Syrian refugee in Turkey appeals for support in fight against harassment

A Syrian refugee who lives in Diyarbakır (Amed) has accused a man of harassing and threatening her continuously for two years. E.B. (35) migrated from Syria with her family six years ago and settled in Diyarbakır’s Kayapınar district, where she lives with her husband and four children. She was sexually harassed by R.N., her husband’s boss, for two years and filed a criminal complaint at the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office two months ago.

Refugee’s complaint rejected

The Criminal Office rejected E.B.’s complaint and chose not to prosecute. E.B. received psychological treatment for the combined trauma of migration from the conflict zone in Syria and the subsequent sexual harassment. She told the Mesopotamia Agency (MA) what she has been through over the years.

“Those who witnessed the war have already suffered, but I have suffered twice over after what I experienced here”, she said.

The perpetrator’s apparent impunity has led her to despair. “He has been harassing me for the last two years. He is the boss of my husband and helped us at first. Then he used an excuse to get my number and started sending me inappropriate massages on the phone”, she said.

“He waited for my children to go to school. Then he would disturb me. When he was sure that no one was home, he came to the door. If my children were at home, he wanted me to send them somewhere. He continued threatening me when I refused. One day he came to my home. As he entered, he first took my phone. Then he was undressed. I told him to go, and at that moment I passed out with fear. He was not there when I woke up”.

‘He threatened to send me and my family back to Syria’

E.B. said that R.N. later started to threaten her, using photographs taken while she was unconscious. “He told me, ‘I will send your husband to Syria and ISIS will kill him'”, said E.B. “‘I am his boss. I will say he committed a crime'”.

Police officer brother protected the harasser

E.B. said R.N. also threatened her through his brother, who is a police officer. “We filed a criminal complaint against him but nothing happened”, she said. “His brother was a police officer. They are trying to cover up the harassment. He trusts his brother very much”.

Describing the psychological stress she has endured, E.B. said, “I’m very scared. I am having trouble sleeping. I have many diseases due to stress. I never go out. I can’t even go to the grocery store. I am constantly arguing with my husband. We have no relatives here. The state is not on our side”.

‘I want women’s organisations to defend my rights’

“I want women’s organisations and lawyers to defend my rights”, said E.B. “If R.N.’s phone is examined, everything will be revealed”. She appealed for solidarity and support in her fight against harassment. “I need women to stand with me so that I am not alone”, she said.

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Syrian refugee in Turkey appeals for support in fight against harassment

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