Yezidis look forward to a Trump presidency to help them wipe out ISIS
November 07, 2016
By Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International
Since the formation of ISIS in 2013, one of the communities most affected by the ISIS genocide are the Yezidis. Hailing from Iraq, we the Yezidis are a non-Islamic community having a calendar which is 6766 years old. We represent a very ancient civilization in the Middle East. This is precisely the reason why the Islamic radicals want to wipe us off. Before the rise of ISIS, we Yezidis had encountered 73 genocides. But the 74th genocide under ISIS where the Kurdistan Autonomous Government acted as the allies of the Islamic fundamentalists was the most horrific. 7450 Yezidis mostly young women and girls were taken as sex slaves by ISIS, being raped and tortured every day and more than 3200 Yezidis are still in ISIS captivity in ISIS controlled areas in Iraq and Syria; we are still hopeful for their safe return.
While the world is perplexed over what caused the formation of ISIS, the Yezidi perspective is very important as we have been one of the biggest sufferers of ISIS, the others being the Christians in Iraq and Syria and the Hindus in Bangladesh. From the Yezidi point of view the creation of ISIS was not just by accident. When the US forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, the withdrawal left an enormous vacuum. The vacuum fueled the aspirations of many neighboring countries to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to go for ideological expansion. These countries first secured weapons from the US government; with rumor mills saying that the Clinton Foundation was helping them out in securing these weapons. These countries along with the Kurdistan Regional Authority then conveniently passed on to the Islamic fundamentalists who overnight created ISIS on the pretext of fighting the Assad regime. The US government supported it as Arab Spring and a popular uprising from the citizens against the Assad regime.
But the goal was elsewhere. The mentors of these fundamentalists found an easy target for territorial and ideological expansion, the harmless Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrian Christians. The Yezidi community had been the most pro-American people in the entire Middle East. They for thousands of years co-existed with the local Chaldo-Assyrian Christians, the Jewish community and even the Arab neighbors. But on August 3th, 2014 when ISIS invaded Mount Shingal in the Nineveh province in Iraq, it was the Peshmerga forces belonging to the Kurdistan Regional Authority who not only had prior knowledge regarding the ISIS invasion, but also helped ISIS with arms. They also prevented any possibility of Yezidi resistance by seizing all arms from the Yezidis and giving the Yezidis no room to escape. The Yezidis pleaded for some arms to fight back in self defense but were raped and killed by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. But more surprise was in store for the Yezidis. When ISIS arrived, they had no clue who the Yezidis were and who were Arabs. The ISIS criminals were composed of mostly foreign fighters. But it was the Arab and Kurd neighbors who forgot hundreds of years of peaceful existence and helped the ISIS foreign fighters to identify the Yezidis. Thus began the persecution, mass killing of Yezidi men and rape and enslavement of Yezidi women as war booty.
In a hostile neighborhood, whom does the Yezidis turn to. When United States came to throw out Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, it was the Yezidis who served the US Army as trusted men in uniform. We bled for the Americans as we believed in the American values of democracy, freedom of religion, expression and equality for all. Under Saddam, the Yezidis and other communities had under-went our 73rd genocide and we wanted to prevent another. But as United States withdrew from Iraq without bothering about what will happen to the harmless, persecuted Yezidis, there was no one to save the Yezidis. Neither United States cared nor was our idealism worth a dime. The Islamic fanatics were craving for Yezidi blood while the world watched in silence. Then as the Syrian war prolonged, thousands of Syrian refugees came to US, Canada and Europe. There was no space for the real persecuted people in Iraq and Syria, the Yezidis. With no one to turn to, the Yezidis have formed a rag tag army. An army for self defense where both Yezidi men and women serve as equals! Today as a US presidential candidate , Donald J. Trump, calls for complete annihilation of ISIS, the Yezidis see the Trump campaign with hope. Yezidis who have withstood 1400 years of Islamic atrocities can possibly be not just the best partners to United States in the region but also the most important player in wiping out ISIS.
Amnesty condemns detention of Yazidi woman in Iraqi Kurdistan
Bassema Darwish, a 34-year-old mother, has been held without trial since October 2014 on charges of cooperating with ISIS. (File Photo: AFP)
Rights group Amnesty International called on Monday for the release of a Yazidi woman detained by Iraqi Kurdish authorities for nearly two years following her escape from ISIS enslavement.
Yazidis Slam UN Over Shoddy Investigations Into 'Genocide' Committed by Daesh
Two years ago Daesh massacred Yazidis at Sinjar, and the terrorist group is still keeping thousands prisoner while the international community is not doing enough to help, Yazidi human rights campaigner Mirza Ismail told Radio Sputnik.
The Daesh terrorist group committed genocide against the Yazidis in north-west Iraq which is still ongoing, and a recent UN report into the attack does not provide enough answers about the attack, Chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization Mirza Ismail told Radio Sputnik.
"The paper doesn't explain exactly what happened, from the beginning. Who was responsible, who was allegedly in the region to protect them (the Yazidis)," Ismail said.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160822/1044524583/yazidi-daesh-genocide-un-investigation.html
"If it (the UN) followed its constitution and gave equal rights and treatment to all human beings, the Daesh genocide would have been recognized a year ago, because all the evidence is there, ISIS (Daesh) has never done anything in hiding, they did everything in the eyes of the world," Ismail said. In August 2014 Daesh attacked the predominantly Yadizi town of Sinjar, in north-west Iraq. After taking control of the town and the surrounding areas, Daesh terrorists massacred 5,000 Yazidi men and took thousands of people hostage. Iraqi autonomous Kurdish region's peshmerga forces and fighters from the Yazidi minority, a local Kurdish-speaking community which the Islamic State (IS) group had brutally targeted in the area, enter the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, in the Nineveh Province, on November 13, 2015 © AFP 2016/ SAFIN HAMED Fierce Battle Rages Between Yazidi Forces and Daesh in Sinjar (VIDEO) More than 40,000 Yazidis were forced to flee to the Sinjar mountains, where they were surrounded by Daesh forces and dependent on helicopter drops of food and water.
Since the massacre and kidnappings at Sinjar, rescue operations have managed to free more than 2,600 hostages, mostly women and children. Earlier this month the UN reported that two years since the massacre, more than 3,200 women and children are still held by the group and being subjected to almost-unimaginable violence. Ismail said that the people who were able to flee Daesh from the Sinjar region are still unable to return there, because Daesh are still in control of large parts of the area. He called on the international community to do more to protect the Yazidis.
"More than half the Sinjar region is under control of ISIS (Daesh), how can they return now? The international community said ISIS should be gone by now, but the people on ground have been fighting against ISIS, especially the Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, and they have not received a single weapon from the international community to continue their fight."
Ismail alleged that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters did not do enough to protect the Yazidis from the attack two years ago. "They refused to fight the Islamic State on August 3, and they refused to give any weapons to the Yazidi who were willing to fight against ISIS," he claimed.
"When ISIS arrived, the KRG had more than 10,000 Peshmerga militia in the Sinjar region, they disappeared," Ismail claimed.
New UN report lays bare widespread ISIL ‘atrocities’ committed against Yazidis in Iraq
Holding a 13-day-old infant, an elderly Yazidi woman who fled Sinjar Mountain, re-enters Iraq from Syria, at a border crossing in the town of Peshkhabour in Dohuk Governorate. Photo: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie
18 August 2016 – A new United Nations report lays bare the widespread and systematic manner in which the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, Da’esh) has committed “terrible atrocities” against the Yezidi and other ethnic and religious communities, the UN envoy for Iraq said today, calling for the perpetrators to be fully and properly held to account.
Compiled by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the report details heart-wrenching testimony of Yezidi survivors of ISIL atrocities in Iraq since the attack on Sinjar in August 2014, including accounts of systematic and widespread killings, sexual violence and sexual slavery, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, forced conversions and forced displacement, among other abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law.
The report contains accounts of those who were among the 308,315 mostly Yezidis who fled Sinjar District. An estimated 360,000 Yezidi remain displaced, with a serious lack of badly needed psychological care.
According to a press statement women interviewed by the UN spoke of being sold multiple times and having their young children and babies snatched from them. One woman told how she was sold to a 26-year-old Syrian ISIL member who raped her regularly for at least 15 days, threatening to kill her daughters if she did not submit.
Another woman was bought and sold to six successive men. She managed to rescue her seven-year-old daughter from the man who tried to abduct her, and tried to keep her safe by cutting off her hair and eyelashes, putting the child in a diaper and telling her to pretend to be mentally ill. However, in spite of this, an ISIL member tried to rape her daughter, driving the woman to attempt to kill her daughter and herself in despair. She eventually escaped with the help of a smuggler.
The report contains many accounts of men being separated from women, and of the mass killings of the captured men. In one instance, up to 600 men were reportedly killed in Tel Afar District. In other instances, members of the Yezidi community were forced to convert to Islam or be killed.
Yazidi refugees, including several children, go about their lives in Nawrouz refugee camp, approximately 40 kilometres from the Syrian border with Iraq. Photo: UNICEF/Razan Rashidi
Special Representative and Head of UNAMI Ján Kubiš said the report also notes that approximately 3,500 women, girls and some men, predominantly from the Yezidi community but also a number of other ethnic and religious communities, remain in ISIL captivity.
“Two years after the fall of Ninewa, the Yezidi community continues to be targeted by ISIL. Thousands of men, women and children have been killed or are missing, or remain in captivity where they are subjected to unspeakable sexual and physical abuse,” Mr. Kubiš said, adding: “Faced with such evidence, it is of paramount importance that the perpetrators of these heinous acts are fully and properly held to account.”
For his part, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the testimony recorded in the report must serve as a clarion call to all members of the international community that “no effort must be spared in ensuring accountability for these terrible crimes and to send a clear message that no one may perpetrate them with impunity.”
“I am profoundly concerned at the grave impact that the current conflict is having on civilians, particularly on people from Iraq’s ancient and diverse ethnic and religious communities. The experiences recounted by survivors and documented in this report reveal acts of inhumanity and cruelty on an unimaginable scale that constitute a serious and deliberate attack on the most fundamental human rights and are an affront to humanity as a whole,” High Commissioner Zeid said.
The report states that the violations and abuses committed by ISIL may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
“Every effort must be undertaken by the Government of Iraq and the international community, in strict compliance with applicable international humanitarian law and human rights law, to put an end to the human rights abuses being perpetrated by ISIL and to secure the safe release of these civilians,” the report states.
“Psycho-social, medical and other forms of support are urgently required, notably for the survivors of sexual violence and sexual slavery. Furthermore, everything feasible must be done to create safe, dignified conditions for the Yezidi, along with [internally displaced persons] from other communities, to return to their places of origin,” it adds.
ISIS massacre of Yazidis commemorated, Government urged to prioritize minorities
Conservatives held the first ever commemoration of the Sinjar massacre on Friday, Aug 5, 2014, at Queen’s Park Legislature, attended by Conservative politicians, members of the local Yazidi community, and their supporters.
The reception for the second anniversary of the Sinjar massacre, hosted by MP’s Tony Clement and Michelle Rempel, featured a minute of silence, even as the massacre by ISIS continues, and thousands of girls are held as sex slaves, tortured and burned alive.
Yazidi activist Nadia Murad escaped slavery, but not before witnessing the murder by ISIS of her six brothers and mother. “The Yazidis are living this (massacre) every day. It continues. And people have been displaced. I hope they will be welcomed in a land that’s safe.”
Yazidi Hussein Ibraheem immigrated 23 years ago from Syria to Thornhill, Ontario with her seven children, having lived through the same horrors as the Sinjar massacre two years ago. “I will shout from the rooftops: we ran away from Islam! For nine years we walked in the mountains. Every day 30 to 40 people died.”
She experienced the abuse by Muslims which is still evident in the displaced persons camps. “They took away our water. ‘You are Yazidis! You can’t touch the water!”
Mirza Ismail, Chairman for Yazidi Human Rights International observed that after the Liberals’ recent acknowledgement of the genocide against the Yazidis, “it must be followed with action, it’s their legal obligation.”
“The fate of the Yazidis touches our hearts”, said Anki Nissan, President of the Centre for Canadian-Assyrian Relations. “it is the same fate as the Assyrian Christians. “1915 is known as the Year of the Sword, where two thirds of our population were massacred (part of the Armenian genocide). Villages completely emptied and buried. Babies ripped from their mother’s hands, the same fate: one image, (the Assyrian genocide) is black and white, the other is colour. My vision is that Canada welcomes every Yazidi.”
People who attended the event expressed horror that the world is ignoring their plight. On Wednesday the UN said that ISIS is still committing genocide and other crimes against the Yazidis. They are appealing to the international community to “rescue, protect and care for the Yazidi community.”
Till now the world has ignored their plight and that of other the other persecuted minorities in the region such as the Mandeans and the Chaldo Assyrian Syrian Christians.
“We Yazidis are desperate for your immediate help and support,” Mirza Ismail, Chairman of Yazidi Human Rights Organization International, told the House of Commons Immigration Committee last month. “We are today, in 2016, on the verge of annihilation. In response to our suffering, around the world there is profound, obscene silence. We Yazidis are considered “infidels” by the Sharia Law of Islam, and so they are encouraged to kill, rape, enslave and convert us. There are more than 30,000 Yazidi refugees currently languishing in Turkey, Syria and Greece.
MP Peter Kent (Thornhill), Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic, who attended the event said that the Conservative Party believes that Canada is compelled to restore a more robust combat mission to the allied coalition to defeat ISIS.
“ISIS continues to commit genocide against the Yazidi people of northern Iraq. Thousands of Yazidi women and girls remain held in captivity by ISIS soldiers, and are being raped, mutilated, and sold on open slave markets. The world cannot be silent on these atrocities,” said Peter Kent. “It is clear that an immediate response is needed to ensure that the Yazidi people are saved from extinction. Canada has a duty to assist them, and we call upon the government to form a task force to coordinate efforts across government to act.”
Michelle Rempel, Official Opposition Immigration Critic, called on the Liberal government to immediately act to bring Yazidi victims of genocide to Canada.
In Canada, various ethno-cultural communities have emerged in support of this cause. “The outpouring of generosity and willingness to help from Jewish, Assyrian, Armenian, Coptic and Mennonite organizations is a testament to the gravity of the situation that the Yazidi people face. Canadians are genuinely engaged in this issue and expect more from their governments,” said Thornhill MPP Gila Martow who also was in attendance.
July 19, 2016
The Situation of the Yezidi Refugees in Turkey, Syria and Greece and IDPs in Iraq : Endangered
Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration Ottawa, Ontario
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Honourable Chairman Borys Wrzesnewskyj, committee members, I am honoured to be here. Thank you for this opportunity to speak at this CIMM meeting on “The Situations of the Yezidi Refugees in Turkey, Syria and Greece and IDPs in Northern Iraq,” I also want to thank our respected Canadian Government for declaring the “Yezidi Genocide” by ISIS. The Yezidis are indeed the victims of genocide.
We Yezidis are an ancient and proud people from the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization and the birth place of many of the world’s religions. We believe in a Supreme God and in God’s Seven Archangels; Yezidi is a Religion, Language and Culture.
We Yezidis are desperate for your immediate help and support. During our six thousand year history, Yezidis have faced 74 genocides in the Middle East, including the ongoing genocide. Why? Simply because we are not Muslims! And here we are today, in 2016, on the verge of annihilation. In response to our suffering, around the world there is profound, obscene silence. We Yezidis are considered “Infidels” by the Sharia Law of Islam, what they call it “People without book.” So, they are encouraged to kill, rape, enslave, and convert us.
On June 23, 2016, in the Skaramangas refugee camp near Athens, Arabs, Kurds and Afghans carrying the ISIS flag called on Jihad to kill the Yezidis in the camp. These Muslim jihadists attacked the Yezidi refugees with knives, metal bars, wood sticks and stones. The 18 injured Yezidi men were taken to the hospital for medical treatment; they also ravaged their tents and belongings. The attack started at 9:30 pm and ended at 3:00 am, June 24. But this is not the first attack against the Yezidi refugees in Greece. These Jihadi attacks and targeting the Yezidi refugees happened many times in different camps in Greece. There were approximately 750 Yezidi refugees in Skaramangas camp and there are about 3363 Yezidi refugees in Greece. This is happening in Greece despite the fact that it is not a Muslim country. Similar anti Yezidi violence is occurring in refugee camps in Turkey and Syria. Most of the staff of UNHCR in Turkey and Syria are Muslims and blatantly discriminate against Yezidis, who do not dare to protest their ill treatment or demand their rights. They are given four to five years for UN interviews..
There are thousands of Yezidi refugees currently languishing in Turkey, Syria and Greece.
At the top of the threatened and persecuted list are the Yezidis, and then come the Chaldo-Assyrian Christians and Mandeans. More than five thousand Yazidis were murdered by ISIS in August of 2014 and more than 3,000 are still enslaved, mostly young women and children.
Humanitarian aid, while necessary, is not sufficient. Much humanitarian aid distributed by the Kurdish Regional authorities and the Iraqi government never gets into the hands of those who need it, those for whom it was intended -- due to skimming, corruption, and politics.
If humanitarianism is the chief reason being cited in accepting refugees, the Yezidis should receive priority simply because they are the most vulnerable and persecuted in the Middle East and they are the ones who have nowhere else to go.
There are thousands of young Yezidi women, girls and even children, who as I speak, have been enslaved and forced into sexual slavery. These girls are subjected to daily, multiple rapes by ISIS monsters. According to many escaped women and girls whom I met with in Northern Iraq, the abducted Yezidis, mostly young women and children, number over 7,000. Some of those women and girls have had to watch 7, 8 and 9 year old children bleed to death before their eyes, after being raped by ISIS militia multiple times a day.
I met mothers, whose children were torn from them by ISIS. These same mothers came to plead for the return of their children, only to be informed, that they – the mothers! – had been fed the flesh of their own children by ISIS. Children murdered, and then fed to their own mothers! ISIS militia have burned many Yezidi girls alive for refusing to convert and marry ISIS men. Young Yezidi boys are being trained to be jihadists and suicide bombers. The entire Yezidi population of Mount Sinjar was displaced in less than one day on August 03, 2014!
On August 02, 2014, on the eve of ISIS’ attack against the Yezidis in Sinjar region, more than 10,000 of the local authority's forces were present, allegedly there to protect the Yezidis. The Yezidis tried desperately to flee for their lives to Mount Sinjar, but the KRG militias didn’t allow it. At about 10 pm, they escaped back to the KRG region and they refused to give any weapons to Yezidis to defend themselves against ISIS. They trapped the women and children. For them it became a waiting room for death and carnage at the hands of ISIS. The Yezidis who begged and pleaded for weapons to save themselves and their People were killed like dogs by peshmergas. Thousands of men were killed on the spot, including the beheading of hundreds. The UN estimates 5000 Yezidis were murdered and thousands of women and children taken hostage.
I am pleading with each and every one of you in the name of humanity, to lend us your support at this crucial time to save the indigenous and peaceful peoples of the Middle East –Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrian Christians and Mandeans.
Our urgent demands from the Canadian Government:
- We ask Canada to bring as many Yezidi refugees from Turkey, Syria and Greece as possible, because they are the most vulnerable group and their lives are in danger. If they (Yezidis) can be attacked in Greece, how about the Yezidi refugees in Turkey and Syria, which are Muslim countries.
- We also ask Canada to bring the abducted Yezidis, who were able to escape from ISIS. Canada can bring those escaped Yezidi girls from Iraq under “Section 25 of immigration law”
- We ask the Canadian government to be a leading hand in rescuing the more than 3,000 Yezidis, who are still being held in captivity by ISIS in Iraq and Syria and monitor the ISIS borders, so ISIS doesn’t “transport them” to different countries.
- Humanitarian aid must be sent immediately and directly to those internally displaced Yezidis in Mount Sinjar/Shingal North-Western Iraq; the KRG has put food sanctions on Yezidis there. There is an imminent threat of starvation, dehydration and disease.
- We ask our Canadian Government to intervene with the Iraqi Government and support the creation of an “Autonomous Region” for the Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrians in the Sinjar region and Nineveh Plain under the protection of international forces and directly tied to Baghdad's Central government. This right is guaranteed under the Iraqi constitution, article 125, but it needs implementation! This is the only way we can survive in our Homeland in the Middle East!
Thank you for listening, and for your very careful consideration going forward. We beseech you to act with the greatest urgency to help save the remnants of our Yezidi nation, of the Chaldo-Assyrians, and other minorities. Only with your help, after we have experienced so much death, and suffering, is there a possibility of a peaceful life going forward for our People.
Yezidi Human Rights Organization International
December 09, 2015
Yezidi & Christian Genocide by ISIS in Iraq and Syria and the Refugee Crisis
Foreign Affair Committee
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr. Chairman Smith and Sub-committee members, I am honoured to be here. Thank you for this opportunity to speak at this hearing on “Genocide by ISIS and the Refugee Crisis,” I also want to thank the Holocaust Memorial Museum for its recent report asserting that the Yezidis are indeed the victims of genocide. The Chaldo-Assyrian Christians should have been included in the report. Our loss may not be the same, but the ISIS brutal actions against both of us are the same.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to speak of preventing the annihilation by ISIS of my people, the Yezidis, and of the Chaldo-Assyrian Christians in Iraq and Syria.
We Yezidis are desperate for your immediate help and support. During our six thousand year history, Yezidis have faced 74 genocides in the Middle East, including the ongoing genocide. Why? Simply because we are not Muslims! We are an ancient and proud people from the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization and the birth place of many of the world’s religions. And here we are today, in 2015, on the verge of annihilation. In response to our suffering, around the World there is profound, obscene silence. We Yezidis are considered “Infidels” in the eyes of Muslims, and so they are encouraged to kill, rape, enslave, and convert us.
On August 02, 2014, on the eve of ISIS’ attack on the Yezidis in Sinjar region, more than 10,000 of the local authority's forces were present in Sinjar region, allegedly there to protect the Yezidis. In the early hours of the evening, the Yezidis tried desperately to flee for their lives to Mount Sinjar, but the local militia would not allow it. At about 10 pm, these same local forces -- who had promised to defend us, began to withdraw from Yezidis’ villages of the Southern side of Mount Sinjar without notifying the Yezidis. They escaped back to the KRG region. Yezidi men begged the local forces for weapons and ammo so that we could defend ourselves from ISIS. But they refused. They would not spare even one weapon, not one round of ammo to the Yezidi men, women, and children whom they, the local militia, had trapped in what was a waiting room for death and carnage at the hands of ISIS. And several Yezidis who begged and pleaded for weapons to save themselves and their People were killed like dogs by peshmergas. And so, God help us, on August 03, 2014 at 2:00 am, ISIS entered Sinjar region. The stage was set for a massacre of our People, for we possessed only very basic weapons, such as AK 47 rifles. Yezidi women, children, the elderly and empty-handed adults, with no means of self-defence at all -- tried to escape the barbarians and flee to Mount Sinjar. It did not take long – only four or five hours it took – for the poorly armed Yezidi fighters to run out of ammo and the region was overrun with death, and ISIS took over Sinjar region. With no means of defense, of course the carnage was immense: Thousands of men were killed on the spot, including the beheading of hundreds. The UN estimates that 5000 Yezidis were murdered and thousands of women and children taken hostage.
Then, on August 6, 2014, ISIS attacked the Yezidis and the Chaldo-Assyrians Christians in Nineveh Plain. The resulting Genocide took the lives of thousands of Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrians, and Shia minority refugees. ISIS has wiped from existence are of the most culturally diverse areas in the Middle East. Today, hundreds of thousands who are still alive have taken refuge in IDP camps across the Iraqi Kurdish Region and some (Shia) in the Southern Iraq. They urgently require your help.
There are thousands of young Yezidi women, girls and even children, who as I speak have been enslaved and forced into sexual slavery. These girls are subjected to daily, multiple rapes by ISIS monsters. According to many escaped women and girls whom I talked to in Northern Iraq, the abducted Yezidis, mostly women and children, number over 7,000. Some of those women and girls have had to watch 7, 8 and 9 year old children bleed to death before their eyes, after being raped by ISIS militia multiple times a day.
I met mothers, whose children were torn from them by ISIS. These same mothers came to plead for the return of their children, only to be informed, that they – the mothers! – had been fed the flesh of their own children by ISIS, children murdered, then fed to their own mothers! ISIS militia have burned alive many Yezidi and Christian girls for refusing to convert and marry ISIS men. Young Yezidi boys are being trained to be jihadists and suicide bombers. The entire Yezidi population was displaced in less than one day on August 03, 2014! The Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians Christians face this genocide together. Why? Because we are not Muslims, and because our path is the path of peace. For this, we are being burned alive. For living as men and women of peace.
What I have just recounted to you, what has happened to the Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrian Christians in Sinjar and in Nineveh Plain is nothing less than genocide – according to the UN definition of genocide!
IDPs and Refugee Crisis in Iraq, Syria and Turkey
Humanitarian aid, while necessary, is not sufficient. Much humanitarian aid distributed by the Kurdish Regional authorities and the Iraqi government never gets into the hands of those who need it, those for whom it was intended -- due to skimming, corruption, and politics. Some outside observers say that as much as 90 percent of the humanitarian assistance meant for Yezidis and other minorities has never reached their hands.
There are more than 30,000 Yezidi refugees currently languishing in Turkey and Syria.
At the top of the threatened and persecuted list are the Yezidis, and then come the Chaldo-Assyrian Christians. Five thousand Yazidis were murdered by ISIS in August of 2014 and 7,000 are enslaved, mostly young women and children. Thousands fled to camps where they are abused by the Muslim authorities in charge, denied food and medicine. Or they can't get into UN refugee camps at all and, consequently, are not certified as refugees since one cannot get refugee status without being certified and the Muslims who dominate the camps do not want them there.
The same holds true for Chaldo-Assyrian Christians who have repeatedly been forced to renounce their religion or die. Enslavement, rape; hundreds of their churches have been desecrated and destroyed.
If humanitarianism is the chief reason being cited in accepting refugees, the Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrian Christian, Mandeans and other minority groups should receive priority simply because they are among the most persecuted in the Middle East and the ones who have nowhere else to go.
Perhaps the worst camps for Yezidis are those that border Syria, because of the fighting between the PKK, and the Turkish government. Yezidis here worry about the Russian plane recently downed by Turkey. In the event of war between the two countries, Yezidis refugees are afraid of being used as "human shields." Because of the unsafe situation, hundreds of these Yezidis are fleeing for Europe. They are seeking safety and a peaceful life, and yet hundreds of these refugees have perished on the journey, whether in truck trailers, or by drowning in their tube boats in the sea between Turkey and Greece. Others die of starvation and dehydration, attempting to reach safety by foot. In all cases their desperation is the cause of death.
I am pleading with each and every one of you in the name of humanity to lend us your support at this crucial time to save the indigenous and peaceful peoples of the Middle East –Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrian Christians and Mandeans.
Our urgent demands
- Recognize the Yezidi and Chaldo-Assyrian Christian genocide and provide international protection, so we can live as God created us.
- ncerned nations, including the U.S., Canada, U. K., NATO and EU member states, and the United Nations should make a concerted effort to liberate ISIS detention centers. As mentioned, we estimate at least 4,000 are currently held young Yezidi women, girls and children by ISIS.
- We ask the United Nations, US, Canada, UK, EU, NATO and other members of the international community to intervene with the Iraqi Government, supporting the creation of an “Autonomous Region” for the Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrians, and other minorities in the Sinjar region and Nineveh Plain under the protection of international forces and directly tied to Baghdad's Central government. This right is guaranteed under the Iraqi constitution, article 125, but it needs implementation! This is the only way we can survive in the Middle East.
- We ask the US and all sympathetic governments around the world to develop refugee policies that can work quickly and effectively to provide new homes for needy refugees, for the Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrians and others who urgently need a new beginning, especially the abducted who were able to escape from ISIS far from the carnage we have witnessed. Germany has agreed to accept 1000 Yezidis refugees, who were abducted by ISIS and Seven hundred have arrived already. I am now hoping the US can do the same and provide social-psycho help and support to those innocent women and girls in the US.
- Humanitarian aid must be sent immediately to those internally displaced in Northern Iraq. There is an imminent threat of starvation, dehydration and disease, especially for the Yezidis on Mount Sinjar. As much as possible, this assistance should come from neutral, non-governmental sources to mitigate diversion of food and water.
Thank you for listening, and for your very careful consideration going forward. We beseech you with the greatest urgency to help save the remnants of our Yezidi nation, of the Chaldo-Assyrians, and other minorities. Only with your help, after we have experienced so much death, and suffering, is there the possibility of a peaceful life going forward for our People.
Yezidi Human Rights Organization International
The Eight Anniversary of the Black Day (Aug.14, 2007 – Aug. 14, 2015)
Friday, August 14, 2015
Today, the Yezidis around the world are marking the “Eight Anniversary” of the Yezidi Genocide. On August 14, 2007, Eight years ago today; the Terrorists (the Enemies of Humanity) drove four trucks full of explosive materials into the streets of the very crowded shopping markets in two Yezidis' villages (Al-Qahtaniya and Al-Jazeera) in Sinjar region. And this terrorists attack against the Yezidis was the largest attack in Iraq's history since 2003, which took place against the ethnic Yezidis; the most ignored nation by the International Community always!
The Yezidis in these two villages were enjoying their lives in late the breezy afternoon on Tuesday, August 14, 2007; but they did not know the "Enemies of Humanity" will turn their enjoyable late afternoon into the dark Black evening, flipping their World up-side-down at 7:15 PM.
In just minutes after the explosions, the Yezidis in these two villages lost more than 500 innocent lives, left more than 100 orphans behind; 70 went missing and more than 1700 were injured and many of whom are physically and psychologically permanently handicapped.
These are all proofs and evidences that the KRG was behind these crimes against humanity; but unfortunately the international community has kept silence and has not taken any steps to investigate this horrible event and bring those perpetrators to the international criminal court and punish them for their committed crimes against the humanity and human rights.
Several days after the explosions, one of the terrorists (Talal Ali Kasem) of these horrible two events was arrested by the Iraq's Central Government and then the KGR immediately asked and convinced the Central Government to hand over Terror Talal Ali Kasem to the KRG. Lieutenant colonel, who was Kurdish and in a military uniform with the Central Government stationed in Sinjar Military camp with the help of Mr. Atto Mahmoud who is from Kheder Khalaf family in Sinjar; who is also a senior Official in the KRG. Lieutenant colonel (Hassan) took terror Talal Ali Kasem and transferred him to Kasak military camp, which is about 40 KM West of Mosul city and mostly controlled by the KRG militias and then sometimes later the KRG transferred Terror Talal Ali Kasem to Dohuk city; therein “He admitted that he in fact packed all four trucks with explosive materials with his terror colleagues to exterminate the Yezidis in these two villages, because the Yezidis are infidels!”
However, after all those processed procedures, the KRG ordered the remaining family members of the victims and martyrs to come to Dohuk to get their compensations; after those Yezidis who were in melancholy went to Dohuk the KRG threatened and asked them to cancel their "Criminal Case against the terror Talal Ali Kasem," otherwise, their killed members would not be accounted as "Martyrs," would not get compensations and will face severe consequences. Those Yezidis came back to Sinjar and several days later the KRG transferred terror Talal Ali Kasem to Mosul city and again the KRG called the Yezidis to come to Mosul city but the Yezidis refused to go because of the KRG that might do something very bad to them. Then the KRG transferred terror Talal Ali Kasem to Dohuk again and then transferred him to Syria to stay with Esmael Hatab who is from the same clan and "He was also the leader of the Iraqi Islamic State." Terror Talal Ali Kasem stayed in Syria for one and half year and then came to Iraq again as a free man.
However, on August 14, 2007, just about half an hour prior to the explosions take effect, the KRG removed all security forces from entry and exit inspection check points control in the two mentioned Yezidis villages. The KRG also withdrew all its militias from the two villages and ordered them to the Sinjar city that they are having an important political meeting; according to the inside sources, the KRG did that to open all the roads for the Terrorists to do the planned plot!
God has mercy on all our martyrs of August 14, 2007 and all martyrs of freedom; you all are in our hearts and you will always be! May God rest you all in peace?
Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International
Op-Ed: How to Ensure the Future of Iraq's Minority Groups
A concrete idea that can put an end to the increasingly successful attempts to eradicate ancient ethnic groups and cultures.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
The entire world is appalled at the tragedy that has befallen the Yazidis of northern Iraq. An ethnic group whose culture spans thousands of years and who survived a problematic history, is facing extermination at the hands of Islamic State, which has been murdering the men and selling the women, girls and children in the slave market.
The world watches and is for the most part silent; there are no words strong enough to describe the dismay and disgust that the world feels at the decimation of these people. But what is the world doing? Precious little: a rare article, a rarer news report, and here and there a demonstration. Very little effort is being made to give the Yazidis protection from the air, because the entire world trembles before the Islamic State Jihadists.
The only power located anywhere near the Yazidis is the Kurdish militia in Iraq, the Pesh-Merga, but the real tragedy is that in northern Iraq there is an understanding, perhaps even an agreement, between ISIS and the Pesh-Merga to the effect that as long as the Kurds do not defend the Yazidis, they can live in peace. The Yazidis relate that the Kurds are no less cruel to them than the Islamists. Two conclusions may be drawn from this: one, that we obviously cannot rely on the Kurdish militias to save the Yazidis, and second, that the Pesh-Merga are not going to be the ones to fight ISIS with enough will to destroy it, because they are incapable of and unwilling to do so.
Can anything be done to save the Yazidis? This question is just as applicable to all the other persecuted Christian groups in Iraq, such as the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Nestorians and Arameans, whose lot is the same as that of the Yazidis, except that many of them have managed to escape from Iraq. In addition, there are other non-Islamic groups in Iraq who are suffering Islamic persecution, such as the Saba'is,Mande'is, Zoroastrians, Bahais, all of them considered heretic and pagan idol worshippers whose fate is to be identical to that of the Yazidis and Christians.
" All these ethnic groups and religions are more ancient than Islam and have been in Iraq – as the Jews were – for hundreds and thousands of years... "
It is worth noting that except for the Bahais, all these ethnic groups and religions are more ancient than Islam and have been in Iraq – as the Jews were – for hundreds and thousands of years, way before Iraq was conquered by Islam in the 7th century C.E.
Any solution to the problem of Iraq's minority groups must be based on the premise that Iraq is incapable of protecting either its territory or citizens. A quarter of the country is in the hands of ISIS and another fifth is a nearly autonomous Kurdish region that does not obey dictates from the central government. The political paralysis that ailed Iraq from the minute it was freed from Sadam Hussein's dictatorship in 2003 has been going on for 12 years, and no one sees a way to bring the country to the point where it can rule effectively over the territories to the north of Baghdad that are under Sunni Islamist and Kurdish control.
I would like to suggest a possible solution – and in my opinion, the only solution - for the persecuted ethnic groups in Iraq, one that may bring the suffering of all non-Muslim minorities in Iraq to an end. The solution is to establish a political entity in an area of northern Iraq, to which all the minorities can move, there to be protected by an international force.
For the purposes of this article, let us call the area "Mesopotamia", the ancient name given by the Greeks to the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
Many questions may arise a a result of the establishment of "Mesopotamia". Here is a list of some of them: what will its borders be and who will mark them? Will it be independent of Iraq or simply an autonomous region like that of the Kurds? What will its legal standing be in international law? What kind of government will it have? Will it have an army? What kind of relations will it have with the Kurdish region to its north and the Shiite region to its south? What will be the basis of its economy? Who will ensure its security?
In my opinion, the answers to these questions must be decided at a founding conference which should take place at the UN, and includes representatives of all the above-mentioned groups along with representatives from Europe, the US, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and any other country interested in founding "Mesopotamia." Long and complex discussions will deal with diametrically opposed views. Iraq, Turkey and Iran will be against the idea, because establishing "Mesopotamia" means the continued dissolution of Iraq, with a possible domino effect on Iran and Turkey whose minorities may want to adopt the idea themselves.
There is no escaping a comparison between the current situation of Iraq's minorities and that of of the Jews a hundred years ago when the Balfour Declaration was proclaimed. Iraq's disintegration parallels the Ottoman Empire's demise at that time, while the persecution of non-Islamic minorities in Iraq parallels what the Jews suffered during 2000 years of exile.
The solution for the Jews was an independent state in their historic homeland – the exact same solution can help Iraq's persecuted peoples on their historic lands, exactly as the Kurds have finally succeeded in doing. This is a combination of historic justice and modern problem solving.
This week in Jerusalem, I met Juliana Taimoorazi, a Christian woman whose ethnic origin is Assyriac. She has established an organization named "The Iraqi Christian Relief Council" whose job it is to offer humanitarian aid to suffering Iraqi Christians. The ideas in this article were discussed with her, and it was decided to try to push for them in international forums.
The establishment of Mesopotamia is urgent due to the Islamist advance in Syria – that is, Jebhat al Nusra and Islamic State – who are getting close to the point where they will declare extremist Sharia rule over Syria's ruins. It is possible that Christians and other groups will seek refuge in a more secure area, perhaps the buffer zone Turkey plans to create in northern Syria – or in long-needed, overdue "Mesopotamia".
The world must make immediate decisions on this matter so as to deal with the catastrophes now taking place in the Middle East and those that are going to occur in the near future. Every delay in finding a solution adds to the number of men, women, children and young girls who will be murdered, wounded, attempt to reach Europe in flimsy rafts, be sold as slaves or forced to embrace Islam and join the death units of ISIS. The longer it takes to agree on a plan, the harder it will be to bring it to fruition and the higher the price paid for it will be.
In the Middle East, like everywhere else, if a problem isn't treated while it is relatively small, it does not disappear; instead, it becomes an enormous problem. It is imperative that the world establish "Mesopotamia" as a refuge for persecuted minorities as soon as is humanly possible!
First Anniversary of Yezidi Genocide August 03, 2014 - August 03, 2015
August 03, 2015
On August 03, 2014, at around 12:00 am, there were more than 8000 Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) peshmergas ordered to leave the Yezidis’ region in Sinjar and refused to give any weapons to the local Yezidis those who were ready to fight Islamic State. The 7000+ KRG peshmergas were there allegedly to protect the Yezidis, but unfortunately they (KRG) betrayed on the Yezidis, that seemed to be an agreement that was planned between the KRG authority and the Islamic State to totally annihilate the Yezidi nation in Northern Iraq.
However, around 2:00 am, the Islamic State militants attacked the Yezidis’ villages and towns in the Southern side of the Sinjar Mountain. Hundreds of the Yezidis with their light AK47 rifles stood and fought against Islamic State terrorists for 4 - 5 hours until they ran out of ammunition, while others were running towards the Mount Sinjar for their life safety. Then the region overran and Islamic State terrorists killed more than 5000 Yezidis, including beheading and burial alive of men, women and children and also hundreds mostly young children, elderly and sick passed away of starvation and dehydration in Mount Sinjar/Shingal; and abducted 7450 Yezidis, including men, women and children and young women and girls in particular for sexual slavery.
Since then, the abducted Yezidis are being forced to convert to Islam; the young women and girls are being raped, given as gift to Islamic State militias and sold for sexual slavery in Iraq, Syria and other Islamic countries and Gulf countries in particular. And the young boys are being trained to be jihadists and suicide bombers for Islamic State. And the IS has demolished more than 20 Yezidis’ temples.
Presently, there are an estimated of 430,000 displaced Yezidis in IDP camps in Northern Iraq, they are in desperately need of international help and support, they lack of everything, such as food, medical supplies, educations, etc. There are more than 200 Yezidi activists are currently in the KRG detention centres in Northern Iraq. They cannot speak freely; they cannot have peaceful protests to make the World aware of what is going on against them by the KRG authority in Northern Iraq. The Yezidis survived the genocide by Islamic State, but if the International Community keeps quiet as it has since last August of 2014; then the Yezidis may not survive the “Cultural Genocide by the Kurds,” which the Yezidis have been under since 2003!
August 03, 2014-Islamic State terrorists attacked Yezidis in Sinjar:
# KRG peshmergas betrayed on Yezidis, fled the region without any fights against ISIS
# More than 5000 Yezidis were killed by Islamic State Terrorists, because the Yezidis were abandoned by KRG
# 7450 Yezidis were abducted, mostly young women and girls; they are being sold as sex slaves in Iraq, Syria, Guelph countries and other Islamic countries
# 430,000 Yezidis are displaced in Northern Iraq, desperately in need of everything
# No "Trust" in KRG
The only Solution:
# Create a Separate Administration Unit for the Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians in Sinjar and Nineveh Plain under International protection!
UN Definition of Genocide:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group
According to this UN definition of genocide; there is nothing left that has not happened against the Yezidis in Northern Iraq. Today, one year has passed, and unfortunately the UN still cannot recognize the "Truth" (Yezidi Genocide). The only reason for this, because we are Yezidis!
Yezidis' Statement to UN
Yezidi Refugees in Turkey are on their way to Bulgarian border
June 27, 2015
The Yezidi refugees in Turkey are facing real crisis where thousands of those refugees in Turkey have left camps and heading toward Turkish - Bulgarian border crossing hoping to enter Bulgaria and then European Union countries, where they can live in peace and freedom as human beings.
Since Friday, June 26, 2015, more than 30 transport buses have departed from Diyarbakir Refugee Camp and other camps in Southeast Turkey where Yezidis have taken refuge since last August of 2014, because of Islamic State attack against them in Sinjar and Nineveh Plain in Northern Iraq. Some of those buses are on their way now to the Bulgarian Border, which are expected to reach there some time tomorrow (Sunday). And there are others have been prevented by the Turkish police and PKK personnel in all different camps in Southeastern Turkey; there are also some have been returned after travelling for so many of hours.
According some Yezidi refugees in Batman camp, the PKK first prevented them from leaving for Bulgarian Border and then Turkish police came, beat several refugees including women; they also said they sleep outside since the last two days without food and drink.
On the other hand the Displaced Yezidis in camps in Northern Iraq also are very panicking and do not know what to do; because they heard that the ISIS has issued a warning that they (Islamic State) will be celebrating the Ramadan feast in Dohuk. Therefore, many of displaced Yezidis planning to cross the Turkish border for their safety and many of the Yezidi refugees in Turkey are now on their way to cross the Bulgarian border; many others are being prevented from leaving, so the situation is very difficult for all the Yezidi refugees in Turkey and displaced Yezidis in Northern Iraq.
Therefore, we are now asking the UN to intervene in this situation as quickly as possible and find a solution for the Yezidis’ issues in Turkey and Northern Iraq.
Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Announcement Measures on Safety and Security of Canadians
June 04, 2015
Toronto, Canada: With the Right Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper during announcements of a number of significant measures that will increase the safety and security of Canadians. I was also able to briefly explain the Yezidis current dire situation in Northern Iraq and I thanked the Prime Minister Harper for our government’s great efforts in airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists and the our government’s support of humanitarian aid for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Iraq and Syria.
Have the Yezidis Been Forgotten by the International Community?
Mirza Ismail at a Yezidi mass grave site in Shingal (Sinjar). Photo Credit: Mirza Ismail
Photo Credit: Mirza ismail / Tazpit News Agency
By Michael Zeff
Nearly one year ago, global media and public opinion raged over the humanitarian crisis and near genocide facing the Yazidi population of northern Iraq at the hands of the Islamic State as they advanced on the Sinjar region.
At that time, major western media outlets reported on the massacres inflicted on the Yazidis by IS, the enslavement and rape of young Yazidi women and girls and other atrocities the Yazidi minority had faced last summer.
However, since August 2014, the airstrikes against IS have gradually slowed down to a complete halt and the humanitarian aid has slowed down too. With IS fighters still roaming the land and the fighting in Iraq still very much a daily reality, has the international community forgotten about the distressed Yazidi people?
In a phone interview last week on Tuesday, May 26, Tazpit News Agency spoke with Mr. Mirza Ismail, a Yazidi leader and head of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization – International. Ismail gave a first-hand account on the current situation and plight of the Yezidis still in Northern Iraq and the Sinajr region.
“It is an ongoing very bad humanitarian crisis, the fate of the Yezidi nation” Mr. Ismail related to Tazpit, live from Iraq.
“Right now I am in Northern Iraq, I visited Mount Sinjar earlier and came back down. Overall I made visits to Yezidi refugee camps such as Khanke, Sharyia and Esia to see the current situation with my own eyes.”
“In general our organization tries maintain the awareness to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and plight of the Yezidi nation and its refugees, with media, countries, politicians, appealing for practical aid and help.” Ismail explained to Tazpit.
“Right now the Yezidi Human Rights Organization – International is working on trying to relocate refugees, who are currently in camps in Turkey, to Canada. So far Germany has taken 80 Yezidi girls and granted them asylum, they agreed to take a total of 1,000 Yezidis. We hope that other western countries can take a lesson from Germany and agree to provide asylum and take in Yezidi refugees. ”
According to a United Nations Human Rights report, the IS campaign against the Yazidis resulted in over 50,000 refugees and several thousand killed between July and September 2014. Having fled up into the Sinjar Mountain, thousands of Yezidis found themselves stranded and besieged by IS forces. This imminent threat of a genocidal massacre was only averted by U.S. airstrikes and air drops of humanitarian aid packages onto mount Sinjar.
Ismail told Tazpit that there are still 12,000 Yezidis held up on Mount Sinjar, most of them children and the elderly. Many of the children are orphans of Yezidi fighters and those were massacred by the Islamic State. “They are living in very bad humanitarian conditions,” noted Ismail.
“There is no medical assistance here and people are suffering from disease. They are afraid to come down from the mountain.” “They are afraid of Islamic State, afraid to be killed like their family and friends and they don’t trust the Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi government,” he said.
Ismail continued to explain the Yazidi source of general distrust saying “Iraq persecuted and discriminated Yezidis as well, Iraq let the genocide of the Yezidis happen, they abandoned the Yezidis to be slaughtered.”
“There are still violent acts and killings of Yezidis, just two weeks ago a young Yezidi man was found tied and mutilated to death, another disappeared from Eisa camp and was found dead later.”
According to Mr. Ismail, overall, there are 430,000, most of them living in refugee camps in northern Iraq and Turkey in unbearable living conditions.
“With summer coming again life will certainly get even more difficult than it is now. The hot weather conditions in northern Iraq can be severe, and there isn’t even a single fan to keep people cool”
Ismail paints a grim picture of the current condition of the refugees in northern Iraqi camps, and an ever bigger plight to those who are still held up at the disconnected mount Sinjar.
“In the northern camps, they [Yezidi refugees] have not had relief and aid in the last 2 or 3 months.” Said Ismail.
“There is some United Nations presence; I have seen UNICEF around; I heard that Doctors Without Borders maybe active. However, not a single organization has sent any aid up to Mount Sinjar. It is mainly the children who are suffering the most, they have no education, no teachers are coming, they suffer from malnutrition, having less than two meals a day.”
Ismail recounted to Tazpit a general feeling of hopelessness and fear both on Mount Sinjar and the refugee camps. There are reports still coming out about Yezidis being raped, murdered and sold into slavery, as recently as May when IS itself claimed to have slaughtered 300 Yezidis near Mosul.
Those who managed to flee the massacres are still threatened with severe weather conditions, disease and starvation.
“There are people in need of surgery, I met with at least 10 different Yezidis who need to have lifesaving surgery but no access to doctors. I met a young girl who was still waiting for a needed surgery she told me ‘if I die then I die’, The people are losing any hope”.
“They need international aid to survive the summer here.” Ismail said, stressing the need in activity from the International community, with providing practical humanitarian aid to Sinjar region and granting asylum to refugees.
Adding a Jewish angle to the story, Ismail told Tazpit “In Canada, I am working closely with Mrs. Rananah Goldhar [a strong Jewish pro-Israel activist based in Toronto] who is trying her hardest in to raise awareness and activism on behalf of the Yezidis to save them from the recent horrific atrocities facing them.”
“My organization is working to influence the Canadian government to take in refugees for asylum, at least for those Yezidis with some relatives in Canada.”
With thousands held up on mount Sinjar, detached from humanitarian relief. Tens of thousands more in the accessible refugee camps only receiving limited relief if any, according to Ismail. And the still-present threat by IS. It seems, according Ismail’s eye witness account to Tazpit news Agency, that the Yezidi humanitarian crisis is far from over.
2015 / 05 / 05
NDP statement on atrocities against the Yezidi community in Iraq
NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar and NDP Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston issued the following statement today regarding the mass execution of Yezidis in Iraq:
"Like all Canadians, New Democrats are disgusted and appalled by the mass execution of Yezidis by ISIS militants in Iraq.
"According to reports from Iraqi officials and human rights observers, up to 300 Yezidis were killed by ISIS last week near Mosul. This horrific attack follows months of targeted atrocities perpetrated by ISIS against the Yezidi people in Iraq and the region. These attacks are clearly aimed at the decimation and destruction of the Yezidi people, as well as their homes and heritage. Those responsible for these heinous crimes must be held accountable.
"Canada needs to address the deepening humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria and Iraq, including targeted assistance for minority groups such as Yezidis. The Conservatives should also increase and expedite the acceptance of refugees forced to flee their homes as a result of this conflict, and support international efforts to bring perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes to justice.”
Never Again Should Include Endangered Yazidis
In April, the renewal and rejuvenation of Spring join with faith and remembrance. Faith and hope are embodied in the celebrations of Passover and Easter; darker memories are stirred by the commemorations of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and of the Armenian Genocide.
On Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) 2015, Jews will gather around the precious remnant of aging survivors. We will touch yellow stars of David, view documentaries showing the tracks at Auschwitz approaching the Arbeit Macht Frei sign, avert our eyes from the images of endless piles of corpses near the mouths of the crematoria and the walking corpses following liberation. We will give voice to our deepest fears over the resurgence of deadly anti-Semitism in Europe and relentless attacks demonizing the state of Israel-home to the largest Jewish community in the world.
But this year, the Jewish community and everyone else for whom memory is a sacred trust should also be looking at haunting images of the Yazidis, the people targeted for extinction by ISIS. Having sustained mass murders, the starvation deaths of their children, and the mass abduction of their women, they might soon be reduced to a historical footnote.
The Yazidis are monotheists, mostly concentrated in northern Iraq, whose beliefs were different enough from their neighbors that they were unfairly accused of devil worship, and therefore persecuted. They have been accused as well of being Christians and Shiites.
Persecuted they are, but Jewish they are most definitely not. So why should Jews invoke their plight on Yom HaShoah?
Because part of the memory of our collective experience, is standing up for the helpless, rendered voiceless by evil-doers. The Holocaust brutally taught us how ordinary people can be turned into murderers and enablers of genocide.. It taught us about the power of words and images to induce people to treat yesterday's neighbors as sub-human. It gave us chilling insight into the capacity of Man for sheer evil, and the intoxicating delight of some people in inflicting pain on others. Most of all the Shoah chillingly informs us of the consequences of apathy and silence in the face of relentless barbarism.
At this moment, more than 300,000 Yazidis languish in refugee camps. While Western intervention led last summer to relief from the siege of Mt. Sinjar where Yazidis were dying of hunger and thirst, military intervention disappeared soon after, leaving those still in the historic Yazidi areas exposed and vulnerable. The ISIS genocidal campaign, according the UN, went in from village to village, wiping out the males, and carting off the women and girls as wives, concubines, or just playthings for jihadists who treated them as trophies of war according to Sharia, often subjecting them to repeated rape and slavery.
Other groups also suffer unspeakable crimes at the hands of ISIS, including Assyrian Christians, Kurds, and Shiites. But more than any other group, it is the plight of Yazidis that evoke memory of Nazi brutality: That of a victim stripped of everything: rights, possessions, clothing, relatives, food, liberty, and the ultimate indignity of the loss of voice. Most Holocaust victims lost the ability to cry, scream, pray, or hope. Worse, they were mocked by oppressors who reminded them that no one out there cared whether they lived or died.
Today, Yazidis have no voice. They have no effective way to share their plight. They have no empowered expats who can do it for them.
A few years after their liberation, Simon Wiesenthal met with old friends who had begun to reconstruct their broken. One had resumed his medical practice, another got back to law. Wiesenthal had been an architect before the war, and his friends gently prodded him to taking up his pre-war vocation and help rebuild the world -- and his life. "Time to move on," they said, chiding him for spending all his time documenting Nazi crimes and tracking the criminals. He replied, "I am not an especially religious person, but I am a believer. So is each of you. I know that in this world you will be the rich ones and I will remain poor. But after we die, when we arrive before the Heavenly Court, we will be met by 6 million souls. There, I will be the rich man. I will be the only one who call say to them, without hesitation, I never forgot you".
We never met any Yazidis. But isn't that the point? The Nazis turned a blind eye to the sanctity of every human, reducing people to numbers, then ashes. As our eyes engage the first faint springtime stirrings of the earth to reassert life from nothingness, our moral vision ought to be enhanced. Should we not be able to find and protect the sacredness of humanity, even among those we have never met?
This essay was co-authored by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Director of Interfaith Affairs
Jewish friends group supports Yezidi cause in Canada
Paul Lungen, Staff Reporter, Monday, April 6, 2015
TORONTO — It’s fair to say that until news agencies started taking the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) seriously, few people had heard of the Yezidi people. Or of the Chaldeans, the Assyrians or the Syriac, for that matter.
But as far as Mirza Ismail is concerned, they all share pretty much the same fate: they are non-Muslim minorities – considered infidels – living in Syria and Iraq, facing discrimination, forced conversion, sex slavery, mass rape and even death.
Ismail is an ethnic Yezidi, a member of an ancient people whose tradition states that they have lived in Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, for more than 6,700 years. They practise one of the world’s oldest religions, but they have been oppressed and murdered in large numbers for generations. Ismail said the Yezidis have suffered 74 genocides over the centuries and have seen their number reduced from a high of 23 million to about two million, worldwide, today.
With the rise of the Islamic State, they have seen their ancestral lands occupied, their men slaughtered, their young women and girls made into sex slaves – bought and sold in markets – and their young boys kidnapped and raised to be jihadis.
It’s a gruesome fate, one that the wider world has come to learn about as the Islamic State makes no effort to hide the mass executions and rapes that it perpetrates.
Ismail, who lives in the Greater Toronto Area, is looking for help. He’s found some with a few Jewish activists who have formed a small support group called Canadian Jews and Friends of Yezidis.
A chance encounter last August led to formation of the group, said Rananah Goldhar, one of its founders. Following a rally at the Israeli Consulate on Bloor Street, some of the participants headed down to Queen’s Park, where another rally was being held in support of Christians being persecuted in the Middle East.
They met a group of Yezidis taking part in that protest. Through them, they met Ismail, and soon after, the support group was formed.
“We were shocked when they told us that their women had just been kidnapped and there was a massacre in Iraq of their people,” Goldhar said.
“I struggled with getting involved, but finally God answered my question: How can I work and take care of family and volunteer for Israel and be involved with the Yezidi effort? And God answered that you cannot be a Jew without weeping and running to help the Yezidis,” she said.
Canadian Jews and Friends of Yezidis is sponsoring a speaking engagement by Ismail titled “Yezidis speak,” on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the B’nai Brith building at 15 Hove St.
It has also posted a petition online, calling for Parliament to “provide military air cover and equipment to help the Yezidis stranded on Mount Sinjar [in Iraq]; bring to Canada as refugees some of the Yezidis who have been captured, raped, enslaved, and others who have survived their loved ones being killed; rescue women and children who were captured and enslaved by ISIS.”
Ismail, chair of Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International, was in Ottawa recently, where he made a pitch for increased Canadian aid for Yezidi refugees.
Just before that, he was in New York to meet officials of the United Nations, to press the Yezidi case for support.
The Canadian government can help with more humanitarian aid, by bringing refugees to Canada and by supplying arms to Yezidi fighters who are outgunned when facing heavily armed Islamic State personnel, he said.
Ismail believes the Jewish community should empathize with the Yezidis’ fate, given their own tragic history of suffering genocide, and because Israelis well understand the kind of neighbourhood they live in. Israel has already aided the Yezidis with humanitarian assistance, but providing arms would help the 4,000 Yezidi fighters defend their community from ISIS jihadis, he said.
Ismail was in northern Iraq recently, near the border with Turkey, where he met Yezidi refugees. They have been living in tents or out in the open since last August, when Islamic State attacks forced Yezidis out of their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs. They found refuge on Mount Sinjar, but many were killed, abducted, raped and sold, he said. His own nieces, ranging in age from nine to 15, suffered that fate, he added.
Altogether, 10,000 Yezidis have been killed in the latest round of atrocities, and another 7,450 have been abducted. About 400 young women managed to escape their captors and find refugee in Yezidi areas, but they suffer from trauma, he said.
The Yezidi community in Canada is hardly equipped to help them. There are only about 50 families across the country, with the largest numbers in London (30 families), Winnipeg (20-25) and the GTA (10).
Ismail himself fled the region in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.
There are about 23,000 Yezidi refugees living in Turkey and another 7,000 or 8,000 in Syria.
“Why not bring the Yezidi [to Canada] now?” he asked. “They will not be of harm to Canada. They are not a missionary religion... Canada would be assured that this religion would not harm the Canadian people,” he said.
Minority Delegation was Invited by Canadian Parliament
March 23-24, 2015
During my last visit in Ottawa as a part to the minority delegation; in those two days, we met with four ministers and we also had a chance to meet with the Right Honourable Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada. During my short meeting with Prime Minister Harper, I had an opportunity to explain the Yezidis situation and also asked him for more help and support to the Yezidis and Assyrians especially in creating a save region for minorities in Sinjar region and Nineveh Plain under the international protection. Because the KRG betrayed on Yezidis on August 03, 2014; the KRG refused to give weapons to Yezidis who were willing to fight against Islamic State terrorists and even there are clear evidence and eye witnesses when the peshmergas killed nine Yezidi men.
Mr. Mirza Ismail, the Chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International with Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Middle East Christian Committee applauds France's efforts at the UN Security Council on behalf of the Assyrian Christians and Yezidis of Iraq and Syria.
The American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) in concert with members of The Middle East Christian Committee or MECHRIC were present at a recent meeting of the UN Security Council on March 27, 2015.
Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) March 30, 2015
Called into emergency session by the nation of France, the Security Council overwhelmingly voiced its support for an agenda of international assistance on behalf of Iraq’s embattled religious and ethnic minorities. (1)
“We have called on the UN and the Security Council to pursue aggressive steps to protect all the ethno-religious minorities in the Nineveh Plain, the Sinjar regions in Iraq and Khabour in Syria,” said Mr. David William Lazar, chairman of the AMO.
“Notably,” said Mr. Lazar, “the members of MECHRIC have petitioned the UN Security Council to immediately adopt our five point plan of action to protect Assyrians, Yezidis and other embattled minorities in Iraq and Syria.” These steps include the following:
- The swift establishment of interim safe-zones in the Nineveh Plain of Iraq, the Sinjar region of Iraq and the Khabour of Syria.
- The immediate training, equipping and financially supporting of independent indigenous security forces such as the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU) in Northern Iraq and the Khabour region of Syria.
- The deployment of these independent indigenous forces into areas under threat from ISIS as well as to the frontlines in the fight against ISIS
- Support of fighting strength and operational capabilities of these indigenous forces through aggressive use of airpower and supportive, coordinated intelligence.
"MECHRIC members would like to thank the people and the nation of France for their leadership, support and advocacy on behalf of Assyrians, Yezidis and other ethnic minorities of Iraq and Syria"
5. The deployment of UN peacekeepers to the Nineveh Plain and the Sinjar region, following ISIS’ eventual defeat, to provide the necessary stability and security for the constituting of the Nineveh Plain Province, pursuant to a January 2014 Government of Iraq Cabinet-level decision, for the ethnic and religious minorities of the area
“The members of MECHRIC,” said Mr. Lazar, “would like to thank the people and the nation of France for their leadership, support and advocacy on behalf of Assyrians, Yezidis and other ethnic minorities of Iraq and Syria. We remain confident that with France’s guidance and resulting international action, the situation in Iraq can be corrected, ISIS can be defeated, and Assyrians, Yezidis and other minorities can be masters of their future.”
MECHRIC members include the Assyrian American National Federation, the American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO), the Council of Syriac Organizations, the Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council, Coptic Solidarity International, the Yezidi Human Rights Organization International, the Melkite Committee and the American Maronite Union. MECHRIC can be contacted at http://www.mechric.org.
About the American Mesopotamian Organization
The American Mesopotamian Organization believes that the Assyrian American community can be instrumental in bringing about change to US policy towards the Assyrians of the Middle East. We strive to be part of this change and part of the solution in defending Assyrian political and human rights throughout the Near East. While we will represent the collective Assyrian American viewpoint on matters of public policy, we will also serve as liaison between the community and their elected leaders. For more information, please visit http://www.americanmesopotamian.org.
(1) Informal comments to the media by H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France and President of the Security Council for the month of March 2015 on the victims of attacks and abuses on ethnic or religious grounds in the Middle East, Yemen, Syria and Iran
Photo via Flickr user DVIDSHUB
After months of questions over why Ottawa won't wrap up some of its extra weaponry and send them to the under-equipped Kurds, Defence Minister Jason Kenney has finally offered a clear explanation: we have none to give.
"We do not have operable surplus equipment in our inventory that we can send over there," Kenney told VICE on Wednesday afternoon.
The Canadian government revealed Tuesday that Canadian planes would be expanding their mission against the Islamic State into Syria. Conspicuously missing from that announcement was additional humanitarian, defensive, or offensive aid for Canada's partners and allies.
Kinetic weaponry has been a big ask from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Their laundry list includes tanks, armoured personnel carriers, Humvees, anti-tank missiles, and more.
So far, about 1.6-million pounds of military aid has made it to Iraq, mostly small arms and ammunition, transported by Canada's C-177 Globemaster planes. Some of that is surplus defensive gear destined for the Iraqi Security Forces, while the rest of it is Albanian and Czech weapons, mostly Kalashnikovs and grenades.
The AK-47s that Canada is ferrying were on the brink of being decommissioned, given that they were stockpiled after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when they were tapped to be donated to the Kurds.
The KRG say those weapons are grossly inadequate to actually help them push back the Islamic State.
But the Kurds aren't the only ones who say that weapons are required to fight the Islamic State.
Mirza Ismail, Chairman of the Yazidi Human Rights Organization International, says Canada and the international community aren't doing enough to help his people. He was invited to a press conference with the Foreign Affairs minister on Wednesday morning and appeared behind Kenney as he spoke to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons.
"We want Canada to supply direct arms," Ismail told media. He says the KRG hasn't done enough to protect the Assyrians and Yazidis from the Islamic State threat, and they have been loath to share their weaponry with other fighting forces.
While there was celebration when Kurdish forces liberated the Sinjar mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan last December, there are still as many as 10,000 who remain on the mountain, some of them by choice. Given that Islamic State fighters still control territory at the foot of the mountain, Yazidi fighters have formed their own militias to defend themselves.
"We have more than 7,000 fighters now," says Ismail. He says that air strikes are helping—Canada will be joining those air strikes in a matter of weeks—but he says they still lack heavy weapons and bullets. "If you don't have ammunition, what can you do?" he says.
Kenney says Canada upping military aid to forces within Kurdistan isn't out of the question, it has simply become a question of logistics. Ottawa would either need to procure or purchase new weapons, or find a country with surplus and use the Royal Canadian Air Force's strategic transport planes to ferry the weapons.
"We are open to possibly providing further airlift to bring munitions to the Peshmerga," Kenney told VICE. "We're in ongoing discussions with allied countries about what further we can provide in that respect.
"We continue to be open to this," he said.
Kenney added that Canada has already contributed significantly, and that other states—ones that are sitting out the training or airstrikes missions—may be better suited to contribute arms.
Germany, for example, is contributing 40 troops to train Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, but it is not dropping bombs. It is, however, equipping some 4,000 Kurds with guns, anti-tank missiles, and armoured vehicles.
Opposition leaders Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau, who oppose the bombing campaign, both said that Canada should consider kicking in more military aid.
Mulcair took questions outside of the NDP caucus room on Wednesday, before Kenney spoke, and said he would like to see more of the Soviet weapons make it into the hands of Kurdish fighters, especially because United Nations resolutions have called for international aid to help fighters in the area defend themselves against the Islamic State.
Trudeau basically shrugged off the question after his Liberal caucus meeting, saying that if Canada doesn't have weapons to send, then it simply doesn't have weapons to send. He added that he supports sending whatever support we can.
Follow Justin Ling on Twitter.
KRG’s Crimes Against Humanity - the Displaced Yezidis in IDP camps in Northern Iraq
March 23, 2015
After the events of August 03, 2014 and the sudden withdrew of Kurdish peshmarga / militia forces from Sinjar with without any fighting and delivery of Sinjar with its Yezidi people on a golden plate to ISIS; this is genocide against the Yezidis, kidnapping and raping of women and children. And then after survival of some of us to Northern Kurdistan Region; we are suffering the most severe enduring here in Kurdistan that even they (PDK) circumvent us from the rights of demonstration and talking in order to keep their (KRG) crimes that did against us, they are hiding them all. All we are doing is trying protest peacefully, but the “ASAYISH FORCES,” Kurdish security forces trying to create problems in our peaceful protest here in Northern Iraq and then they change it to fighting against us and always trying to trying to prevent us from going forward. And we are facing bad security situation in all IDP camps here in Northern Iraq, we are asking for International protection before it is too late. Today, the KRG asayish forces have beaten and tortured hundreds of displaced Yezidis including women and detained hundreds of those innocent displaced Yezidis and we do not know what their future would be under the mercy of KRG’s terrorist organization of Asayish.
The KRG prevents any media sources reaching to us to get the right information; when someone is taking the truth about our situation then the asayish takes them to prison. And also there are signs to that even when the foreign TV channels came here to IDP camps, the KRG puts interpreters from their own intelligence in order to do interviews with people who are belonging to PDK and even if they do it with other people the try to keep their crimes hidden by interpreting in wrong way. And now in past few days we were trying to have a peaceful protest in LALISH with the solidarity to our people’s protest in Brussel in Belgium for our issue, the kidnapped of our women, girls and children and asking for international protection for our regions in Sinjar and Nineveh Plain because of the “Genocide that began on August 03, 2014.
Our entire Sinjar region was cleansed in less than one day by Islamic State terrorists. As an ethno-religious minority in Northern Iraq and Syria still under genocide by Islamic State terrorist with the other Islamic nations around the globe; the International protection is the only assurance of our return to our homes; we cannot “Trust Kurds” anymore, the KRG betrayed us in many ways, enough is enough!
The KRG changed the location of the Yezidis protest from Lalish to ISEAN, Zakkho, Khanke and other IDP Camps the decision that carry many question marks? We want to World to know that we “Yezidis are not save in Kurdistan,” we are not save today and we won’t be save tomorrow because the KRG political system has been doing its evil tactics for long time now. The KRG’s main goal is to create problems among Yezidis and change it to civil fighting therefore; we are asking the world to save us from PDK’s terrorist organization before ISIS!
Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International
بعد احداث 3/8 والانسحاب المفاجئ لقوات البيشمركة الكردية بدون قتال وتسليمهم سنجار لداعش الإرهابي على طبق فحدث عمليات القتل الجماعي والخطف الجماعي والسبي الجماعي وبعد أن نجى ما نجى إلى كردستان نعاني أشد المعاناة هنا في كردستان حيث يمنعوننا من المطالبة بحقوقنا ويمنعوننا حتى من حق التظاهر والاعتصام خوفاً من انكشاف جرائمهم البشعة التي عملوها بحقنا نحن نحاول دائمآ ان نتظاهر بصورة سلمية ولكن قوات الاسايش دائما يحاولون خلق مشاكل في مظاهراتنا السلمية فيحولونها إلى مظاهرات شغب وبحجة تدهور الوضع الأمني يمنعوننا ويسجنون المتظاهريين هنا اود الإشارة إلى أنه حتى القنوات الإعلامية التي تأتي من الخارج يرسلون معهم مترجمين من استخباراتهم ويمنعوهم من عمل اللقاءات مع غير المتحزبين وحتى إن عملوا اللقاءات مع غير المتحزبين يترجمون الجمل بالغلط قصداً ليغطوا جرائمهم أما الآن فمنذ عدة أيام نحاول أن نحصل على موافقة عمل وقفة من اجل نسائنا المخطوفات والمطالبة بالحماية الدولية لنا كاقلية مهمشة دينيا وكرديا ولكنهم لم يعطوننا الموافقة وبعد أن اعطونا الموافقة في اليوم الأخير قاموا بتغير موقع الوقفة لالش الموقع الذي كان من المقرر ان تقيم في لالش ولكنهم حولوها إلى ايسيان الأمر الذي يكتب عليه أكثر من علامة استفهام ؟؟ أما بعد فإننا لا نشعر بأمان غدا في هذه الوقفة لأنهم كالعادة سوف يحاولوا ان يخلقوا المشاكل بيننا وسوف يحلونها من وقفة سلمية إلى قتال نطالب العالم من هنا ان تنقذونا من الحزب الديمقراطي الكردي قبل داعش
UN: Islamic State committing genocide and crimes against humanity
Thu, 19 Mar 2015
The United Nations believes that Islamic State fighters may have committed genocide against the minority Yazidi community in Iraq as well as crimes against humanity and war crimes against civilians including children.
In a report based on interviews with more than 100 alleged victims and witnesses, it called on the UN Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court for prosecution of perpetrators.
The report says says IS had "the intent... to destroy the Yazidis as a group."
Among the atrocities it says were perpetrated against the Yazidi community by IS, were the "brutal and targeted" killing of hundreds of men and boys in Nineveh province, northwest of Baghdad, in August 2014, the rape of girls as young as six, the abduction of women "as spoils of war", and the forced separation of families, with boys as young as eight taken to be trained as IS fighters. The reports adds: "In some instances, villages were entirely emptied of their Yazidi population."
A statement by the UNHCR said: "One witness described how two ISIL members sat laughing as two teenage girls were raped in the next room. A pregnant woman, repeatedly raped by an IS 'doctor' over a period of two and a half months, said he deliberately sat on her stomach. He told her: 'This baby should die because it is an infidel; I can make a Muslim baby'."
Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled villages in northern Iraq amid IS advances last summer. Many were killed, captured and enslaved, while tens of thousands were trapped on nearby Mount Sinjar, which was surrounded by IS fighters. Airstrikes led by the Unites States, and an offensive led by Kurdish peshmerga forces, helped break the stranglehold on Mount Sinjar.
The Yazidis are an ethno-religious group who prior to the uprising in Iraq have lived primarily in the Nineveh Province.
Last week, organizations representing religious minorities in the Middle East submitted a memorandum to the United Nations in New York City, asking that UN missions from various countries call on the UN Security Council to issue a resolution against the Islamic State terror group’s persecution of minorities and to take tangible steps to save those vulnerable groups.
March 17, 2015
The Yezidi New year and its connections with other ancient civilizations
By Nallein Satana Al-Jilwah Sowilo
The Yezidis celebrate their New Year, Sera Sal i.e. the Head of the Year, with great fanfare. Sera Sal falls on Wednesday in the month of April and is also known as Red Wednesday. This commemorates the day when Tausi Melek, the Peacock Angel, came to Earth for the first time, millions of years ago. Tausi Melek calmed the planet earth by spreading his peacock wings of rainbow colours and blessed the entire world. One of the key feature of Yezidi New Year celebration is the colouring of eggs, a tradition that can be traced back to ancient Sumerian and Babylonian celebration of spring festival of Ishtar. These coloured eggs are the symbolic representation of Tausi Melek’s rainbow colours that he is believed to have used for blessing the earth with fertility, hence, the rebirth of the spring season. The eggs are painted red, blue, green, and yellow. The womenfolk’s decorate their homes by placing red flowers and coloured egg shells on top of their front doors so that Tausi Melek can recognize their abode for the blessings.
The Yezidi calendar is dated to be 6764 years old, therefore, it has its origin about 4764 years before the arrival of Christianity and more than 5000 years before the arrival of Islam. On this particular day, at dawn, women dress up in colourful clothing’s and go to the nearby cemeteries with pots of dishes, candies, lamps and other offerings for the dead and fairies which are said to return to earth on Sere Sal. These offerings include oranges, apples, dates, coloured eggs etc. The graves gets transformed into banquets for the spirits that return to their graves, and the offerings are made. Women take to singing and dancing with dehol (drum) and zorna (shawm). Table clothes are spread around on the ground in between the graves and women proceed to feast upon variety of offerings. Also, Red flowers are plastered on doors so the Peacock angel could recognize his people. The colour red represents sacrifice which is demanded of all Yezidis.
At Lalish, the place where the holy temple for the Yezidis are located, a bonfire is lit to welcome Tausi Melek. The fire is the divine source of God and Sun. Eggs are boiled to represent how earth was liquid and then got solidified with the coming of Lalish. Marriage is forbidden during the month of April while the earth springs to life. Also forgiveness take place at this time. Many who have been enemies reconcile with mediation by a priest or friend for the sake of the New Year.
One of the most salient feature of the Yezidi New Year is the Parade of the Sanjaks/Peacocks. Sanjaks are bronze lamps surmounted with peacocks. These Sanjaks are taken out from their designated homes, and paraded through the streets of the Yezidi villages. Some Yezidis believe that the Sanjaks have strong Indian connections particularly because of their similarity with the Hindu diyas (lamps) which the Hindus light up in their temples and on auspicious occasions. There are seven Sanjaks in total, each representing six great angels and Tausi Melek. The largest and most important one is the Sheikhni, representing Tausi Melek. At night Mir, the representative of Tausi Melek attends to the Sanjaks with prayers, and offering of incense and oil is made followed by rounds of musical entertainments throughout the entire night.
The Yezidi new year has resemblances to New Year of the Hindus marked by Holi. Like the Yezidi New Year , Holi also marks the beginning of Spring. Also just as the Yezidis offer lamps (which resembles the Hindu Aarti lamps), the Hindu also have similar fire offerings known as Holika Dahan where bonfires are lit the day before Holi followed by singing and dancing. On the day of the Holi, natural colors are used to show love for each other as divine living entities. The use of colors in both the cultures on New Year day as well as the lighting of lamps in both the cultures point out to inherent connections in the essence of the two beliefs that binds both the Hindus and the Yezidis, two most ancient civilizations on earth.
May the whole world be blessed. May the Yezidis survive all genocides.
U.S. Yazidis wary of arming Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq
Grateful for military’s help battling Islamic State, but fearful of bolstering peshmerga
By Guy Taylor - The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2014
A clutch of Yazidi-Americans closely tied to the minority group under siege in northern Iraq say they are wary of the Obama administration and its European allies’ embrace of a poorly defined effort to arm Kurdish fighters in the Sinjar Mountains.
In interviews Wednesday with The Washington Times, the Yazidis expressed deep appreciation for President Obama authorizing U.S. military force to stop their brethren from being slaughtered by al Qaeda-inspired extremists with the Islamic State, but they warned that relying too heavily on Kurdish militias to do the fighting on the ground after American bombs have been dropped may worsen the situation for religious minorities — and make the overall security situation even more volatile in the region.
“The only way we can truly protect the Yazidis, as well as the minority Christians in northern Iraq, is for U.S. and United Nations forces to be on the ground,” said Mirza Ismail, who heads the Yazidi Human Rights Organization International, a loosely knit network of Yazidi groups in the U.S., Canada and Iraq.
“This is a genocide,” said Mr. Ismail, who added that Washington appears blind to the reality that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is exploiting the crisis involving Yazidi and Christian populations in order to manipulate Western powers into providing heavy weaponry to Kurdish militia groups known as the peshmerga.
On Wednesday, the U.N. declared its highest level of emergency for the humanitarian crisis in Iraq. The “Level 3 Emergency” declaration will trigger additional goods, funds and assets to respond to the needs of those displaced, said U.N. Special Representative Nickolay Mladenov, who pointed to the “scale and complexity of the current humanitarian catastrophe.”
More than 400,000 Yazidis — an ethno-religious group whose Persian-influenced traditions predate Islam — are believed to reside in northern Iraq. Initially, there were hopes various peshmerga militias might protect the Yazidis from the onslaught by the Islamic State, which began in late June.
Such hopes were dashed two weeks ago, when the peshmerga suddenly moved away from security posts near Yazidi and Christian villages, leaving tens of thousands of the minorities surrounded by the extremists near the Sinjar Mountains, roughly 50 miles west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
The peshmerga pulled back from the fight with the Islamic State with “no warning” and “without suffering any casualties,” said Bazim Alali, another Yazidi-American who spoke with The Times. Those two factors, he said, have sparked widespread fears among the Yazidis about the motivations of the Kurdish militia.
“We cannot trust them anymore,” said Mr. Alali. “No matter what America or any Western country provides to the KRG or to the Iraqi government. It doesn’t matter if it’s tanks, heavy weapons or rockets. It’s only good for them, not for us, because they abandoned us.”
Such comments hung a sobering backdrop Wednesday behind calls by the Obama administration and some allies in Western Europe to accelerate the delivery of American and European military hardware to Kurdish forces aligned with the KRG.
While recent days have seen U.S. fighter jets and drones pound positions held by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq, the administration has attempted to frame the action as mainly humanitarian and has appeared eager to back the Kurds in any direct combat with the extremists.
But the eagerness represents a reversal in overall policy by Washington, which has for years maintained a guarded posture toward militias that fall under the peshmerga umbrella.
For instance, since the late-1990s the Kurdistan Workers’ Party — known by the English-language acronym of PKK — has been kept on the State Department’s official list of foreign terrorist organizations. Its terrorist status was for years tied to attacks carried out against the government of Turkey, just north of Iraq.
Since the PKK is one of the main Kurdish militias taking the fight to the Islamic State, it is reasonable to expect that U.S. and European weaponry will be channeled to the group.
The Obama administration has said little to explain the process by which U.S. advisers being deployed to the Kurdish region will determine which militant groups are given weapons.
On Tuesday, the White House said only that Mr. Obama had ordered “assessment teams” totaling 130 U.S. military advisers into northern Iraq to determine how best to rescue the tens of thousands of ethnic Yazidis trapped by militants, and that the president expects to receive recommendations from the advisers within days.
The fluidity of the strategy being pursued by Washington now sits at the center of the concerns raised Wednesday by the Yazidi-Americans who spoke with The Times.
Sabah Kousadi, a Yazidi-American who offered his views, said that if there are peshmerga fighters who “want to help us now, that would be great.”
Mr. Kousadi expressed hope that “as long as the U.S. is involved, there will be no problems.”
“We believe in the United States,” he said. “The United States can take care of human rights.”
“If the U.S. and the European Union want to help, there are thousands of Yazidis willing to pick up arms and defend their region,” he said. “The U.S. and the EU have been helping the Kurds for a long time. Why not help us? Why can’t they help us defend our region?”
Furthermore, Mr. Ismail said Yazidis have tried to live peacefully within Kurdish-controlled areas, but some of the Kurdish militias are no more trustworthy than the extremists.
While the Islamic State has emerged as the most vilified actor during recent months, he said Kurdish fighters have a history of violence and have kidnapped dozens of Yazidi girls over the years, forcing them to marry or be sold to wealthy Iraqis, Syrians and individuals from other nations in the Persian Gulf.
According to Mr. Alali, the situation is worse now under the threat of a takeover by the Islamic State.
“We have 8,000 Yazidi females and children who are hostages of the [Islamic State] terrorists,” he said. “They’re using them for sexual purposes, then they sell them at the market in Mosul and other places in Iraq.”
He and Mr. Ismail called for the United States to create a U.N.-backed refugee camp for Yazidis and Christians in Turkey, and said a contingent of ground U.S. and U.N. ground troops could be deployed to monitor developments and help evacuate the stranded minorities.
“The United States is the mother of all the nations, and this is not the first crisis in the world that the U.S. has tried to stand up and save people,” Mr. Alali said. “We appreciate deeply that President Obama and all Americans are taking action.
“It is good. They are working on it. But we need more and more,” he said. “It is very urgent.”
Guy Taylor is the National Security Team Leader at The Washington Times, overseeing the paper’s State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community coverage. He’s also a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group and C-SPAN.
Statement on Acts of Genocide Committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham against the Yezidi People
September 10, 2014
Committee on Foreign Affairs
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
You may be aware of the crimes that are taking place against the Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians in Northern Iraq. In all respects it is a genocidal campaign that began August 3, 2014.
Today, we Yezidis need your urgent and immediate help and support. Over our six thousand year Yezidis have faced 74 different genocides in Middle East, which includes the present one, just because we have a different culture and religion. The Yezidis are an ancient and proud people from the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization and the birth place of many of the world’s religions. Unfortunately, today we are on the verge of total annihilation and extinction. The wand the World is remains silent.
The Yezidi are largely based in Iraq but there are Yezidis also in Syria, Turkey, Iran, Russia, Georgia and Armenia. Many have been forced to flee their ancient homelands and many reside in European countries, especially Germany. There are many Yezidi families also in the US, Canada and Australia.
The Yezidi religion is the third largest religion in Iraq after Islam and Christianity. The Yezidi religion developed in Mesopotamia during the Sumerian period four thousand years before the birth of Christ. It is one of the oldest religions in the world. Ancient religion developed along with many other religions such as Mithraism and Zoroastrianism.
Historically, Yezidis have been exposed to policies of expulsion and assimilation. That is why we fled to the mountains and then many migrated to the European countries in the last century. We Yezidis were then followed by other Yezidis from Syria and finally from Iraq. As a result of the Iraqi Baath government policies; which aimed to replace Yezidis with Arab Muslims of on Yezidi farmland, we were driven from our Yezidis homes, shops and farms. This campaign severely affected social and economic situation, and the Baath government’s cleansing of Yezidi lands was largely ignored.
Since 1991, when the Iraqi Kurdish Region began to enjoy its own autonomy and since 2003 after the fall of the previous dictatorial Baath regime, the “Kurdish Question” has over-shadowed our people. The fact is that the Kurds have been trying to assimilate the Yezidi into a Kurdish identity. In other words, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has taken over Saddam Hussein’s unfinished work. Where are our cultural rights as a people? We ask the United Nations and all other members of the international community to put pressure on the KRG respect the rights of the Yezidi and to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Our Current Situation:
Around 12:10 am on Sunday, August 03, 2014, the KRG quietly pulled its militias from Sinjar and the surrounding region before ISIS attacked us. They did not notify the Yezidis of their plans. They also refused to give weapons and ammunitions to local Yezidis there to fight against the ISIS and defend their homes and families. The Kurdish forces melted back to safety.
Hours later, ISIS forces attacked the Yezidis in Sinjar. The Yezidis in towns and villages of the South side of the Sinjar Mountain had some light weapons, such as AK-47 rifles with a small amount of ammunition. They fought against ISIS forces for four to five. While this minimal defense was proceeding, many Yezidi fled to Sinjar Mountain. Finally, the defenders ran out of bullets and our positions were overrun.
ISIS took control of villages on the south side of the Mount Sinjar. The ISIS militias slaughtered hundreds, killed thousands of innocent Yezidi men and raped thousands of innocent Yezidi women teenage girls.
The lucky few Yezidis who made it to Mount Sinjar stayed on the mountain for several days without any foods or water. Hundreds then died from starvation and dehydration, especially babies, young children, sick people and our elders.
On August 6, 2014, the ISIS then attacked the Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians in the Nineveh Plain. The result is tens of thousands of Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrians, Shabaks and Turkomen refugees and the erasing of one of the most culturally diverse areas of the Middle East. Now these tens of thousands have taken refuge in the Iraqi Kurdish Region, in cities and towns such as Dohuk, Zakho, Erbil and Sulaymania. They need urgent assistance.
The next day the Yezidis from across the United States and Canada protested in front of the White House, demanding support to save the Yezidis in Sinjar and Nineveh Plain. We greatly appreciate President Obama’s decisive action to send humanitarian aid and authorize limited air strikes.
Humanitarian aid, while necessary, is not sufficient. Much humanitarian aid distributed by the Kurdish Regional authorities and the Iraqi government never gets into the hands of those who need it, due to skimming, corruption, and politics. Some outside observers say that as much as 90 percent of humanitarian assistance has been diverted away from displaced persons.
And there are hundreds of thousands of Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians who are not willing to leave their ancient homeland. Therefore, we ask you in the name of humanity and respect for human rights to lend us your help and support to save our most indigenous people in the Middle East and Iraq in particular.
On August 6, while ISIS forced flushed other Yezidi and Chaldo Assyrians from their Nineveh Plain homes ISIS also advanced towards Mount Sinjar. Then the Yezidis had no choice but to flee to Kurdistan by foot, a journey that took days.
There are now hundreds of thousands Yezidis are in all areas of the regions of Dohuk and Erbil and the Turkish-Iraqi border. To date, thousands of those displaced Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians in Dohuk and Erbil regions have not received any “Humanitarian assistance from the United Nations or others.” There are some facilities hosting our displaced persons, such as schools in Zakho and Dohuk, where there are four to five families sharing one classroom. There are still thousands of families sleeping in parks, in streets and in open fields. We are grateful for the support of some local Kurds who have provided help, but there are other Kurds who insult those who are seeking food and shelter, withhold help, and discriminate against us because of our faith.
For example, on Friday, August 15, Kurdish intelligence paramilitaries went to one refugee encampment at a school in Dohuk. They asked the Yezidis gathered there if they consider themselves Yezidis or Kurd. When they replied what they are in fact Yezidi, the Kurdish officers told them they should break their camp and leave the school. The next day, Kurdish authorities requested registration of the group as a pre-requisite for expelling them. The same day, more than 210 Yezidi families in Kocho village, which is just South of Sinjar city that they received an ISIS order to convert to Islam or be killed. In that village The ISIS militia beheaded more than 70 young men, killed hundreds and took all women, girls and children to Badosh prison near Mosul. The women and children are now being sold for as “sex slaves by ISIS commanders.”
Some may ask how other groups in Nineveh are coping with the ISIS invasion. Sadly, many have joined ISIS. Local Arabs, Kurds, Sarhoky and Khatoni quickly joined up with ISIS at the time of the attack. There are several reports of former neighbours and are looting the possessions of the displaced Yezidi, from jewelry to farm equipment to automobiles.
A further note on our neighbors: our long-battered faith in the Kurds has been betrayed in dozens of new ways since the arrival of ISIS. First, the Kurds abandoned the very Yezidi they were allegedly protecting and in some ways at least had advance notice of the ISIS offensive against the Yezidi. Secondly, they have refused to support Yezidi efforts to defend themselves, and most notably, there are reports of Kurdish Peshmerga killing armed Yezidi husbands and fathers as they fled the battlefield.
I mentioned the treatment of women just a moment ago. Right now there are more than 2,000 Yezidis women and teenage girls are in Badosh prison near Mosul; more than 900 in Talafar airport; more than 1,500 in Baaj city near Sinjar; more than 700 in Hol village over the Syrian border under ISIS control. Currently, these women and girls are being raped, forced to convert to Islam and forced to marry ISIS militia members. One of those young teenage girls called her family from a secret mobile phone at one prison, telling them that she was forced to have sex with four to five ISIS militia men.
This is only one story. There are hundreds. Those women and girls are screaming for your help to save them or be killed – death is much better that what they live in now. We estimate that there are approximately 5,000 women and teenage girls who are being raped and sold as slaves, and we know their locations. This barbarity must be addressed and all of us should take a stand. We need your help to save these innocents.
Seven Urgent Demands:
- The international community should directly engage ISIS. They should be forced back over the Syrian border and destroyed. Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians need their homes and livelihoods in the Sinjar region and Nineveh Plain. Put simply, the world cannot stand by and acquiesce to ethnic cleansing and genocide.
- Humanitarian aid must be sent to those internally displaced in Northern Iraq on an urgent basis. There is a real threat of starvation, dehydration and disease. To the extent possible, this assistance should come from neutral, non-governmental sources to mitigate diversion of food and water.
- Concerned nations, including the U.S., United Kingdom, NATO and EU member states, and the United Nations should make a concerted effort to liberate ISIS detention centers. As mentioned, we estimate at least 5,000 are currently held young married women with children and teenage girls in Badosh prison, Mosul city, Talafar airport; Baaj town, Kocho village and al-Hol village in the Hassakeh province in Syria, west of Sinjar.
- Provide arms and weapons to Yezidi and Chaldo-Assyrian-militias that have been established since ISIS began marauding across Nineveh. There are men and women under unified command structures who are capable and willing to defend their ancient homelands, religion, culture and ancient history. They need US help now.
- We ask the United Nations, US, UK, Turkey, EU, NATO and other members of the international community to intervene with the new Iraqi Government, supporting-creation of an “Autonomous Region” for the Yezidis, Chaldo-Assyrians other minorities in the Sinjar region and Nineveh Plain.
- Work with the Turkish government and United Nations to build UN-supervised refugee camps in Turkey and escort those internally displaced persons from Northern Iraq to these new camps.
- We ask all sympathetic governments around the world to develop refugee policies that can work quickly and effectively to provide new homes for needy refugees, not just for the Yezidi but for Chaldo-Assyrians, Shebak, Mandean, Turkmen, and others who urgently need a new beginning, far from the carnage we have just witnessed.
In the name of my organization, Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International, we urgently need your immediate assistance in the name of humanity and human rights! The innocent need your urgent support so that was can all live in peace and freedom! Thank you so much for your time and consideration. We need your urgent help. We are hopeful that a peaceful way forward for our people can somehow be the result of so much death and destruction. Best regards,
Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International
‘No Future for Yezidis in Iraq': Man Waits for Word of Loved Ones’ Safety
August 12, 2014
By Josh Siegel
The sentiment is clear, and it resonates all the way to Brampton, Canada.
“There is no future for Yezidis in Iraq,” said Mirza Ismail, speaking of the suffering religious minority to which he belongs.
Since the Islamic State terrorist group attacked his hometown in the Sinjar plain of northern Iraq on Aug. 2, forcing the Yezidis to flee from their villages to the top of a mountain, Ismail has spent his days pleading with U.S. and international officials to do more to save his people.
Ismail says he barely has slept since returning to Brampton, his home since he left Iraq in 1991, after two days of meetings with Obama administration officials in Washington, D.C.
Huddled near cell phones with 15 or so Yezidi families from around the Toronto area, Ismail shares and receives information about the latest on Mount Sinjar — who’s still up there, who made it down, who was airlifted out, who will never return, who was born there.
The situation is so dire that some women on the mountain, the group learned, had delivered babies with no medical assistance.
“It’s a very difficult time,” said Ismail, chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization. “Every time you receive a phone call it’s a difficult time. Especially when you talk to a woman, and they are suffering. It’s very difficult to stay strong.”
On Friday, Ismail told The Daily Signal that his wife, Nofa Kamal, his parents, and his siblings — four brothers and six sisters — were stuck on Mount Sinjar.
Yesterday morning, Ismail, 41, received a phone call from one of his brothers, Farman, 42.
Because phone conversations are pay as you go, Ismail only got about a minute to talk.
“And then he hung up,” Ismail said. “They have to save money.”
Farman managed to tell Ismail that he had made it down the mountain, was on the way to Syria, and then hopefully, to Zakho, Iraq, a Kurdistan region a few kilometers from the border with Turkey. Farman travelled with family members and other Yezidis he befriended on the mountain.
Farman also reported that Ismail’s wife, Nofa, travelling separately with her mothers and brothers, had made it down the mountain and to the Iraq-Turkey border near Zakho. Ismail said he has not been able to speak with her to verify that.
“I hope she is OK,” he said.
A displaced Iraqi girl from the Yezidi community holds a piece of bread Aug. 11 near the Iraqi-Syrian border. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom)
Mount Sinjar lies near the Syrian border. Because the path into Kurdistan from Iraq is blocked by Islamic State fighters, the Yezidis hope to make it to the safety of Kurdish-controlled territory by way of a narrow corridor through Syria.
Ismail said the entire journey takes three days.
The New York Times reports the Bajid Kandal refugee camp in northern Iraq, run by the United Nations, is hosting about 24,000 men, women, and children. Yezidis also have fled to the Nowroz refugee camp in Syria, which remains engulfed in civil war and partially in the hands of the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS.
“That refugee camp does not have any protection and we do not know when ISIS will attack [Yezidis] there,” Ismail said.
American airstrikes over the weekend against Islamic State fighters surrounding the mountain — along with air drops of food, water, and supplies — helped Yezidi and Kurdish fighters open the escape path through Syria.
But the supplies appear to have reached few, Ismail says, because officials underestimated how many Yezidis were trapped on the mountain. At one point, he says, 300,000 Yezidis were stranded atop Mount Sinjar.
Iraqi Army helicopters have evacuated small groups of Yezidis.
Although Ismail says the Yezidis welcome the efforts, he believes stronger action is required to keep the religious minority from extinction (see sidebar).
“This is the 74th genocide against the innocent Yezidis,” Ismail said. “This [more action] is the only way we can survive in the Middle East.”
May 29, 2012
Violations against the Yezidis Continues in Iraq by the KRG
On Tuesday, May 29, 2012 the KRG's security forces (Asayish) arrested Mr. Saleh Hussein Hanji in the al-Qahataniya village, district of Sinjar; he was transferred to the KRG's security forces' detention centre in Sinjar city at the same day (May 29, 2012), his family members and friends have not been able to visit him or talk to him and since then according to the information received by the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International-Iraq section.
Mr. Hanji is one of the Yezidis independent clan leaders in the Sinjar region. The arrest of Mr. Saleh Hanji came against the background of political issues, not security, because he attending an Iraqi Tribal Leaders Conference, which was held in Baghdad by more than two weeks under the sponsorship of the federal government, which was not accepted by the KRG and its illegal authority in the Yezidis' areas and especially in Sinjar regions.
There were also two more incidents happened in the Yezidis' area North side of the Sinjar mountain; (1)- A student boy was kidnapped unknown group from Borek village (Yarmouk) few days ago; (2)- A Yezidi girl whose is family is a care taker of one of the Yezidis temple also was kidnapped by unknown group. We will inform you if we receive any more information regarding these last two incidents.
These are clear signs that the Yezidis in Sinjar regions extremely suffer from the ill-treatments and pressures by the KRG and its dictatorial political regime. Sinjar is a part of the Mosul Governorate and it is not a part of the KRG and junior mullah Barzani should be able to pull his terrorist militias and his bloody dirty hands from our lives, so we can live in peace and freedom.
There are evidences that the KRG's authority and its terrorist militias are behind all terrorist attacks against the non-Muslim minorities in Iraq. Today, we urgently demand the International Community (USA in particular because this is the only country that can put pressure on the KRG to stop its terrorist activities and pull-out from our regions) to act immediately and put pressures on the KRG to stop its "Terrorist Activities against the non-Muslim Iraqi minorities; so we can survive and die peacefully!"
Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International
April 04, 2012
Yezidis Face Danger in Iraq
BY: Ali Seedo Rasho
The enjoyment of human rights in Iraq, especially in disputed region, continued to be undermined by growing insecurity, high levels of violence and a break down in law and other resulting from the action of insurgents. The right to life continued to be severely affected by the ongoing insurgency, terrorist attacks as well as revenge killings and action by armed groups. It is of grave concern that numerous cases of abuse and intimidation are frequently inadequately investigated and therefore unpunished. Such a situation may encourage further acts of violence and crime. Accordingly, thousands of individuals and families from Yezidis, Christians and Sabeans have left and continue to leave their homes and are seeking refuge to European countries and among the members of the same ethnic/religious group as a result of threatening or other form of intimidation and violence.
It is well known that Yezidism being one of the oldest religions in the world and has greatly influenced the history of mankind. Yezidis are indigenous to Iraq with religious practice and a unique ethnic group, with a religious, language, and culture distinct from Arab and Kurdish cultures among whom they live. The truth, always evident from old and new publishing alike, is that this religious culture was alive and dominant there as in more than 2000 years B.C. The Yezidis believe in one God, without any companion and seven angels created by him, while adhering to the rules and regulations of Yezidism are called Yezidis. After more than 72 massacres and mass killings, most of them took place during the Ottoman empire era, which supported mostly by Islamic Fatwa from Kurdish religious leaders and only a small number of the Yezidi population remains. According to unofficial estimates, the number of Yezidis in Iraq is about 500,000 people, while they were more than one million in 1700, and now their population around the globe varies between 1-1.250 million.
The decreased Yezidi population is moreover dispersed throughout the world. At present, they are living mainly in Iraq, Syria, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Russian Federation. A large groups of Yezidis have been migrated to the European countries, primarily to Germany and then to other parts of the world. After 2003 invasion, the number of migrants and kind of migration, especially from Iraq, is significantly increased due to the insecurity situations. Under pro-Arab Saddam regime, Yezidi towns and villages suffered from repression and neglect. As a result, they found themselves in a severe state of poverty and illiteracy. They resisted the regimes required to register themselves as Arab in ethnicity, wanting to preserve their unique cultural identity.
Now, the Kurdish policy against the Yezidis unique identity is the same policy as before 2003 invasion, so the migration of Yezidis is obviously increased and consequently their number in the home land is significantly decreased. They feel fearful that their rights as a separate culture and ethnicity will disappear in new Iraq. The Kurdish government announced several times that Kurdistan is safe and can protect the minorities from violence, but unfortunately, what happened in 14 and 15/2/2007 in Sheikhan and later the burning of hotels, restaurants, massages centres and other Yezidis and Christians investments in 02/12/2011 is clear evidence that Kurdistan is also not the safety place for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eQKoWlaPam8 Also, the extinction of Iraqi ethnic and religious minorities is quite clear from this international report.. According to a British study “Lancet Magazine”, the number of Iraqi killed from the civilians from 2003 is 12,284 people. So, with a simple calculation, the number of civilians killed from the Yezidis, which exceeded 630 people, gives very clear evidence that they are the most victimized among other Iraqi society groups who suffered from the terrorist attacks.http://arabic.rt.com/news_all_news/news/566030 The Extinction of Iraqi religious minorities The Yezidis provides an excellent example of a minority group with very specific concerns. Almost all Yezidis live together in and around the so-called “disputed territories”. Even though they are minorities at regional and national levels, they are often majorities inside their own villages. Consequently, they have not been forced to leave their homes to the same degree as other groups that are more thinly spread and exposed across Iraq, such as the Mandeans or the Christians. This does not mean, however, that the Yezidis have escaped persecution. During research undertaken in 2008, it was reported that there have been no Yezidis in Mosul since 2007 due to their violent targeting by extremist groups. Unlike Christians who have the option of paying a tax to radical Islamic groups in order to stay in their homes, the Yezidis can only choose between conversion, expulsion or execution. In April 2007, alleged Sunni Al-Qaeda militants targeted Yezidi individuals, commandeering a bus carrying 23 Yezidi men and executing them. In the same year, the affiliates of the same extremist group attacked a Yezidi community, which would turn out to be “…the single most devastating terrorist attack of the Iraq war…” 250-500 Yezidis among two villages in the Nineveh Plains were murdered by a series of truck bombs.
Due to the already small size of the Yezidi population, the attachment to their land and their strict caste system, the violence and dispersal that they are enduring could lead to the extinction of this millennial-old group. Consequently, the Yezidis interviewed stated their need for their unique cultural identity to be recognized and protected by regional and national governments In particular, they want their religious places in Lalish and their villages to be protected. Many have expressed that the best solution would be a secular Iraqi government– one that will protect their rights equal to the rights of other groups World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Iraq: Yezidis(Minority Rights Group International, April 2008). Source:. 2Ibid.
Yezidi Current problem: First Threatening From the early start after the American invasion 2003, the insurgents continue threatening the Yezidis: 1. On 26.06.2007 the insurgents distributed CDs in Sinjar-Domiz, warning the Yezidis to leave their houses; otherwise they will face the death.
2. On 19.07.2007, the Islamic fanatic threatened the Yezidis and Christians to flee from Mosul and also warned the Muslims from the country sides around Nineveh province to be back to Mosul city, so that they could control the religious and ethnic minorities in the Nineveh province and that make them the easiest target.
3. The following is one of the most severe and direct threat from one of the Kurdish fanatics called “Mullah Farzanda”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8OhhRdDtZw
4. Fanatics threatened Yezidis a week before the deadly blasts on 14.08.2007 in Sinjar.
5. The fanatics distributed and hanged reports around Nineveh province Mosques and university of Mosul inviting the non-Muslims to leave the city, otherwise they will face death.
6. During Ramadan in 2004, two Yezidis from Sinjar, Hazim shingali and Suleiman Farso were killed because they smoked a cigarette in front of Muslims.
7. By March 2004, flyers had appeared in Mosul calling Muslims to kill all Yezidis in return eternal benefits granted. On September 23, 2004, pamphlets circulating the University of Mosul, threatened all female students and teachers, who did not cover their hair. In the nearby town of Sheikhan, one week later October 1, 2004 the Imam of the Omar al-Khattab Mosque Karim Mohamed Aaref invited all Yezidis to convert to Islam, otherwise there would be a severe punishment. Sheikhan is the city with the highest population of Yezidis in the area and including the Yezidi headquarter of the prince and Baba Sheikh (Pop).www.jesiden.de/44.0.html?&tx...135&tx...48
8.On October 16, 2004 the Prince of the Yezidi community, Mir Tahsin Beg, was attacked by insurgents in Sheikhan near Baàdra village.
9. As in past centuries, a fatwa, or religious verdict, has been issued by radical Islamic clergy to justify the persecution and killing of infidels such as the Yezidis based on verses from the Quran.
10. The newspaper al-Itijah al-akhar no. 164 on January 10, 2004 published an article by Adnan Muhammad al-Toba in which the Yezidis were called criminals. He called upon the Muslim community to take actions against all non-believers.
11.On February 15, 2007 more than two thousands of Kurdish Moslems gunmen attacked the Yezidis civilians in Sheikhan (50 kms to the north of Mosul city in the north of Iraq), and targeted their religious and cultural symbols as below.
a- They looted and burned the “Lalish social and cultural center”.
b- They also looted and burned the“Youths social and cultural center”.
c- Burned “Hussein Baba-Sheikh’s general meeting hall”.
d- Burned “Two private houses”. a) Nofal Joki and b) Khudaida Dashto.
e- Burned “One alcohol shop” the owner named Darman Rasho.
f- Burned “Three private vehicles”at the front of the Prince Tahssin Beg’s house.
g- Bombed and shooted the Prince Tahssin Beg house.
h- Two Yezidi shrine symbols in Sheikhan were abused and shooted with shoes and their doors were pulled out.
During the events, the insurgents were raising the Islamic slogans of “Alllllah Akbar”, as a sign to have dealing with unbelievers. Testimonies, a legated that the Kurdish troops “peshmerga” also were colluding with the Kurdish insurgents’ gunmen and shooted down the prince house and other Yezidi houses and the people randomly.
Here are the names, date of kidnapping and the ransom paid as a price for their release, but some of them were killed even after paying the ransom. (*)
1. Hassan Silo Khalaf Beshar (**), 27.02.2007. He was released after paying ransom 50,000 $.
2. Khalid Dakhil Saido, 17.03.2007. He was released because his father was a yezidi leader.
3. Khuder Kutti Khalaf Loko, 01.04.2007. He was released after paying 30,000$.
4. Khalid Garis, 20.05.2007. After paying ransom 25,000$
5. Mohsen Rafo Hassan, 20.05.2007. After paying ransom 25,000$
6. Faraj Abo Rashid, 20.05.2007. After paying ransom 25,000$
7. Serwan Hamid, 20.05.2007. After paying ransom 20,000$
8. Sattar Khuder Hasso., 20.05.2007. After paying ransom 20,000$
9. Mirza Khalaf Faris, 03.06.2007. He was released after paying 20,000$.
10. Hussein Khalaf, 27.06.2007. He was killed after paying 10,000$
11. Gulistan Kanno Khalid (female), 16.04.2008. By Kurdish Muslim guy from Duhok
12. Haifa Kanno Khalid (female), 16.04.2008. By Kurdish Muslim from Duhok.
13. Najat Hussein (married female), 04.02.2008 by Kurdish Muslim from Sinjar called Bashar Ali.
14. Bairam Tariq Hassan Reshman (female), 08.03.2008 by Muslim guy from Sheikhan.
15. Falah Hassan Elias, 07.06.2011 killed by terrorists in Mosul after ransom 10,000$.
16. Kamal Said Jallo, 28.06.2011 in Sulaimania, Kurdistan.
17. Havend Shaibo Yousif, 19.06.2011 in Sinjar by terrorists. They wanted 100,000$ to be released.
18.Khuder Hajji Merza, 14.03.2011 in Sinjar near the police cheque point. 40,000$
19. Dawood Suleiman Ali, 14.03.2011 in Sinjar from near of the police cheque point. 20,000$
20. Jamil Hurmi Rasho, 14.03.2011 in Sinjar from near of the police cheque point. 20,000$
21. Murad Hassan Suleiman, 07.06.2011. He was released after paying ransom 25,000$.
22. Agirl 9 yearsold was kidnapped from Dogri/ village/Sinjar and her family found the body after couple of days 06.12.2009.
23. Missing of Gold merchant in Qahtaniyah/ Sinjar 27.12.2009.
24. Nethal Tariq (female from Sheikhan), she was kidnapped by Kurdish Muslim from Sheikhan.
25. Avan Farman Saleh (female from Sheikhan), kidnapped by Kurdish Muslim person 04.01.2010.
26. Mahabad Ido (femalefrom Sheikhan), kidnapped by Kurdish Muslim and issued their documents in Mosul court.
27. Dr. Nada Saber Ali (female from Bashiqa), was kidnapped Arab person, Sheikhan 2009.
28.Three people were kidnapped (Khuder Hamo Khalaf, Saido Hussein Findi they both are fromAl-Jazeera village(Siba sheikh khuder), and Hamo Haider Qasimis from Sheikhan). 24.9.2011. (*).www.bahzani.net (**), the red names are from my village (Al-Jazeera village, also called Siba Sheikh Khuderi).
The sacrificed (*) people (who killed their selves), 2010&2011
1. Tahsin Khudaida Abdi 20 year old.
2. Aziz Said Aziz 15 y.o.
3. Nazar Khuder Meshko 17 y.o.
4. Umran Umer Elias 18 y.o.
5. Khudaida Hajji Khalaf 37 y.o.
6. Simo Aiso Khalaf 30 y.o.
7. Serwan Dahar Kader 36 y.o.
8. Khalid Nawaf Qutto 29 y.o.
9. Sabah Ishmael Khalil 13 y.o.
10.Nawaf Hamid Yousif 40 y.o.
11.Hamid Qasim Saido 29 y.o.
12.Ali Hssan hajji 24 y.o.
13.Khudaida Darweesh Ali 37 y.o.
14.Hajji Ishmael Ibrahim 29 y.o.
15.Salim Saido Khalil 31 y.o.
16.Hashim Hajji Melko 16 y.o.
17.Hussein Elias Murad 18 y.o.
18.Meskin Qasim Ibrahim 24 y.o.
19.Sarhan Murad Salih 29 y.o.
20.Dawood Ali Abdullah 20 y.o.
21.Ido Jejo 23 y.o. 24.04.2010
22.Ali Khuder Hassan 34 y.o. 03.08.2011
23.Falah Kulli Murad 21 y.o. 11.08.2010
24.young man from Qahtania 21 y.o. 29.06.2011
25.Five personsfrom different villages in Sinjar 11.05.2011
26.Amera Hussein Ali 15 y.o. (female)
27.Amena Hussein Anjo 18 y.o. female
28.Delo Khalil Abdo 12 y.o. female
29.Shama Shammo Murad 15 y.o. female
30.Marina Marwan Kolo 19 y.o. female
31.Hamdia Khalaf Ali 17 y.o. female
32.Dejla Khalaf Hassn 18 y.o. female
33.Suad Khuder Hassan 15 y.o. female
34.Layal Khudaida Khalil 19 y.o. female
35.Ferial Rasho Kutto 18 y.o. female
36.Layla Svook Beshar 36 y.o. female
37.Zainab Basi Hajji 24 y.o. female
38. Zahri Kawal rasho 28 y.o. female
39. Zainab Hassan Darweesh 31 y.o. female
40. Hadiya Salim Beshar 27 y.o. female
41. Khokhi Said Kherko 35 y.o. female
42. Fati Kutto Hassan 47 y.o. female
43. Jamila Ali Salih 12 y.o. female
44. Layala Afdel Murad 17 y.o. female
45. Khatoon Ammar Khalaf 18 y.o. female
46. Hadiya Khalaf Elias 19 y.o. female
47. Halli Nemer Yousif 30 y.o. female
48. Mahwar Hamad Raffo 29 y.o. female
49. Seve Murad Jerdo 25 y.o. female
50. Sherin Khalil Ibrahim 25 y.o. female
51. Maian Barkat Hassan 21 y.o. female
52. Nora Badal Ali 16 y.o. female
53. Jadia Salim Ali 20 y.o. female 06.06.2011
54. Sabrina Ahmed Khalaf 17 y.o. female 11.05.2011
55. A young girl fired her self 18 y.o. female 22.06.2011
56. Joza Khalaf Shibo 18 y.o. female 22.06.2011
57. A woman fired herseff 37 y.o. female 29.06.2011
58. Layal Ido Rasho 27 y.o. female 18.02.2011
59. Zakko Rasheed 22 y.o. female 21.08.2010
60. Daowran Walati Matto 17 y.o. female
61. 17.04.2010 Layla Khalaf Hasso 16 y.o. Female
62. 19.06.2011 Two girls fired themselves 16 and 17 y.o.
63. 31.05.2011 Three females fired their selves
64. 08.08.2010 Aeshan Ibrahim Hassan 29 y.o. female 21.07.2007
65. Serwan Hussein Shammo Gerzarik/Sinjar 16 y.o., 16.10.2011
66. Female from Tel-Banat/Sinjar 16.10.2011.
67. Young Man Khalil Hassan, from Zoorava in Sinjar 24/8/2010.
68. Four people killed their selves in Sinjar aged between 14-45, in different way. 31/3/2011.
69. A girl of 18 year old from Sinjar/Khanasour killed herself 17/12/2011.
70. A student from Bork village in Sinjar. 12.12.2012
71. A woman from Khanasor. 14.12.2012
72. A young 16 year old female student from Neseriya village near Sinjar named Suham Sharaf Hajji. 16.12.2012.
73. A bride named Suad Abdallah Masi from Sinjar/ Telbanat, killed her self with a knife after two weeks of her marriage on 13.02.2012 .
74. Zian Abdi Kummo from Khanik/Duhok, 22 year old, killed hersef. 08.03.2012
75. Young man 20 year old from Sinjar/Gerzarik killed himself 22.03.2012.
76. young woman 20 year old killed herself from Sinjar /Tel/Uzer 22.03.2012.
77. young woman 20 year old from Tel/Uzer fired herself 19.03.2012
78. Zaid Dakhil Joko 18 year old, killed himself in Tel/Uzer from Sinjar 25.03.2012
More than 60% of the sacrificed were from the two villages which the deadly blasts took place in 14/8/2007 (Siba sheikh khuder and Qahtanyah).
Names of the killed people from the Yezidis who are not mentioned the previous lists, which included 545 killed people. The names killing place Date of killing
1. Mueasser Khuder Tahlo Mosul 23.08.2007
2. Ahmad Merza Tahlo = =
3. Darwish Murad Darwish = 29.08.2007
4. Sufian Khalat Kundo = =
5. Three women Senon 27.08.2007
6. Six women Khanasor 23.09.2007
7. Three youths khanasor 18.11.2007
8. Jalal Hassan Mosul 29.07.2007
9. Khalid Barjas = =
10. Layla fro Telkassab Sinjar 30.07.2007
11. Khalil Kutti Enz Mosul 09.08.2007
12. Khalaf Kutti Khuder = =
13. Hussein Ali Merza = =
14. Hajji Rashid Khalid Sinjar 03.08.2008
15. Murad Qado Kutti = =
16. Sulaiman Mendo Ahmed = =
17. Barkat Hassan Meho = =
18. Umer Murad Hanno = =
19. Hajjo Khalil& his son Rabehaa17.08.2007
20. Saeed Qasim Sinjar 25.08.2010
21. Ibrahim Khuder Safar Baaj 23.07.2007
22. Ismael Khuder Hasso Baaj =
23. Hajji Qasim Hajji Mosul 06.09.2007
24. Nawaf Katto = =
25. Saeed Gurri and his wife Sinjar 13.09.2007
26. Nawaf Abdi = 11.09.2007
27. Elias Khuder Amarki Kerkuk 11.08.2007
28. Khuder Hussein el-Abdali = =
29. Layla Kulo Sinjar 20.08.2007
30.Eight persons from one family = 16.03.2008, (1)
31. Elias Ibrahim Habo = 13.08.2009, (2)
32. Hassan Saed Kejo = = (2)
33. Sulaiman Shebo = = (2)
34. Majdal Salih Ali = = (2)
35. Barkat Karo = = (2)
36. Jasim Jalal Hussein = = (2)
37. Rasheed Hamma Habo Senoni 29.08.2009, (3)
38. Farid Khalaf Hamma Habo = = (3)
39. Khalaf Rasheed Hamma = = (3)
40. Kathren Ziad Rasheed Hamma = = (3)
41. Barkat Khalaf Murad Findi = = (3)
42. Ismael Matto = = (3)
43. Hassan Msto Sulaiman Sinjar 25.09.2009
44. Malik Barjas Majdeen Sinjar 14.12.2008, (4)
45. Asia Miro = = (4) 46. Sipal Nasir Barjas Majdeen = = (4)
47. Nasir Barjas Majdeen = = (4) 48. Nadia Mahlo = = (4)
49. Taher Mahlo = = (4)
50. barjas Majdeen = = (4)
51. Barez Khalat Ezdeen Dohuk 26.08.2010, kidnapped and killed.
52. Kamal Qasim Telafer 10.08.2010
53. Hajji Qasim = =
54. Merza Rasho Kuttu = =
55. Bayez Mustafa Ibrahim Baghdad 28.02.2010
56. Amer Aref Mudor Dohuk 01.11.2010
57. Khudaida Umar Haweri Mosul 23.05.2011
58. Umer Rasho Qasim = =
59. Majeed Husein Eljarahi Baghdad 02.06.2011
60. Delshad Hajji Beshar = =
61. Khuder Joki = =
62. Falah Hassan Elias Mosul 07.06.2011
63. Hanan Khalaf Silo Greece 13.07.2011 (5)
64. Khawla Sheikh Khudaida = =
65. Amin Sulaiman Khuder = =
66. Baian Nasir Elias = =
67. Hazar Jamal Rasheed = =
68. Hiam Hameed Darweesh = =
69. Furat Maher Darman = =
70. Ghazi Kret Nafkhosh Baghdad 21.04.2011, bombed the shop.
71. Ahmad Hassan Khuder Sinjar 29.04.2011
72. Three old women Sheikhan 16.01.2011, (*)
73. Farhad Shammo = 18.01.2011
74. Fathel Ali Abdo Baghdad 09.05.2011, bombed the shop
75.Fourpersons from one family Sinjar 30.07.2011 ($)
76. Sarkat Khuder Sayass Baghdad 18.05.2011, bombed the shop
77.Fourpeople killed and 11 were injured in Sinjar/telqassab 06.03.2010 (&).
78. Shaker Bibo Ali, killed by bombing his alcoholic shopin Baghdad 12.05.2011
79. Safar Shamo Abdal, killed in Baghdad/Russafa bombing his alcoholic shop 16.10.2009.
80. Elias Badal, group of 8 tanks from Mosul military troop attacked his family in Khanasor village/Sinjar, killed him, injured his son Sufian, and looted his personal properties from money as well as the Gold of the family, 18.9.2011.
81. Leshker Mahmood Abdi, killed in Telafer 21.9.2011
82. Khalid Khudaida Safar and his wife were killed at home in Jazeera village 9/10/2011
83. Rediar Shammo Ezdin (16 Y:O), Killed in Baghdad after terror attack their alcohol shop. 17.10.2011
84. Khalid Khudaida Arab Yousif killed in Kirkuk and his two brothers were wounded from Muslim terrors on 24/10/2011.
85. Khudaida Jerdo Husein killed in Sulaimanya with a knife by Indian person when they worked together on 25.10.2011.
86. Haider Mah`mo Ali, killed in 1988 and his body was found in 23/10/2011 in Khormal/ Erbil.
87. AYezidi man from Sinoni/Sinjar killed in Mosul 20.03.2012
(1): People found their bodies in one deep well near Khanasor village in Sinjar.
(2): Double suicide blast in Sinjar Gasino.
(3): Explosive car bombed in Senoni mayor “a village from Yezidis belong to sinjar”.
(4): Terror attack on the family from Yezidis in Borek village/Sinjar and killed all they can with some guests.
(5): Fled people towards Europe and they were killed on their way in a car accident.
(6): They were killed by insurgents in a mysterious situation.
(7): Terror attacked the family; killed the man, his wife and his two daughters.
(8): Terror explosion in Sinjar left four killing and 11 injures 06.03.2010 https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_oHVORnZZrvQ/Tc-2bp4fEVI/AAAAAAAACaQ/2FHAlHXLR_E/anfjar15-9.jpg
Fift: Terrorism and terror attacks.
1. The first terrorist attack was by thousands of fanatic Kurds on Yezidis in Sheikhan, February 14-15., 2007. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mehu1ZYakSA&feature=related 2. The deadly attack when the terrorists separated the 24Yezidi textile workers from other Muslims and Christians according to their identities and divided them into two groups and shot them to the death in public celebration in the east side of Mosul city on April 22, 2007.
3. the most bloody and horrendous attack took place against the civil Yezidis in Sinjar which harvested 336 killing and as twice as them from injures. More than 700 houses were collapsed and grounded to the earth, about 230 orphans (42 of them from both parents), 105 widows, hundred of shops were destroyed, hundred of private and agricultural vehicles were damaged, thousands are evicted and many handicapped as well as thousands of the psychologically wounded people will stay for centuries. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M5K2nnB5TQ&feature=fvwrel.
4. Terror suicide attack killing 12 Yezidis in Sinjar 29.05. 2009 and Terror attack on a yezidi family 14.12.2008.
5. Double suicide attack on Yezidis in Sinjar Casino 13.08.2009.
6. Bombing car in Senoni/Sinjar 29.08.2009.
7. Terror attack and killing four people from one family Sinjar (three women and one man), 16.01.2011.
8. Terrorists killedthreeold women/Sheikhan 30.07.2010.
9. Terror attack on alcohol shop belongs to Yezidis /Baghdad 21.04.2011.
10. Terror attack on alcohol shop in Baghdad belongs to Yezidis 09.05.2011.
11. Terror attack on alcohol shop in Baghdad belongs to Yezidis 18.05.2011.
12. Terror suicide attack on alcohol shop in Baghdad belongs to Yezidi 02.06.2011.
13. The attack on Yezidis and Christians investments like hotels, massage centers, alcohol shops and other investments in the north of Iraq so called Kurdistan region in Zakho and Dohuk 2/12/2011
Sixth: Why Yezidi people are fleeing to Europe and diaspora?
To be honest, we don’t like our Yezidi community leave their ancestor land, but every one has his/her own problem because of the following reasons. Economically, the people’s situations have been improved, but they have been the victim of the policies.
1. The security situation which among all is the most significant factor affecting the peoples` life. This element caused stopping all other activities like; agriculture, investments, travelling, issuing documents, finding job opportunities, involving their higher education, participating in national and international events, easily reaching the hospitals, managing human rights activities and establishing NGOs and so on.
2. The youths have loosed hope in their future when they can’t express their interests and have no clubs and other spaces for activities, as well as they can’t pursue any employ unless become member of Kurdish political party, especially PDK.
3. The region is under the disputed area from April 2003 and there is no evidence that it will be improved because it has been ignored from the both, Kurdistan and central governments and there is a continues changing in its demographic situation to raise the Muslims percentage in all Yezidi regions.
4. There is no employment chances to consume the high number of people who have no job opportunities.
5. The villages are surrounded with deep ditches and sand walls like a big jail, so this reminds them to live without hope and are terror targets, as well as detaining the people randomly with out evidences.
6. Their regions suffer from the lack of every basic needs like for example; paved road, health care and clinics, educational programs, NGOs, drinking water, and so on.
7. The Muslim minority in Sinjar is controlling the majority of Yezidis there.
8. Abusing and insulting of the Yezidis in Kurdish regions as daily workers, students in universities, patients in the hospitals, passengers in check points, and youths in police and so on.
9. The political situations; the independent rights to the election events, the constitutional items in both Central and Kurdish constitution and the Yezidi representatives in Nineveh provisional council who haven’t been participating the Nineveh provisional council from April 2009 until now they haven’t participated their meetings in the Mosul provisional parliament. So, the people can’t request their legal rights while their representatives are not involving the provisional council.
10. In Sheikhan, there is a huge changing in its demography by the Kurdish political parties, especially PDK; encouraging Muslim Kurds to flee and re-settle them among the Yezidis and then build mosques as a policy to oblige Yezidis to be evicted: Due to the concept that all are Kurds (Muslims and Yezidis), the Kurdish political parties increasing the Muslim’s rate, because they have no confident in Yezidis for their future and control Yezidis to vote for ratifying the Sheikhan region to be apart of Kurdistan in future. Also, more than 25 females have been kidnapped by Muslim Kurds from 2003 right now, as well as the double stand dealing with Yezidis when they have the same case in front of the law and job opportunities.
11. In Sheikhan also, many families have been converted to Islam under the Kurdish Islamic propaganda as following.
a. Fahmi Shino Ibrahim and his family (Fayza Khero Sesso, his wife. Alend Fahmi Shino, his son. Ellen Fahmi Shino, his daughter. Aàfia Khero Sesso, the sister of his wife Fayza). 28.08.2011
b. Idée Hajji Arab (female from Bozan village belong to Sheikhan), with her four children. July 2011.
c. Razia Silo Nasir (also female from Bozan village), with her 6 children and her married sister, July 2011.
d. On 31.05.2011, a Muslim teacher in Khanasor/sinjar named Mahdi Saidi Said kidnapped his student of (14 year old), named Lamiae Hajji Macho and they issued their documents in Najaf El-Ashraf government Islamic court.
e. Nashto Hassan Hajji from Bozan village with his wife and two children converted to Islam, 2011.
f. Mamo Hajji Smo from Bozan village with his wife and two children converted to Islam, 2011.
g. Thania Khuder Khalaf from Karsaf village/Sheikhan converted to Islam, 2011.
h. 12.06. 2007, five Yezidi families from Sinjar in Tikritwere converted to Islam after had been threatened from Al-Qaeda members:
1. Yousif Silo Avora with all his family from Dogori village. 2. Rakan Iedo with all his family from Al-Qahtaniya village. 3. Murad Mohaweah with his family from Al-Jazeera village. 4. Bashar Khalaf with his all family from Al-Jazeera village. 5. Ali Iedo Arar with all his family from Al-Jazeera village. i. Many other families and individuals from different Yezidi regions were converted to Islam under threat because they are poor people and working in the agricultural or animal fields and have no chance to work in restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, daily works, especially in Kurdish regions and then they become an easy target for the Muslim propaganda.
What are the drawbacks of the migration on the future of Yezidis?
After explaining the reasons behind their migration, we have to focus on the negative effect of the migration on the future of the Yezidis and what may happen later?
1. The migration will send a clear message to the insurgents and terrorists that the Yezidis are the easiest target for kidnapping and paying ransom, which encourage the terrorists for more terror, because the Yezidis are the easiest source for their finance.
2. The migration will also give the chance for others to control much more from their land, territories and interests.
3. Migration of the fertile young people will create a big social problem when more females remain without marriage, reduce in Yezidi number of the new generation and consequently will increase the social corruption among a very conservative and tribal society, which will significantly raise the conflicts in the future.
4. The migration will give the opportunity to the others for more changing in the demography in their region, as well as political and economical corruption.
5. All Yezidi shrines, holly places, Cemetery ancestors, culture, traditional, history and the agricultural lands will become targets for the others when they leave their land.
The question is, why inspite of all they know about what is mentioned; they continue fleeing and migrating to European country, especially Germany, leaving every thing behind them?
I think the answer is quite clear when both the poor and rich people from males and females who sale their houses, lands, gold, shops, loan thousands of dollars, leave their childhood memories, leave their wives, husbands and children behind them and bear all kinds of danger with smugglers in the illegal ways over the seas and forests, is the answer why they leave their countries. The economic situations are not the main reason, but after the people accessed more to the international communications, they understood their humanity much more than the previous era and can’t live more under violence, corruption, sectarianism and extreme circumstances as before, and then they are searching for any other option to live their life and preserve their dignity. The university graduated in thousands from 2003 as well as who are not capable to complete their higher education because of the insecurity, are not able to access to any job unless sign for the Kurdish political parties, while some one don’t have interests in such parties. This is the same with the professors and other intellectuals, and when they have no chance in other places in Iraq, they have either to obey them or have to flee.
How do the Yezidis tried to avoid the danger after 2003?
1.Most of the Yezidis hide their previous Identity and issued another one withmodern Kurdish or Islamic namesin order not to be known by the others, especially in the check points and other official places because the insurgents some times were managing gangs suddenly on the highways and inside the cities to check the people due to their identities.
2. Many people changed their traditional features which may sign to them that they are Yezidis like for example; shaving their mustaches, don’t wearing the “Yezidi Tog”, holding “hollyBarat with them”, and so on to avoid the insurgents and terrorists.
3. Changing the melody of their speaking in some situations and try to speak Arabic or Kurdish as the local people from Kurds in Dohuk or Erbil are speaking to avoid being known as Yezidis.
4. Most of the Yezidis were used to swear with Quran to be appearing as Muslim and avoid troubles. How can the Yezidis integrate with the German society_ If we understand the meaning of integration and know that it is not against our belief, then it will be much easier to be adopted. So, we have to think and react positively with rules, neighbours, friends, partners and officials to sustain the mutual confidence that the new situation will support rather than rejecting us. Therefore, we as Yezidis have to think of the integration with open mind as a supporting element towards our religious conducts, and not to be afraid of it.
Why the Yezidis facing problems in integration and what are that reasons?
1. The illiteracy, especially after 1990 because of the negative impact of embargo and limitation of people’s movement in Iraq.
2. Such illiterate society can’t follow-up the development and psychologically is not capable to integrate significantly with the new community. So, it is not easy for them to share positively the other people, their activities. Also, when can’t read letters and other official documents, they will feel shock, shy and unhappy with the new life and culture.
3. The illiterates can’t easily learn and understand the German language and then contribute the culture of the new community. Also, there is a big gap between the mentality of migrants and indigenous people to accept, adopt and use the new technology, rules and the modern culture and life.
4. The negative impact of illiteracy continued on the second and third generation. Therefore, instead of involving the high schools and universities, they worked hard to support their families in own land who continued suffering from the embargo for 13 year. So, at least three generations become the victims of the difference in culture between east and west countries.
5. The negative impact of the nationality interference with the religious concept as a new Kurdish policy after 2003. Therefore, the Yezidis are confused and concerned about their identity and how the new religious culture which is supporting the Kurdish nationality rather than the Yezidi religious code of conducts, and not to preserve their unique traditional rules and believes.
How we can support the new generations?
Raise their Awareness in the domain of the education, better learning and integrate them with the Deutsch community. This can be achieved through funding and supporting research programs, social clubs and workshops, especially with the new generations from the students and youths.
2. Support the Yezidi committees with their social, cultural, integral and educational roles and remind them not to work for the political activities and interests. The Yezidi religious codes are quite close to the German laws. The Yezidi leagues and committees should be supported with Deutsch intellectuals and experts as well as other nationalities, like what the Yezidi Academy in Hanover did.
3. Aware the Yezidi committees, not to become centres for private interests, personal relationships and political headquarters for the politic, but they should encourage the integration and educating the Yezidis with the importance of good certificates.
4. Raise the capacity building of the Yezidi intellectuals and invite them to attend the new and modern workshops to qualify them for their job as leaders.
5. Support them with Deutsch experts and intellectuals to assess the activities and follow the feedback, output and outcome of the workshops and events to raise their capacity building and understanding of integration.
6. Let them feel confidence and encourage them to integrate the others positively in schools, clubs, universities and social activities.
7. Support and qualify some religious leaders from the Yezidi young generation who can understand and preserve its principles as one of the ancient religious cultures. They will help the Deutsch experts and authorities for mutual benefit and reduce the tension, if needed.
The Yezidis in Iraq haven’t loose hope yet and request from the international community to use more pressure on Iraqi and Kurdistan region governments to:
1- Allow Yezidis to identify themselves as Yezidi in ethnicity and give the chance for every one to express his or her choice and not to oblige them to obey others custody.
2- Provide an international protection for Yezidi peoples and its religious and cultural symbols from fanatics from Muslims of both Kurds and Arab terrorists.
3- Facilitation for their refuges in European and other world countries to highlight and empower a Yezidi lobby to defend and support their interests in their homelands.
4- Organize an independent international delegations to visit Iraq and evaluate the human rights situations in Yezidi regions through non-aliened people who can speak frankly concerning basic needs, educational process, health care, civil society, religious and political events and so on.
5- The fanatics from Arabs are killing the Yezidis because they regard them as Kurds and supporting the Kurds interests. Also, the fanatics Kurds are killing the Yezidis because they are regarding them Yezidis and“unbelievers”. So, we don’t know who is our real enemy. And therefore, we are calling for the international protection as a religious minority in Iraq.
Ali Seedo Rasho, Academic and Human Rights Activist
باسم منظمة حقوق الانسان الايزيدية /العراق نطالب منظمة حقوق الانسان العالمية وكافة منظمات المجتمع المدني والامم المتحدة ومنظمة العفو الدولية ومنظمة الاتحاد الاوربي والكونكرس الامريكي، بالتدخل بالفعال والضغط على الحكومة العراقية و وزارة الاحصاء العراقية يديع عبارة(القومية الايزيدية) في الاستمارة الخاصة بالتعداد السكاني والاحصاء الذي سوف يتم حصره في المستقبل القريب في العراق منظمة حقوق الانسان الايزيدية/العراق
The Kurdish Threat to The Yezidis of North Iraq
By Mirza Ismail
Posted 2008-12-01 06:59 GMT
(AINA) -- The Yezidis, an ethnic and religious minority, suffered greatly for decades under the dictatorial and brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. His government's policy aimed to replace Yezidis with Muslims of Arabic ethnicity, driving us from our agricultural lands with the aid of an embargo. This campaign, as one might imagine, severely affected Yezidi social and economic institutions. The Yezidi's plight has been largely ignored by mankind and in recent years particularly by the west. Under the Kurdish political system, which has been in place since the removal of previous regime, the Kurdish question has over-shadowed the Yezidi issue. The Kurds have tried to assimilate the Yezidis, to obscure our identity and culture, has been in the area for thousands of years. The Yezidi religion developed in Mesopotamia 6758 years ago. Many other religions including Mithraism and Zoroastrianism were born in the same area. And Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians use the same calendar.
After the removal of the previous regime we, the Yezidis of Iraq, had high hopes that the new government would be a democratic one giving all minorities' equal rights and freedom to participate in the new government of our native land. We hoped that we would have equal cultural, political and religious rights and freedom to participate as the majority of Kurds, and Sunni and Shiite Arabs do. Unfortunately these hopes have not been realized. We remain stuck in the middle, without even basic human rights.
I urge world leaders and members of international communities to act immediately, to do something about the innocent minorities of Iraq, to work toward the provincial and upcoming federal elections to deal with our plight. The Iraqi government agreed on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, to give one parliamentary seat to each of the minority groups in Mosul/Nineveh Plain province. This is hardly democratic.
Iraqi majority groups will select members of parliament. Also, these pitifully few members will be hardly proportional to the 'minorities' populations in the province. They are approximately 70% of the province's population in the Nineveh plain. As a group, they are hardly a minority. Yezidis alone number more than one half million people.
The minorities' situation is extremely dangerous in the Nineveh Plain Province because the three new governments in the newly federated Iraq (which is emerging) will be hardly able to give them equal human, religious, cultural and political rights. This is because the Kurds and their militias (under whose power Nineveh plain will fall) do and shall see the other governments in the federation as weak, and under no international pressure to rectify the situation. The Kurdish government has been waiting for their opportunity to force Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrians to assimilate into Kurdish culture. We foresee that those who resist will suffer discrimination, torture and even annihilation. Such policies were stated openly in a radio interview with one of the chiefs of Kurdish militias in the city of Mosul in 2007.
It should be clear to the international community that the newly emerging federated Iraq of Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite political entities will do nothing about injustice and atrocities perpetrated on Iraq's indigenous minorities.
Overall, one may say that the minorities' situation in Iraq will not be solved in a manner consistent with human rights and dignity, democracy and freedom unless the Nineveh Plain province becomes a separate Administrative unit within Iraq, with direct ties to Baghdad's federal government and under UN protection.
The Yezidis' Current Problems We are experiencing and facing oppression, conversion, and forced assimilation under the power of the Kurdish political system. Some of incidents we report include:
- Kurdish authorities force Yezidis to register as Kurds •Kurdish militias control the Yezidis areas illegally and by force
- Two competing Kurdish political parties are preventing any development in Yezidis areas
- The KRG is expanding Kurdish settlements in the Yezidi regions illegally and by force
- Yezidi political leaders have been receiving threats since 2003
- There are not enough Secondary schools or hospitals in any of Yezidi villages in the Sinjar regions, and if there are, there are no teachers, doctors and or nurses
- There are no colleges or universities in any cities of the Yezidi, such as in Sinjar, Shiekhan, Bahshika and Bahzani
- The KRG is forcing Yezidis to study the Kurdish language in schools in Yezidi regions, and Yezidis have no right to study their own language in schools. These acts are hardly democratic and are in fact crimes against human rights
- Since the terror attacks in the two Yezidi villages of Kahataniya and Al-Jazeera on Aug. 14, 2007, many Yezidis have been held in a Kurdish detention. Numerous other Yezidi public officials have been tortured and jailed when they told the Kurdish militias to leave the Yezidi areas, because there are documentary evidence that Kurd militias were partners with this terror attacks and crimes against humanity
- Dr. Kifah Mohammed, director of the Sinjar hospital, along with Officials of the local authority associated with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is threatening Yezidi Families to leave Sinjar city or face severe consequences and torture. These acts are crimes against basic human Rights and human freedom
- The horrible atrocities and injustice against the minorities such as the Yezidis, Assyrians, Sabeans, Turkmen, Shabaks etc. These are crimes against humanities and must be put to an end
- Food products have never reached to the Yezidis in Sinjar region in the right amounts based on their residency and food stamps
- The Kurdish politicians block any International missions into the Yezidis region to see the truth in this areas, and if is one it has to be guided by Kurds, so nobody has the right to ask any questions. These brutal acts have been happening since 2003
- The Kurdish militias force the Yezidis to vote for KRG or face severe consequences and torture
Yezidis' Urgent Demands:
- The Nineveh Plain must become a separate Administrative unit within Iraq and has direct tie with Baghdad's federal government, and under the protection of UN peace keeping mission, if the International community wants to solve the problems of Iraq's minorities, ethnic and religious groups, this would be the only solution
- An immediate construction projects to Sinjar regions to build hospitals, high Schools, and water projects as there is no clean drinking water in these regions, under UN supervision
- We demand urgent College and University building projects in three major Yezidis cities, one in Sinjar city, Sheikhan city, Bahshika-Bahzani city. Nearly 3000 Yezidi students are waiting to attend Colleges or Universities for more than two years. As you might know in the past 2 years the Yezidi students received threats from terrorist groups in Mosul and other Iraqi cities that the Yezidi students would have to leave or die. And in the Kurdish cities of Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah, they don't accept the Yezidi students unless they are Kurdified and join their political parties. So what is happening against this indigenous people of Iraq are great crimes against humanity
- Those Yezidis who have accepted and consider themselves of Kurdish ethnicity and receiving financial and militia supports are attacking the innocent Yezidis by psychological wars on the daily basis. There are thousands of innocent Yezidis who rather die and not to convert into Kurdish ethnicity. These acts by Kurds must be stopped
- The Yezidis also have the right to study their language in schools in the Yezidis regions and be supported financially and equally by the Ministry of Education in Iraq
- The security and police forces of the Yezidi regions must be from the Yezidi people, so they can take their job more seriously
- The Yezidi lands and other properties that were taken by the previous regime and were given to the Arabs must be returned to the original owners
- An immediate United Nations Investigation team of the two Yezidi villages that were attacked by terrorists on Aug. 14, 2007 that killed hundreds of innocent Yezidis. There are documentary evidences that the local Kurdish authority was a partner in these crimes against humanity. The U.N. and International communities must be able to investigate this incident, take all possible measures and remove the Kurdish authority from the Yezidi regions. The Yezidis can then live in peace and freedom
- An immediate pullout of all Kurdish militias from Yezidis regions of the Nineveh Plain and from Sinjar, Bahshika, Bahzani in regions in particular. The Kurds must be able to obey Democratic and International laws. The Nineveh Plain is not a part of KRG region
- The Yezidis must be identified as Yezidis, not as Kurds or Arabs, and their rights must protected in the Iraqi constitution and by International law
- Restoration of Article 50 of the Iraqi constitution, which was removed from the Iraqi constitution by the government in September of 2008, and that it gave the rights to the minorities to participate in the provincial election
- A fair part of the Iraq's national wealth on the basis of residency, to apply to the all minority groups and including the Yezidis •An immediate permanent UN Office to be based in Sinjar city and Bahshika-Bahzani (the Yezidis region)
- The Iraqi elections must be monitored by UN and International Communities, so that all Iraqis can have fair elections in Federal, Provincials and Municipal. And also that the KRG teams won't be able to force people and make fraud as they did in 2005 election, that one person voted more than 10 times while oiling their finger, so the ink doesn't stick to it
- As the Yezidi ethnic and religious minority in Iraq, we need URGENT humanitarian from US AID; we believe US AID has been given to some of the minorities group, but has never reached the Yezidis in Sinjar region and Bahshika and Bahzani. US AID should deliver to the Yezidi regions and to the Sinjar region in particular, through the UN and other International agencie. such as the Red Cross, Christian Peace Maker Team or the Assyrian Aid Society, and work with our people and to give the AID equally to all needy Yezidis in these regions. There are many Yezidis who cannot go to doctors, buy medicines, obtain clean drinking water and food for their families, and send their children to schools, obtain school supplies, etc. As the families have to pay for most of these services, the Sinjar region has been ignored by the governments of Iraq as well as by the international community. Sinjar should be considered as Dar Fur not Sinjar. Note: If the Aid goes through KRG and their political tactic teams, the Aid will not reach the innocent Yezidis, unless they are Kurdified and join their political parties. So please make sure the KRG doesn't get into this AID in anyway
- The Nineveh Plain and Sinjar in particular must be free of KRG militias, and then the International peace keeping urgently needed for the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar region in particular to take over the security of this region while the young men of minorities, including the Yezidis in this region, get police, security and military training by US coalition and UN peace keeping mission and as they get ready to take over the securities of the region, then US and UN peace keeping mission can go back to their bases where they are needed the most.
Mr. Mirza Ismail is the chairman and co-founder of London Yezidis Community-Canada, an advocacy group for minorities in Iraq.
February 17, 2007
Attack on Yezidis in Northern Iraq
Mosul Province Iraq - An incident in the town of Ayn Sifni in Sheikhan district of Mosul Province led to an attack on the Yezidis community on the fifteenth of February. Several days prior to the event a Kurdish woman who was ostensibly attempting to flee her husband's house was taken to her relatives in Dahuk by two Yezidi men who happen to be the body guards of the district mayor. When the woman met with her family in Dahuk they took her back to her husband in Ayn Sifni who took her to the town's Imam to explain herself.
Following questioning by the Imam, the husband took her somewhere out of the town and murdered her on the suspicion of adultery. Soon a crowd held demonstration against the two Yezidi men. Slogans were shouted including, "How can Yezidis do this to our [Muslim] women?!"
Shortly after this a fairly organized series of incidents began which led to attacks on the private residence of the Amir of Yezidis, who was in Dahuk at the time., They burned down the two Yezidi Community Centres, damaged Yezidi owned liquor stores and the home of one of the body guards. The damages to these structures was quite extensive and in the case of the attack on the Amir's house was clear the Kurdish publics intended to kill him, however no one was murdered in these attacks.
Demonstrations continued until the next morning. There were large numbers of Dahuk based security forces in Ayn Sifni by the next morning, by mid day finally a brigade of Peshmerga (Kurdish militia) secured the town. However some believe that the security forces allowed the events to continue long before they were quelled.
Tahsin Begg, the Amir (Prince) of Yezidis, advised his people to be cautious and not to return fire on the attackers to prevent increased hostility, his advice succeeded in preventing bloodshed. He was praised by the police and the Peshmerga commanders for his restraint; he in turn thanked the Kurdish security forces for their assistance. One of the police commanders claimed that "the Jihadi " fifth columnists" were partly responsible for stirring up the violence, this sort of behavior is not normally associated with the Kurds." according to him, "outsiders (meaning Arabs) may have been involved."
The "rioters" were fairly selective in their attacks. None of the establishments between the walking distance from where they started and finished were damaged. One can only conclude that they were more organized than it appeared. It is not clear whether this was a case of "Muslim rage" or simply a form of Kurdish intimidation, perhaps it was an example of both. On the one hand the presence of Peshmerga was instrumental in preventing further escalation but it seems they allowed this anarchy to go on long enough to give the Yezidi community a good reason to be fearful.
The Yezidis are an ethnic and religious group which predates Christianity and Islam by thousnds of years. They have lived on the northern border of Mosul province for many centuries. Kurds who want to claim this region as part of their autonomous territory often use the Yezidis, and the Christian Assyrians as pawns to succeed in their ambition.
Yezidis greatest wish is to simply be left alone and treated fairly but because of their location Kurds and Arabs tend to exploit their religious peculiarity. They're defined as 'takfiri' i.e. infidels, and even worse than Christians because they’re not “People of the Book”.
April 7, 2006
YEZIDIS NEW YEAR 6756
By Ed Corrigan
London Ontario: It is indeed an honour to be invited to celebrate the Yezidis New Year with you. This is year 6756 in the Yezidis calendar. The Yezidis are an ancient and proud people from the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization and the birth place of many of the world’s religions. For comparative purposes the Yezidis calendar is 4,750 years older than the Christian or Western calendar. Their calendar is 990 years older than the Jewish religious calendar. The Yezidis is 5329 years older than the Muslim Calendar, currently the year 1427.
There are about 10 Yezidis families in London, Ontario. They are a most interesting minority community. I thank Mirza Ismail for the invitation to this celebration. I have had the privilege of representing Yezidis refugees in the past.
Yezidis are largely based in Iraq but are also found in Syria, Turkey and Iran. There are Yezidis also in Armenia and many have been forced to flee their homeland and many now reside in Germany.
The Yezidi religion is the third largest religion in Iraq after Islam and Christianity. The Yezidis religion was pioneered in Mesopotamia during the Sumerian period four thousand years before BC. It must be regarded as one of the oldest religions in the world, and consequently has greatly influenced mankind’s history. The Yezidis is the historical fore bearer of Judaism and Christianity and Islam. It is contemporaneous to Zoroastrianism and Mithraism.
The Yezidi’s ancient language is close to the Assyrian and Aramaic languages. But, afterwards and due to the Islamic expansion the Yezidis were exposed to the Arabic influences. Throughout history the Yezidis have been subjected too much destruction and oppression. Their holy books “Jalwa and Musaf Rash” were stolen. Their Holy Places destroyed.
Because, the Yezidis were different in religion, and had their own separate unique culture, language and political structures they become as victims of various forces that transverse the Middle East over the past 6,000 years. Yet they survive to this day.
The Yezidis were exposed to a policy of expulsion and assimilation and that is why they fled to the mountains and then many migrated to the European countries especially, Germany in the last century from Turkey. They were then followed by Yezidis from Syria and finally from Iraq. As a result of the Iraqi Ba’ath government policy which aimed to replace Yezidis with Muslims of Arabic nationality on Yezidis agriculture lands and driving the Yezidis from their own lands with the aid of an embargo. This campaign severely affected the Yezidi social and economic situation. Their plight has unfortunately been largely ignored by mankind and in particular by the West in recent years.
In the recent years, the Kurdish Question has over shadowed the Yezidis issue. It appears that the Kurds were trying to assimilate the Yezidis and trying to obscure the Yezidi identity as a separate culture.
History shows that the Yezidis religion was pioneered and developed in Mesopotamia, and we knew also that many other religions were born in same area, like for example, Mithraism and Zoroastrianism. That means, when those religions first came into existence, there were no nations only religious social and political structures that made up the ancient societies that existed in the birth place of human civilization. All Middle Eastern societies and Western civilization owe a profound debt to the religions that sprang from the fertile soils of Mesopotamia.
In terms of human history the concept of nationality is only recent innovation of the last few hundred years. It followed the religious political and social organization that governed most of human kind. Yezidis are from that socio-religious tradition.
It is said that Yezidis religion may be the original Kurdish religion. However, today the Kurds which comprise a nationality are not the same as the Yezidis, although they speak the same language. Yezidis believe in one God without any companion, and the seven Angels. Most of Kurds have become Moslems and were deprived from their Yezidi religion, many by force.
The Yezidis have preserved their religion in spite of the horror of massacres, expulsions and assimilation and forced conversion. That means not all Yezidis are Kurds, but that the Kurds were at one time Yezidis. This point is important in that the Yezidis today are an independent people, religion and culture. They should be recognized as such and protected. They are an important part of our past.
Yezidis were there at the very beginning of human civilization. Above all they are survivors. There are according to some authorities 650,000 to a million Yezidis today. Let us hope that the Yezidis continue to thrive and prosper in the 21st Century as they are an important part of our history and of humanity. To lose the Yezidis is to lose part of our own human heritage.