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Fighting Corruption for Iraqi Nationality Cards (JENSIAS)

Fighting Corruption for Iraqi Nationality Cards (JENSIAS)
It took one year to get jensias for survivors of the Barakat Mahmoud family from Tal Ezeer
posted onAugust 19, 2018



I had a good phone conversation today with Mahama al-Shingali, the former mayor of Shingal city.  Mahama is  now head of immigration issues for Nineveh which includes Mosul, Tal Afar, Shingal, and Rabia.  He is often in Duhok managing the work for jensias in the IDPs camps.  He has made some improvements to speed up the process for getting jensIas (national ID cards). 

Ezidi survivor being fingerprinted for her jensia



Survivors who returned from ISIS were promised by the government to get their IDs and passports within two weeks.  It took one year to get the jensias of the family of survivors of Barakhat Mahmoud Khero.  


Every Thursday there is a traveling team that goes to the Ezidi IDP camps to take jensIa applications and give them their jensIas.  You can go to the camp manager's office to find out about this.   If you need a jensea and miss the visiting team in your camp on Thursday, you can contact Amy L Beam.  I will present a list of names to Mahama who will write a letter instructing the jensia office to issue your jensia.  This is good news. 


Of course, you have to have your hawea and other supporting documents such as your father's jensia and green card.  If you have a problem with getting these documents, let us help you.


Mahama has also met in Baghdad with the head of immigration in the Ministry of Interior.  Another person, Ali Hadi, has been assigned to take jensIa applications for the west side of Mosul, Tal Afar and Shingal. 


I have been working on the jensia issue and fighting the corruption involved in getting jenseas for 1.5 years.  Earlier in the year, I submitted a 6-page report to a Mosul Council member who shared it.  It detailed how the corruption works and recommended solutions.  One recommendation was to make jensia application forms freely available in the camps so that the forms cannot be sold..  In 2017, an average of 500 persons showed up daily to apply.  Only 200 application forms were distributed for free every Sunday.  Many weeks there were no forms.  The illegal price to buy a form dropped from 50,000 Dinar ($45 dollars) to 15,000 Dinar.


People push to get up to one window for jensia application, Shekhan 2017


Mahama has personally approved 143,000 jensias, but has pushed Baghdad for more staff because there are 600,000 people from Shingal and in IDP camps who need their IDs.


Mahama promises that anyone who is involved in corruption with jensias or passports will be put into court.  I will also do this.  This includes the Ezidis inside the camps, the drivers, and the staff persons inside the jensia office who have been taking bribes to give jensias. This corruption has prevented others from getting their jensias. 



Mahama al-Shingali and Amy L Beam


It is time for Ezidis themselves to stop participating in this corruption which is hurting other Ezidis.  This also includes NGOs who find it easier to pay a bribe rather than fight the bureaucracy.  This practice of paying the bribes only makes corruption worse.


There is also a jensia office in Mosul and a new passport office in Mosul that opened 20 days ago. 


Please do not pay the reported $200 bribe for getting a passport.  The passport costs 38,000 dinar for government fee, file, and photo. 


In Mosul the wait for passports is not long, according to Mahama.  We promise to go after anyone involved in corruption in any camp or inside the passport office in Duhok.  Mahama hopes soon another passport office will open in Duhok or more staff will be assigned. 


I have visited Mosul a number of times in the last few months and driven in all parts of it.  It remains devastated with concrete rubble and bombed out buildings everywhere.  There is a lot of traffic.  It can take 30 minutes to drive through the streets coming from Duhok and then get on the road to Shingal. 


Mosul is not scary and there are many Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police checkpoints.  The taxi garage in Mosul is busy and functioning normally.  Ezidis should not be scared away from going to Mosul or transferring at the taxi garage.