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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:55 am
Author: Anthea
Yezidis encircle Karajali Temple
in ritual for well wishes

MOUNT SHARIA, Kurdistan Region — For good fortune, Yezidis gather at Karajali Temple in the western most province of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq every spring.

"Oh, Karajali makes all the Yezidi wishes come true," said one participant of the ethno-religious group.

The highly spiritual and ritualistic event involves thousands of Yezidis climbing and walking around the Karajali Temple in Duhok province.

"We practice this tradition every year at this time. We get tired when climbing but we’re very pleased. We never forget our traditions," explained Shrihan Ismael.

As they come down the mountain, special chants ring through billows of incense.

"This is a pan [full of charcoal to burn special incense] prepared for welcoming the Ishek [Krajali participants]. Our forefathers used to do this. We go towards the Ishek and they go backward until we reach the village," Hizno Resho said.

With spirits high and spring blossoming, the festival concludes with dancing.

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:59 pm
Author: Anthea
Yazidi leaders issue call for children
of ISIS rape survivors to return home

Yazidi leaders have ruled that the children of Yazidi mothers who were born as the result of rape by ISIS fighters can now return home, reversing a controversial policy that sought to isolate them from their community

Thousands of Yazidi women and children were taken captive by ISIS in the summer of 2014, when the terror group carried out a murderous rampage against the small religious minority in their traditional homeland in northern Iraq.

During years of captivity, many women gave birth to children after being raped by their captors.

Due to the ancient religion’s strict adherence to its genealogical identity, those women were faced with an impossible choice when they finally escaped the clutches of ISIS: abandon their children and return home, or live in exile and keep their children. Many chose to stay away.

The new ruling, issued by the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council, called on members of the faith “to accept all survivors and consider what they have been subjected to beyond their control,” including their children.

The decision was welcomed by Yazidi rights groups, many of which have been campaigning for reform on the issue.

“This decision is very important. We believe those women deserve to be returned back, including their children. They need our support, our respect and our help,” said Ahmed Khudida Burjus, the deputy executive director of Yazda, a Yazidi advocacy group.

Mr Burjus said there are potentially dozens of women who gave birth to the children of Isis fighters still in Syrian camps, too afraid to return to their historic home in northern Iraq because they may be forced to give up their child. Many others who returned have given up their children to orphanages — due to societal pressure or the because of the trauma of their experience.

But although the ruling could ease some of those fears, the community’s traditions and historic norms mean Yazidi women returning home with their children may still find resistance from within their own families.

“It is a closed religion. Traditionally, a Yazidi has to be from Yazidi mother and father,” said Mr Burjus. He added that although the decree may be a sign that things are changing, there will be a difficult road ahead.

    In a historic move, the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council issues a statement to welcome all survivors, including women and their children born out of rape. We now hope to retrieve hundreds of women and their children from Syria.

    — Murad Ismael (@murad_ismael)
    April 24, 2019 ... 00028.html

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:45 pm
Author: Anthea
Every day I died 100 times over. Not just once. Every hour I died, every hour. ... From the beating, from the misery, from the torture

This quote come from an escaped Yazidi girl

Yet the world closes it's ears to the screams of pain coming still from the 3,000 missing Yazidi captives

Yazidis who die 100 times over. Not just once. Every hour they die, every hour. Every hour of every day for almost 5 YEARS

Think of the unimaginable suffering these innocent captives are going through

Think of the anguish of their families and friends. Having lost so many loved ones during the initial slaughter in August 2014

Not knowing if other relations are alive or dead. Yet fearing for those who may still be alive and held captive, knowing what pain and suffering their loved ones are going through

I know there are many wars throughout the world. Perhaps people have grown numb to the suffering of others as long as they themselves remain unaffected

People close their minds to the facts that so many countries manufacture weapons used to kill MILLIONS of people each year

But this was NOT a war

Yazidis are innocent peace loving people who keep themselves to themselves and hurt nobody

The attack on Yazidis was the unexpected slaughter of innocent people

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:21 am
Author: Anthea
Nadia Murad: Yezidi mothers, families
should decide fate of ISIS children

Yezidi survivor and Nobel laureate Nadia Murad issued a video statement on Sunday addressing the Yezidi Spiritual Council decision not to accept children born from rape by Islamic State (ISIS) militants

The Spiritual Council made the clarification on Saturday, days after it implied “all” survivors would be taken in.

In a statement published Saturday, the council said coverage of its earlier statement was “distorting the truth”.

“About the decision to accept the female survivors and children, we did not mean the children born as a result of rape at all, but those who were born from Yezidi parents and were kidnapped during the invasion of Sinjar [Shingal] by Daesh on August 3, 2014,” the council said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The Yezidi faith does not accept marriage and conception between Yezidis and non-Yezidis, nor does it allow conversion.

It appears the Spiritual Council made the U-turn after Yezidi political parties and others within the community objected.

Responding to the development, Murad said children born of ISIS rape are an “international and humanitarian” matter.

“I know that this is a difficult decision. This is something new and hard for our nation,” Murad said in the video posted to her Facebook page late Sunday.

“This is a hard and historic decision, but our case does not only concern us.”

The birth of children fathered by ISIS fighters was out of the Yezidi women’s control, she said.

“The mothers of these children have approached the UN, organizations and governments. Many of them have said that their children have been rejected,” Murad said.

“I was in contact with many women and they told me they have been rescued [from ISIS] but are living in camps, mountains, and [foreign] countries, afraid to return as they have been told that their children will not be accepted.”

“I believe this should be determined by the mothers of the children and their families rather than the fact that each of us say: ‘No, they should not bring [their children]’ while other say ‘They should bring [them]’.”

Murad said the Yezidis and the international community must not lose sight of greater issues afflicting the persecuted minority group.

“Only this morning three of our [Yezidi] brothers were exhumed from a mass grave in Kocho. I have not broken the news to you due to talking with people about these children,” Murad said.

Following years of delay, a UN team recently began exhuming mass grave sites in the Shingal village of Kocho.

Murad called on Yezidis to find a humanitarian solution “so that we can know what to tell people and return to our greater issues such as Shingal, its reconstruction, mass graves, and the thousands of missing people.”

Thousands of Yezidi men and elderly people were slaughtered by ISIS militants and buried in mass graves during the 2014 genocide. Women and children were abducted and sold into slavery – many facing years of sexual violence.

Of 6,417 Yezidis kidnapped by ISIS, the fate of 2,992 remains unclear, according to Yezidi Affairs Office from the KRG Ministry Religion and Endowment.

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:19 am
Author: Anthea
Yazidi leaders to allow ISIS rape
survivors to return with children

Yazidi survivors groups have embraced a decision by the community’s elders to allow children who are the result of rape by members of Islamic State to return with their Yazidi mothers to their homelands in Iraq

The landmark ruling by the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council has cleared the way for hundreds of women to return from Syria, or Europe, with children that were born to them while captives of the terrorist group.

Until the decision made this week, women who refused to be separated from their children had been exiled by their own community, with many forced into detention camps in north-east Syria. Only those who had agreed to surrender newborns or infants had been allowed to return to their families in northern Iraq.

The decision is likely to directly affect many hundreds of women, who were enslaved by ISIS, and routinely raped by the organisation’s members, who declared them to be “godless” and “devil worshippers”. The enslavement took place from August 2014, when the Yazidi heartland near the Sinjar mountains was over-run by the extremists who launched an attempted genocide against the 550,000 strong community, killing at least 5,000 men and capturing many thousands of women and girls.

The shift in policy declared that what had happened to the Yazidi women had been “out of their control”. It said elders had been sent to north-east Syria to look for Yazidi women housed in two large detention camps, with a view to bringing them back to Iraq with their children.

Searches will also start in orphanages across Iraq, where hundreds of Yazidi women handed over their babies in order to be allowed to return to their families. Other infants were handed directly to families who informally adopted them, some pretending that the children were their own.

Pari Ibrahim, executive director of the Free Yezidi Foundation, said the ruling had been long sought and warmly welcomed by women who had been subjected to the double trauma of rape and captivity, then forced separation, often from the only thing that had sustained them.

“Here you have women who were in captivity living in hell, and the only thing that was giving them love was their child,” she said. “Then that was taken away from them.

“I am very happy. This is the result of pressure from a lot of different organisations and reflection from within the community itself. There has been talk among the families about many aspects; the innocence of a child, the acceptance within our community for others. For a long time, this subject was not even up for discussion. You have to accept the perpetrator’s blood in your community. This is the way they see it.”

On Friday, elders moved to clarify the status of children whose fathers were Isis fighters, insisting that while they could live with their mothers in Yazidi communities, they would not be accepted as Yazidis themselves.

“We are a peaceful religion, and we are very tolerant toward humanity and we accept these children who are fathered by Muslims only as humans and based on the norms that our religion has toward humanity,” said Bahzad Sleman Saffu, a member of the Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council. “But not as Yazidis since our religious [law] doesn’t allow that.

“No one can convert to Yazidism. The children of the Yazidi victims are born from a Muslim father, and our religious rules can’t accept them as Yazidis. However, their mothers are a member of our community who have been subjected to rape and atrocities, and they are still accepted as a member of our community.

“Under Iraqi law children should be registered under the religion of their fathers, and the fathers of these children is unknown. That is why we renewed our request from the international community to take these women to Europe and western countries to register these children under their mothers’ names.”

The move has been welcomed by the UN and NGOs which have demanded global protections be given to minorities displaced and enslaved by the Isis rampage.

“Yazidi women who were taken captive by Isis fighters who later gave birth to children from rape have told me how painful it was for them to give their children to orphanages or to the fighters’ families before they were able to return home to their community,” said Belkis Wille, senior Iraq researcher for Human Rights Watch. “They felt pressured to do so because they feared their children born through rape were not welcome back home. This declaration was long needed.”

Juliette Touma, regional communications chief for Unicef, said: “Unicef welcomes the position of Yazidi heads of communities. It is in line with our position that a child is a child. Regardless of the alleged affiliation or alleged military role of a child’s family, children should receive the utmost care and all the assistance they need.” ... h-children


What will happen when the fathers of these children want accesses?

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 12:22 am
Author: Anthea
Barzani Charity Foundation leaves Shingal citing safety concerns due to PKK

Barzani Charity Foundation (BCF) halted operations in Shingal on Tuesday, saying the humanitarian organization is unable to safely operate due to the presence of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)

“We strongly condemn this attitude by PKK militants and announce it to the public that we can no longer continue delivering aid to the people of Shingal," BCF said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Shingal, a disputed area located in Nineveh province, is claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad. The area northwest of Mosul is highly militarized with groups of various affiliations.

“While carrying out humanitarian duties, our teams were prevented by PKK militants several times. The Foundation’s office on Mount Shingal was also attacked,” the BCF stated.

The dominant forces in western parts of the Kurdistan Region are the Peshmerga and Zeravani — both with close ties to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the largest party in the region. The KDP and PKK rarely target each other directly, but do not enjoy good terms.

“Unfortunately, PKK militants continue their inhuman attitudes. On April 28, 2019, while delivering aid to the people of Shingal from Barzani Charity Foundation and the American Nebraska Church Organization, they attacked our employees imprisoned the head of BCF office in Shingal,” added BCF. Rudaw English could not independently verify the claims.

The Iraqi Army, Federal Police, provincial and municipal police, Hashd al-Shaabi, PKK-linked Shingal Protection Units (YBS), and Peshmerga are known to be active in various parts of Shingal.

“We call on the Iraqi government, United Nations, Coalition Forces and humanitarian organization in the world to prevent armed groups in Shingal area to turn the area into a platform for rivalry as civilians in Shingal need more assistance, bettering their living conditions and building the infrastructure of the area," the BCF stated.

The PKK has fought a 40-year, sometimes armed, struggle against the Turkish state. It has bases in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which regularly come under airstrikes.

Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi hosted Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Baghdad on Monday and spoke about "security cases" and "fighting terrorists."

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamad al-Hakim also met with Cavusoglu and said Turkey and Iraq will need to cooperate "eliminate PKK terrorist group as well."

Cavusoglu then met with Kurdistan Regional Government PM Nechirvan Barzani in Erbil; however, there was no explicit mention of the PKK in Barzani's readout. Barzani's statement said they talked about "continuing coordination and cooperation against terrorism" and also the situation in "disputed areas."

Rudaw English columnist David Romano believes KDP deputy Barzani was pressed on issues like the PKK presence in the border regions by Cavusoglu.

BCF is based in the Kurdistan Region of Erbil. It was founded in 2005. It provides humanitarian assistance to refugees, internally displaced persons and vulnerable local communities and individuals, according to its impressum.

Shingal is the Yezidi homeland and one of the first areas attacked by Islamic State (ISIS) extremists in 2014. The Iraqi federal government has held the security portfolio over the disputed or Kurdistani territory since its takeover in October 2017.

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 11:21 pm
Author: Anthea
UN Special Representative for Iraq visits Dohuk and Sinjar, urges efforts to achieve progress on IDPs’ return

Although the military defeat of Da’esh in Iraq was announced in December 2017, more than 1.6 million Iraqis remain displaced. With that alarming statistic in mind, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, travelled to Ninewa and Dohuk governorates to assess the situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in protracted displacement and to meet with authorities at local and governorate level as well as community and other leaders.

SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert visited Hassan Sham IDPs Camp and met with the camp management and residents. In an open-hearted conversation, residents explained the problems they face in their daily lives as well as the obstacles that prevent them from returning to their hometowns.

She also met with the Governor of Dohuk, Mr. Farhad Saleem Atrushi, to discuss the challenges the governorate faces to continuously host large numbers of IDPs, many of whom are Yezidis who face a range of serious obstacles to their return home such as an unstable security situation including clashes between armed groups and checkpoint harassment, damaged and contaminated houses, inadequate basic services, as well as discrimination. SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert: “Obstacles are varied and often complex, painfully resulting in stalled returns on the ground”.

Before heading to Sinjar, the Special Representative called on Baba Sheikh, the Yezidi Supreme Spiritual Leader and member of the Yezidi Spiritual Council, and other Council members in Shekhan. Soon after, SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert made her way to Mount Sinjar to further discuss the challenges and obstacles with community leaders and members.

“The Yezidis have suffered immensely during the reign of Da’esh, who committed untold atrocities in their attempt to annihilate the community. I was shocked to see that now, nearly five years after the capture of Sinjar by Da'esh and the area’s subsequent liberation, many people are still living in tents, on the very mountain top they fled to at the onset of the terror campaign,” the Special Representative said, adding that all internally displaced people in Iraq deserve our support.

“In August the world will commemorate the horrific events of five years ago. A single administration and the provision of security and services is the very basis for the reconstruction of Sinjar. A continued failure to provide these, is a travesty of justice and creates the perfect breeding ground for a new wave of violence and instability. With this in mind,

I call upon the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to consult with the local leadership in Sinjar district and to establish stable governance and security structures without delay, and so facilitate the reconstruction of affected areas and the return of displaced persons from Sinjar,” Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email:

or the UNAMI Public Information Office: ... e-progress

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:09 pm
Author: Anthea
Iraqi Yazidi refugees prevented from returning to Sinjar due to ongoing dangers

Four years after the Yazidi majority town of Sinjar was recaptured from ISIS, many of its inhabitants remain refugees while the PKK gains a foothold in the town

The Yazidi-majority town of Sinjar in northwestern Iraq is witnessing rising tensions, following the refusal of fighters affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to withdraw from the area,

Nearly five years after the religious and ethnic minority were forced to flee their homes by the Islamic State group militants, the majority of Yazidi refugees are living in squalid conditions in and around the town.

Many are still living in tents on the same mountains where they took shelter from the 2014 ISIS offensive, despite the expulsion of the extremist group from Sinjar in November 2015.

The mayor of Sinjar, Mahma Khalil, said that the PKK were preventing the return of refugees. He accused the group of committing "widespread, arbitrary and inhuman violations" and "imposing strange laws".

He called on the Iraqi government to expel the PKK from the region.

The PKK have had a presence in Sinjar ever since ISIS were expelled in 2015. Founded in Turkey in 1978, their goal of achieving autonomy or independence for Turkish Kurds has turned violent, and the group are considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU.

In Sinjar, they have formed a 5,000-strong Yazidi offshoot known as the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), who are also allied with the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces) militias.

The YBS have clashed with Baghdad, with one Iraqi soldier killed by the group in March 2019.

Khalil is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which is led by Massoud Barzani, who was formerly the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and has a history of opposing the PKK.

However, the UN has issued its own call for Yazidi refugees to be allowed to return to their homes. The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said that she was "shocked" to find that "many people are still living in tents, on the very mountain top they fled to at the onset of the [ISIS] terror campaign".

Hennis-Plasschaert called for the establishment of "stable governance and security structures without delay and so facilitate the reconstruction of affected areas and the return of displaced persons from Sinjar."

Before its capture by ISIS in 2014, Sinjar had a population of 88,000, most of them Yazidis. The extremist group considered the Yazidis infidels, massacring 3,000 of them when they captured the town and forcing Yazidi women into sexual slavery. The destruction caused by the ISIS occupation has not been repaired and much of the town is still rubble. ... -to-sinjar

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 8:17 pm
Author: Anthea
Uncertain Future Awaits Displaced
Syrian Yazidis in Lebanon

Concern is growing among hundreds of Yazidis who fled their homes due to the Turkish intrusion of northwestern Syria to neighboring Lebanon, as the religious minority faces a possible forced return by Lebanese authorities

An estimated 500 Yazidis fled the town of Afrin in early 2018 during the Turkish Operation Olive Branch against the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. They say they fear being targeted by Islamist militants if they return home.

One of the refugees, Ronahi Hassan Alias, said her family's situation has become increasingly desperate as the political rhetoric grows against Syrian refugees in Lebanon. She worked as a schoolteacher before fleeing Afrin in January 2018 to the government-controlled areas in Aleppo, Syria. The family was displaced again later that year and forced to sleep on the streets and in the fields of Aleppo because the Syrian government failed to help the minority refugees.

“After all what we have been through, now we are threatened of a forced return to Syria. We are afraid because we cannot go back to Afrin and the Syrian government hasn’t offered us any aid,” Alias told VOA.

Alias said the Yazidi families lack basic humanitarian support in Lebanon, despite the country's high living costs. Like thousands of other Syrians in Lebanon, they face legal challenges due to the difficulty of receiving their refugee status paperwork.

“We are completely neglected, and no one is paying attention to our ordeal and what we are going through. We are out of solutions,” she said, adding it is unclear how they will be received even if they return to Syria.

“The men will be taken by the Syrian regime to fight its wars while children and women will be left on the streets,” she added.

Refugees in Lebanon

With an estimated population of just more than 6 million, Lebanon has hosted about 1.6 million Syrian refugees since the outbreak of violence in Syria in 2011, according to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The country also hosts a half-million Palestinian refugees.

Lebanese officials complain the large number of refugees has created a serious burden on the economy of their country. They urge the international community to help address the issue by quickly returning the refugees to their home countries or resettling them elsewhere.

Lebanon President Michel Aoun on Thursday warned that his country “would never survive” and “its demographics would change completely” if the Syrian and Palestinian refugees remained in his country with no obvious timeline to return home.

The Lebanese government has announced it may not be able to wait for international action on Syrian refugees any longer and soon may come up with a solution of its own. Lebanese Minister of State for Refugee Affairs Saleh Gharib last month said his ministry would submit a plan to the cabinet in the coming weeks.

According to the Syrian Yazidis Council, a Germany-based advocacy group for the Syrian Yazidi community, international protection is needed to ensure the safe return of the religious minority group to Afrin. In the absence of such a guarantee, the only choice the refugees are left with is relocation to another country.

Hassan Nasser, a representative of the council, said that many Yazidi refugees have applied to be relocated to another country in the hope of starting a new life. But they face numerous challenges, primarily due to lack of support networks to help them through the process.

“Once they file an application with the UNHCR office in Lebanon, they have to wait for an entire year just to get an interview. During this year, they must find a way to survive financially while hiding from Lebanese patrols that arrest undocumented Syrians regardless of their situation, and send them back to Syria,” Nasser told VOA.

Despite the hardships in Lebanon, most Yazidis prefer to stay rather than go back to Syria, where they can be exploited by the Syrian regime or targeted by Islamists, Nasser said.

Violations in Afrin

The predominantly Kurdish town of Afrin was home to about a half-million people, including religious minorities like Yazidis, Christians and Alawites. Many of the minorities have reportedly fled the town to escape persecution.

There is no official data on the number of Yazidis in Afrin, but Kurdish and Yazidi sources estimate their numbers were about 25,000 before Operation Olive Branch.

The town was also home to 300 Christian families, all of whom have left the area and settled in different parts of Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based war monitor, recently reported Turkey has started building a wall in southern Afrin to separate the area from other parts of the Syrian territory. The Observatory has warned against “large-scale violations” committed by militants aligned with Turkey, from looting farmers’ crops to confiscating properties and arbitrarily arresting residents. ... 14711.html

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:22 am
Author: Anthea
Dark Present, Awaiting Recovery

Yezidis have occupied the headlines of international news over the past years, since the Islamic State (ISIS) forces invaded their villages, and murdered and kidnapped thousands in 2014, citing their being “infidels” to justify their actions

When the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared the defeat of ISIS, on March 23, many women and children who experienced unspeakable horrors during their years in captivity returned to their homes and communities.

Yazidis are an integral component of Syrian society, giving richness and diversity to its culture. They belong to the Kurdish ethnic group and speak its language.

A Religion that Does Not Recognize Evil

The Yazidi religion dates back thousands of years, according to the director of the organization Ezdina and the magazine Zahrat az-Zaytoun, Ali Isso. He told Enab Baladi that the Yazidi faith is not missionary, but is monotheistic.

Yezidis do not recognize the existence of forces of evil, nor the devil, which followers of other religions have found problematic, considering that belief to be a tribute to the devil, or even devil worship.

Generations of Yezidis have held memories of 72 massacres throughout history. Isso said that the fact historians and intellectuals have labeled them as “Satanists” has justified others in attacking Yazidis and spreading all manner of unsavory rumours about them.

Isso indicated the richness, diversity and tolerance in Yezidi religious rites, as one ritual involves the prayer “O’ Lord, have mercy on your slaves, and us after them.” Another example is their circumcision ritual, which includes placing the child in the custody of someone from another religion, and at the moment of circumcision, when blood drops onto the handkerchief used by the custodian, they become a “brother in blood” and are treated as members of the family.

Oppressive and Discriminatory Policies

Syrian Yazidis are concentrated around the city of al-Hasakeh and its villages, as well as Aleppo and Afrin. According to Isso, Yazidis suffer from “deprivation of their civil and social rights, and racist policies imposed on them by successive regimes in Syria. These regimes have adopted policies of constitutional non-recognition of Yezidis present on their historic homeland.”

Additionally, Yazidis have not been included in the personal status law as religions in Syria have. Their testimonies are not admissible in court or in official proceedings, and they are prevented from performing their religious rites or establishing places of worship.

Their children are also required to learn Islamic law in schools and are denied the right to speak their mother tongue. Isso pointed out that this is a violation of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which Syria ratified in 2007, which states: “Minorities shall not be deprived of their right to enjoy their culture or to follow the teachings of their religions.”

During decades under the Baath Party, Syrian Yazidis were not given any opportunities to participate in political life. Isso said that the same was the case with most Syrian opposition platforms, which excluded Yazidis from negotiations and international talks, and from the Geneva process generally.

Yazidi activist Najbir Derbas told Enab Baladi that the Yazidi community has managed to preserve its culture and religious affiliation, despite the ban it has been subject to by the Syrian regime, and repeated attacks by extremist factions.

Celebrations with Historical Roots

Yezidis celebrate the New Year on the first Wednesday of the eastern month of Nisan every year – the Eastern calendar deviates 13 days from the Gregorian calendar. They gather to practice their various religious rites, some of which date back to the time of the Acadians, Babylonians and Assyrians.

They also celebrate holidays associated with their various fasting times, Derbas said, referring to the spread of Yezidi culture among the general Kurdish population. “One may note customs practiced by Muslim Kurds to this day, which are rooted in the Yezidi faith,” she said.

Ali Isso said that the relationship between Yezidis and neighboring communities have been mutually agreeable, but that stereotypes have led some to avoid interacting with Yazidis, or even break bread with them.

A Community Awaiting Recovery

Today, more than three thousand Yazidis remain missing, since they were first attacked by ISIS militants, in what Derbas referred to as a “dark chapter of the human conscience.” As for the survivors of kidnapping, Derbas said these they are awaiting these women and girls to return home, are that they will be received as only decent and honorable by the community. ... -recovery/

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 9:43 pm
Author: Anthea
Yazidis have protectors in
Iraq, but question safety

Nearly five years after the Yazidi-majority town of Sinjar was recaptured from the Islamic State (ISIS), conflicts among opposing forces in the town hinder rehabilitation efforts and the return of internally displaced persons, and set the stage for a looming battle

ISIS militants seized Sinjar, near Iraq’s northwestern border with Syria, in 2014. They targeted its Yazidi majority in a genocidal campaign of killing, rape, abduction and enslavement. In November 2015, the extremist group was expelled from Sinjar in an operation launched by many forces.

When ISIS attacked Sinjar, the Iraqi Kurdistan peshmerga forces withdrew from the town without a fight, leaving the Yazidis defenseless. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), based in the Qandil Mountains, rushed to aid Sinjar's citizens.

Now Sinjar is administered by the Yazidis' Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) — which some consider to be affiliated with the PKK — supposedly in coordination with the Iraqi army and police. But in a March 19 confrontation between the YBS and Iraqi army, two YBS fighters and one Iraqi army soldier were killed.

“We have the ability to protect security in Sinjar," Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Tahsin al-Khafaji told Al-Monitor. "We have direct contact with the people of Sinjar, their tribal leaders. We have reinforced our units, and I can say that now the situation is under the control of our forces."

However, Sinjar Mayor Mahma Khalil, who is from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and now lives three hours away in Dahuk, told Al-Monitor “The YBS is an extension of PKK, whose struggle arena is not here. The YBS forces are preventing the return of refugees. They create obstacles for the NGOs, they obstruct the return of people to rebuild their town and they use violence and create instability."

He accused the YBS of "imposing special laws" on the people of Sinjar and even Iraqi police forces. He called for more Iraqi military forces to be deployed to impose law and expel "YBS alien forces" from the country.

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the UN special representative for the secretary-general in Iraq, visited Sinjar on May 3 and called on the federal government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil to create a single administration in Sinjar. However, it seems Baghdad and Erbil have different views on how to deal with the issue.

KRG spokesman Safeen Dizayee told Al-Monitor, "The existence of a force [YBS] affiliated with the PKK caused issues for Sinjar and the area. The self-imposing of that force — which basically has nothing [to do] with the Kurdistan region and Iraq — with the support of some Iraqi sides is creating concerns for the Kurdistan region and the people of Sinjar."

He stressed that the people of Sinjar should have the power to choose their own local administration, far removed from YBS influence.

Regarding calls for YBS forces to be expelled from Sinjar, and which forces should remain in the town, Khafaji, the Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman, said such matters are determined by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who is the high commander of the armed forces.

Saed Hasan, YBS commander in Sinjar, told Al-Monitor, “We aren't paying attention to calls for the withdrawal of our forces from Sinjar, as the YBS was the force that protected Sinajr from ISIS and we are from the town. Therefore, both the Iraqi government and army have admitted to our sacrifices in the fight.”

He made clear that YBS forces formally take orders from the Iraqi government, which admits to their de facto presence in Sinjar, indicating they have good coordination with both Iraqi troops and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), dismissing the prospect of expulsion by the Iraqi government as “unrealistic” and “incompetent." He assumes Turkey has been pressuring the KDP to fight the YBS.

He accused the KDP of obstructing people's returns to their hometown. He said the YBS has no objections to Sinjar citizens electing their own administration democratically, and provincial elections are scheduled for Nov. 16. However, he noted that the presence of many roadside bombs and the lack of basic services prevent people from returning to their villages and casting their ballots.

Qasim Shesho commands the Protection Force of Ezidkhan (HPS), a Yazidi militia founded in 2014 in response to IS attacks on Yazidis. In 2017, HPS joined the Kurdistan region's peshmerga forces. Shesho told Al-Monitor, “Our view is that as long as the [PMU] and the PKK are located in Sinjar, the town cannot see security and stability. Joint forces from the Iraqi federal government and peshmerga should establish security and stability in Sinjar.”

The PKK announced its withdrawal from Sinjar in March 2018, after Turkey threatened military action there. Turkey, which considers the YBS an extension of the PKK, is thought to be fueling enmity among the area’s various ethnic groups and nations for its own benefit.

“The YBS is ideologically connected to the ideology of Abdullah Ocalan [the long-imprisoned founder of the PKK in Turkey], but the YBS is not a foreign force to the city, as the majority of the fighters are Yazidis. There is a fear of clashes between the forces, but it's not logical to call for the YBS to withdraw from the city,” Kamal Chomani, a nonresident independent fellow at the Washington-based Tahrir Institute, told Al-Monitor.

“The KDP considers the YBS an existential threat in Sinjar, and even beyond Sinjar borders, as the PKK can expand its military might through the YBS in the future," he said, adding that Turkey pressures the KDP to continuously call for the YBS to withdraw from the city.

Chomani emphasized that the people of Sinjar should elect a mayor from among themselves, supported by all, and the forces should reach a political agreement in which Baghdad should treat the YBS as a Yazidi brigade and the KDP should accept the new political and military balances in the city, as one can't expel the other from the Sinjar area because all the forces have Yazidi members.

On May 12, Dindar Zebari, KRG coordinator for international advocacy, said ISIS had kidnapped almost 6,300 Yazidis since invading Sinjar in 2014. As of May 4, 3,371 have been freed or rescued — almost all of them women and children. The whereabouts of the rest, including more than 2,700 men, are unknown.

“The Yazidis need to have a force [of their own] to protect them from any future threats," especially since extremist terrorist groups still pose a danger, Chomani concluded.

Turkey’s intention to launch a massive cross-border operation against the areas of northeast Syria still held by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) might be broadened to target Sinjar and the Qandil Mountains, two main places Turkey considers threats to its strategies in the region. But such a move might produce devastating outcomes for Turkey and the KRG, as Iraqi leaders frequently say Iraq’s soil will not become an arena for sorting out regional disputes. ... k-ybs.html

Sadly, I fear that the PKK presence in Sinjar put the Yazidis at risk from the Turkish regime

The PKK should do something useful, such as protect Hasankeyf

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 8:50 pm
Author: Anthea
Yezidis build homes on Mount Shingal
the only place they feel safe

MOUNT SHINGAL, Iraq – When militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) swept across northern Iraq in August 2014, taking control of swathes of territory and committing genocide against the Yezidi minority, thousands fled for safety to the top of Mount Shingal. Nearly five years later, the mountain top is still the only place many Yezidis feel safe and some are now building houses there

“I could build a house in Snune or someplace else, but we will not go to these places because here is the only safe place. Basically, we are afraid,” Ido Sharif, a Yezidi man building a home on the mountaintop, explained on Friday. Snune is a town just north of the mountain, in western Nineveh province.

About 2,000 families are originally from villages on Mount Shingal’s slopes and another 2,300 displaced families are still sheltering in tents on the mountain top. Both populations are building new houses on the mountain. About 200 houses have been built so far.

Local authorities are sympathetic to the situation.

“If the federal government, international community, or human rights groups do not reach out to these people in these villages or areas, they have to depend on themselves to build houses… They can build houses on their land or the land of their relatives – with the permission of the relative – temporarily. They will not be prevented from doing so,” said Shingal Mayor Fahad Hamid.

The majority of Yezidis displaced by the conflict have not returned home because of lack of reconstruction, basic services, and security.

Shingal lies in the disputed areas claimed by both the federal Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Kurdish, Iraq, and local forces took part in various offenses to oust ISIS from the area. In October 2017, the KRG and Peshmerga withdrew from the disputed areas and the federal government took control. But a plethora of armed groups remain active in Shingal, vying for control, including Shiite militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and groups aligned with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). ISIS sleeper cells also still constitute a threat.

The political and security uncertainty has prohibited large-scale reconstruction of war-damaged areas, living many Yezidis unable to return home.

Earlier this month, the Iraqi government distributed 650 tents to displaced families on the mountain, to a mixed reception. “If humanity is important for the Iraqi government and the international organizations, they have to know that the problems of a nation will not be fixed with a barrel of heating oil or a tent,” said Srhan Ato, a resident of a camp on Mount Shingal.

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:01 am
Author: Anthea
UN team unearths 12 mass graves
in Iraq probe of ISIS crimes

A UN team investigating the massacre of Iraq’s Yazidi minority and other atrocities has excavated 12 mass graves and is collecting witness accounts that could be used in Iraqi and other national courts, according to a UN report seen by AFP on Monday

The Security Council agreed in 2017 to establish the UN probe to ensure the Islamic State group faces justice for war crimes in Iraq and Syria – a cause championed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad and international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.

In the report sent to the council, the head of the team, British lawyer Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, said efforts were focused on three initial investigations: the 2014 massacre of Yazidis, crimes committed in Mosul from 2014 to 2016, and the mass killing of Iraqi military recruits in the Tikrit area in June 2014.

The team began work in October, with the first mass grave containing IS victims unearthed in March and April in Murad’s home village of Kojo in Sinjar in northwest Iraq.

Ahmad Khan said “progress had been slower than hoped” in the investigation and stressed the need to establish “clear and effective channels” to use the evidence in Iraqi proceedings.

The Iraqi government had resisted calls for the UN probe despite evidence of more than 200 mass graves in Iraq containing victims of IS, who swept across northern Iraq in 2014.

Murad is among thousands of Yazidi women who were taken hostage and held as sex slaves, while hundreds of men and women are believed to have been executed by the jihadists.

The United Nations has described the massacre of the Yazidis by IS militants as possible genocide.

As well as excavations of mass graves, the 48-member team has “engaged first-hand with survivors and witnesses” and has put in place a witness protection program, said the report sent to the council on Friday.

“In Mosul, Tikrit, Dohuk, and elsewhere in Iraq, victims have told harrowing accounts of their suffering, of entire communities erased and of women and girls taken as slaves,” it said.

The team is negotiating agreements with Iraqi authorities to hand over evidence and is ready to provide material to other courts to hold IS members accountable for their crimes, it said.

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:05 pm
Author: Anthea
IOM assists over 130 Yazidis
to resettle from Iraq to France

One hundred thirty-two members of Iraq’s Yazidi community left Erbil International Airport today (22/05) for Toulouse, France, the latest resettlement effort by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), part of the Humanitarian Admissions Programme launched by President Emmanuel Macron

President Macron has pursued this policy with the support of 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, who has advocated for vulnerable Yazidi women worldwide.

The initiative was the subject of a signing ceremony between IOM and the French Government attended by Ms. Murad two weeks ago in Paris.

“Today we have come to see you off on your new journey to France,” Dominique Mas, the French Consul General in Erbil, told the Yazidi families as they boarded the aircraft.

“In France you will receive protection, security, education, as well as medical and social support,” he continued.

The 28 Yazidi families are moving to France five years after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, swept through Sinjar, the stronghold of Iraq’s Yazidi community. Since those attacks, a significant portion of the community remains displaced, including hundreds of families who fled to Mount Sinjar in 2014.

“We are grateful for the French government’s support to this vulnerable group of Yazidis, some of whom have gone through a terrible ordeal,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq’s Chief of Mission. “IOM Iraq continues to assist all displaced Iraqi citizens, including Yazidis, both in areas of displacement as well as in their hometowns, to facilitate their sustainable reintegration.”

Prior to their departure, IOM assisted the families with transportation from Dohuk to Erbil, accommodation in Erbil and medical check ups. The teams also organized cultural orientation sessions and are facilitating their travel to France.

“As this group of Yazidi families touch down in Toulouse and surrounding areas, local nongovernmental organizations are ready to assist them to facilitate their integration in the host communities,” said Ambassador Eric Chevallier, Director of the French Crisis Center, before boarding the plane alongside the families on their journey. ... nce-enarkr

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 10:39 pm
Author: Anthea
Germany is failing to prosecute ISIS foreign fighters

Members of the Yazidi minority in Germany are taking the federal government to court. They say Berlin isn't doing enough to bring German "Islamic State" supporters captured in Syria to justice

The Yazidi Women's Council has filed a lawsuit against Germany's justice and interior ministers, alleging obstruction of justice, according to German media reports.

The interest group accuses the government of failing to prosecute German supporters of the "Islamic State" (ISIS) militia who are being held by Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria.

Hundreds of ISIS foreign fighters and their families are in Kurdish custody. The question of how they should be dealt with is a difficult problem that many European countries, including Germany, are grappling with.

Dozens of Germans in Kurdish detention

According to information cited by public broadcasters NDR and WDR, there are at least 74 German ISIS supporters currently in Kurdish custody in Syria. The Federal Prosecutor's Office has arrest warrants for 21 of those individuals on charges ranging from support of a terrorist organization to committing war crimes.

In comments cited by the two broadcasters, the Yazidi Women's Council said the government in Berlin had committed the "criminal offense of obstruction of justice" by refusing offers from the Kurdish administration to return these suspects so that they may be tried in Germany.

The complaint specifically targets Justice Minister Katarina Barley and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

"The result of this refusal to transfer German nationals in the custody of the local administration in northern and eastern Syria ... has delayed — if not prevented — punishment (from being doled out)," lawyer Berthold Fresenius was quoted by the broadcasters as saying.

    For hundreds of years, the Yazidi community has been persecuted for its religious views, an amalgamation of Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. Throughout their history, they have been killed, forced to convert to other religions and even taken as slaves. While the Kurdish-speaking minority community in northern Iraq had been attacked before, 2014 marked a tragic turning point in history.
Persecuted minority

The Interior Ministry told NDR and WDR that all German citizens have the right to return to Germany and to face trial there. But Germany, like France, has decided to let countries in which alleged crimes were committed prosecute and convict foreign ISIS members, as long as the accused have access to consular officials and don't face the death penalty.

A number of Germans have already faced trial in Iraq, but the situation is more complex in Syria. Germany has no official relations with the unrecognized Syrian Kurdish administration and any legal decisions from the entity would be invalid under international law.

In 2014, ISIS fighters overran Yazidi villages in northern Iraq, murdering thousands of people. About 7,000 women and girls were abducted and enslaved. Some German nationals are accused of taking part in the carnage.

The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking minority with a unique monotheistic religion and roots in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Today there are large numbers of Yazidi refugees living in Armenia, Georgia and Russia. About 150,000 live in Germany — the largest community of Yazidis in exile. ... a-48944533