to get to Switzerland subsequently to live with her uncle, Hıznî Akram Ali. Swiss authorities have been evaluating her asylum application since then.

Akram was the target of her husband’s violence for a long time at their place on the second floor of a police station, a refugee anonymously told Gazete Karinca.

“She couldn’t report the violence to the police as she had no official papers in asylum service,” said the report.

Following the femicide, the prosecution obtained custody of the children and accommodated them in the hospital. Since they have no relatives living in Greece, the three children who lost their mother risk being sent to an orphan house.

Three children, whose mother was killed by their father, are being kept at an Athenian hospital. (Photo: Cagdas Kaplan)

Their uncle Ali, who is also an asylum seeker in Switzerland, has taken steps for family reunification with the unaccompanied minors.

“I want to bring three children to Switzerland and reunite them with their sister. I am the one who will raise and protect them. Let, them not be separated from each other and get lost in Greece,” the desperate uncle told IPA.

He urged human rights groups to help and said:

“My deceased sister loved the people of Switzerland, and she wanted to raise them here. She wanted her children to go to Swiss schools. I desire to fulfill her dream.”

Ziyad Ali, a cousin of Awin Akram living in Switzerland, met children this week at the hospital in Athens, according to Kaplan’s report.

“The children last saw their mother when she was wounded, and two little don’t know their mother passed away. They are asking when we will take them out from the hospital and meet their elder sister,” Ali told Kaplan.

A protest took place last week in Athens to condemn the murder of Akram. Hundreds of women and men marched from Academia Square to the Greek Parliament, carrying banners written Greek, Kurdish and Turkish, Firat news agency reported on Monday.

Protestors demanded the unaccompanied minors be sent to Switzerland, where their uncle and elder sister live, and they submitted a file to the Greek Parliament.

Earlier on January 31, hundreds of people gathered in a camp in Laurium, where mainly Kurdish refugees live to commemorate Awin Akram. The angry group condemned violence against women and femicide.

Writing by Zubeyir Koculu, editing by Giordano Stolley

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