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Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:33 pm

After ISIS: Yazidi father wants 12-yr-old son, abducted and sold as slave, to smile again

For over three years, 12-year-old Dalshad Elyas Haji was a slave. The boy, a member of the Kurdish Yazidi religious minority, was abducted by the so-called Islamic State group in 2014 and sold off. Now, he lives in a refugee camp in northern Iraq's Duhok Governorate with his 31-year-old father Elyas, who is striving to reconnect with his boy through layers of trauma and the baffling changes they have wrought.

It was the morning of Aug. 3, 2014 when Elyas was startled by a loud blast that echoed through the town of Qahtaniyah, in northern Iraq west of the city of Sinjar and close to the Syrian border. They were under attack by ISIS. Elyas called his wife Nadiya, who was at a relative's house, but couldn't reach her. Nadiya, Dalshad, and three of his siblings had tried to escape to the Sinjar Mountains, but were captured by ISIS fighters.

The five family members were bussed to the strategic city of Tal Afar, and were held captive in a large hall there until October. They were given food but not blankets, and had to sleep on the bare floor. The five were then moved to Mosul, where Dalshad's two elder brothers were held back while the rest of the family was transferred to Syria. The older boys were never heard from again.

Later, "a man named Abdulrahman bought us and locked us up in a house," Dalshad tells the Mainichi Shimbun.

Abdulrahman, who carried around two guns, took Nadiya as his wife and slave. Dalshad was forced to speak Arabic, an unfamiliar language to him, when talking to his mother and little sister Aliya, now 8, as the family's native Kurmanji Kurdish dialect was prohibited. The three family members were beaten when they refused to perform Islamic prayers, and they had to eat a terrible-tasting spice bread at every meal. Abdulrahman often attacked Dalshad's family as "Kafir," an insulting term meaning nonbelievers. The three cried themselves to sleep each night, covered with a single thin blanket.

One day, Nadiya was resold to another person. "Take care," she said in Kurmanji as she bid a tearful farewell to her children. Aliya was also sold off, and Dalshad was bought again by a different couple. This couple, who sold slaves back to their families, contacted Elyas. He managed to raise $12,000 from relatives, nongovernmental organizations and other sources to get his son back. They were finally reunited last December. Elyas hugged Dalshad, who had become rail-thin. "It's me, father," Dalshad said in an Arabic dialect.

Dalshad stopped going to the school in the refugee camp after two months because he could not speak Kurdish. Elyas feels Dalshad smiles less than before and has become short tempered, though he can now speak Kurdish without any trouble. He sometimes sees Dalshad sitting up at night, his face blank.

The damage from the boy's ordeal has ostensibly been mended through psychiatric counseling, but when asked what he wants to be in the future, he answers, "An officer in the Iraqi army, so I can kill any IS fighters that come."

Aliya had returned to her father's side a little earlier, but Nadiya remains missing. Elyas, who says he still loves Nadiya but remarried because the children "need a mother," welcomed Dalshad back.

The 12-year-old says, "I've grown and become stronger, but I do want to see my mother again."

The father peers into his son's face as he talks, wishing his beloved child will recover, bit by bit. The scene feels somehow awkward, and yet heartwarming at the same time.

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https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20 ... na/022000c
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:23 pm

Nadia Murad: Nobel Peace Prize-winning sex slavery survivor who took on ISIS

The 25-year-old has used her ordeal to plead with the UN and world leaders for justice for Yazidi women captives

Murad never had any ambitions to become a global rights campaigner, nor to work with Amal Clooney, let alone win a Nobel prize.

But, growing up, she was not to know how her life would be terrifyingly turned upside down in 2014, as Isis terrorists would take her and other Yazidi women and imprison them as sex slaves.

Four years ago, when she was 21, she lived with her mother, her brothers, their wives and children in Kocho, northern Iraq. She worked on a farm and went to school, where she had just passed the eleventh grade.

And then ISIS fighters arrived

Murad and other young women were put on a bus, where the ISIS members began groping the women – just the start of a traumatic ordeal that continued as she was offered up at a slave market, and dragged off by the first of her tormentors.

Pressured to convert to Islam, she and others were imprisoned and raped.

Describing her experience later on a visit to London, she said: “For us, the Yazidis, they killed the men and took the women and children.

“They were committing all kinds: murder, rape and displacing people by force in the name of Islam.

“Many people may think my story is difficult, but many more had more difficult than mine.

“They killed six of my brothers, but there are families that have lost 10 brothers.”

An escape attempt failed, and Murad was gang-raped as punishment.

The family inside let her in and eventually smuggled her out of Isis territory, passing her off as the wife of one of the men. As they went through the last checkpoint, she spotted her photo on a flier showing wanted escapees.

But she made it to a refugee camp and was accepted as a refugee to Germany in 2015.

The ISIS leadership had created a self-styled “religious” rationale to justify the sexual abuse of Yazidi women, and girls as young as nine.

Murad then embarked on a mission to speak out against the crimes inflicted on her community.

She has visited refugee camps, given evidence before the United Nations and addressed heads of state, describing her own ordeal to reinforce how genocide and slavery are still used as tools by ISIS.

She and Clooney addressed the UN together, reminding members that NO ISIS members had been prosecuted for crimes against the Yazidis. They argued ISIS should be brought before an international court and prosecuted for genocide.

She became the first UN goodwill ambassador for survivors of trafficking in 2016, pressing her concerns about thousands of Yazidi women and girls held in camps.

In October 2016 Murad was jointly awarded the Sakharov Prize, the most prestigious human-rights prize in Europe.

For her pains, she has received threats from Isis, and has heard that fighters want to recapture her.

The following year she produced her memoir, The Last Girl.

The 25-year-old now lives with her sister in Stuttgart, and travels around Europe to raise awareness of ISIS brutality.

She has said: “It is a dangerous thing to speak against them publicly, but when you see the enormity of what they have done, of their crimes, what type of tragedy they have caused... If it’s going to take my life alone to save the lives of millions of people and to expose the crimes they have committed, that’s fine.”

But she also has a private ambition – to become a makeup artist and hairdresser, even opening her own salon – a haven for women.

Murad hopes that one day she will “look the men who raped me in the eye and see them brought to justice” and will be “the last girl with a story like mine”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 70661.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:06 am

ISIS sex slave reveals harrowing moment giant jihadi brute picked her

    'They touched us anywhere they wanted, running their hands over our breasts and our legs': Yazidi woman supported by Amal Clooney reveals harrowing moment giant ISIS brute picked her as his sex slave as other captives vomited in terror

    Nadia Murad, 25, speaks of her experiences at the hands of ISIS sex traffickers
    The details are revealed in her autobiography which was first published last year
A former ISIS sex slave has revealed the harrowing moment she was picked by a giant jihadi brute from a group of terrified Yazidi women - as they screamed and vomited in terror.

Nadia Murad, 25, has spoken in shocking detail of her experiences at the hands of ISIS sex traffickers - who treated women as 'animals' touching them wherever they pleased.

Writing in her autobiography, the now Nobel peace prize winner, spoke of her experiences one night at a slave market.

She said: 'We could hear the commotion downstairs where militants were registering and organising, and when the first man entered the room, all the girls started screaming.'

The entrance of the men would terrify the women who, Ms Murad says 'would double over and vomit on the floor'.

They would then ask if the women were virgins to which the vendor would reply 'of course.'

Ms Murad's autobiography, which is featured in The Guardian today, recalls in harrowing detail this examination process.

She says: 'The militants touched us anywhere they wanted, running their hands over our breasts and our legs, as if we were animals.'

Eventually Ms Murad was sighted from among the crowd by a high-ranking militant named Salwan - a man she claims 'looked like a monster'.

His strength was daunting, she claims.

Ms Murad said: 'He could crush me with his bare hands. No matter what he did, and no matter how much I resisted, I would never be able to fight him off. He smelled of rotten eggs and cologne.'

The terror of this jihadi brute became so overwhelming that she eventually threw herself at a smaller man - begging him to take her.

The man, who was a judge in Mosul, agreed.

Ms Murad had found herself at the hands of ISIS sex traffickers after her home village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq, was attacked.

She was captured alongside her sisters and lost six brothers and her mother.

Eventually Ms Murad was able to escape her ISIS captors, smuggling herself out of Iraq.

She later went as a refugee to Germany in early 2015.

This year's Nobel peace prize was awarded to her alongside two others.

Outlining the reason for the decision, the committee said: 'She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

'Nadia Murad is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape and other abuses by the IS army.

'The abuses were systematic and part of a military strategy. They served as a weapon in the fight against Yazidis and other religious minorities.'

ISIS jihadists organised slave markets for selling off the women and girls, and Yazidi women were forced to renounce their religion.

For the jihadists, with their ultra-strict interpretation of Islam, the Yazidis are seen as heretics.

Yazidi survivor and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human trafficking Nadia Murad (C) reacts as she visits her village for the first time after being captured and sold as a slave by the Islamic State three years ago

The Kurdish-speaking community follows an ancient religion, revering a single God and the 'leader of the angels', represented by a peacock. They numbered around 550,000 in Iraq before 2014, but some 100,000 have since left the country.

Nadia Murad was able to escape ISIS capture by smuggling herself out of Iraq

After herself being granted asylum in Germany in 2015, Murad continued the fight for the 3,000 Yazidis who remain missing, presumed still in captivity.

She has said that IS fighters wanted 'to take our honour, but they lost their honour' and has dedicated herself to what she calls 'our peoples' fight'.

Murad has now become a global voice, campaigning for justice for her people and for the acts committed by the jihadists to be recognised internationally as genocide.

At just 25, is the second youngest Nobel peace prize winner. The youngest was Malala Yousafzai, who won in 2014 at 17-years-old after she was shot in the head at close range by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan, where she grew up.

Nadia Murda's biography The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State, published by Virago, is out now.

Who is Nadia Murad?

Nadia Murad, a Yazidi human rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State in Iraq has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018

She was born in 1993 into a farming family in the small mountainous village of Kocho in Sinjar, Northern Iraq.

In August 2014, when she 19 years old, Murad was abducted with other Yazidi women, including her sisters, when Islamic State jihadis stormed the village.

She lost six brothers and her mother in the attack; the ISIS fighters murdered as many men as they could and any women they considered too old to be sold as sex slaves. Children were kidnapped to be trained as jihadis.

Murad was held as a captive as a slave in the city of Mosul - the de facto 'capital' of the IS's self-declared caliphate - where she was beaten, burned with cigarettes, and repeatedly gang-raped.

Like thousands of Yazidis, Murad was forcibly married, made to convert to Islam and wear makeup and tight clothes - an experience she later related in front of the United Nations Security Council.

She escaped after one captor left the house unlocked and was taken in by a family who managed to smuggle her out of the area controlled by Islamic State with false papers.

She lived in refugee camps, which was where she discovered the fate of her family, until the Government of Baden-Württemberg offered her asylum in Germany with 1000 other women and children.

In 2016, along with her friend Lamia Haji Bashar, she was a recipient of the the EU's Sakharov human rights prize, as well as the Council of Europe's Václav Havel human rights prize.

The same year she became the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations (UNODC).

Murad's book, 'The Last Girl', was published in 2017, with a foreword by Lebanese-British lawyer and rights activist Amal Clooney.

In August, she announced her engagement to fellow Yazidi activist Abid Shamdeen.

'The struggle of our people brought us together & we will continue this path together,' she wrote.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... d-her.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Piling » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:45 pm

Afrin is the other place where the Yezidis' genocide is ongoing :

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syri ... -896855921
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:57 pm

Piling wrote:Afrin is the other place where the Yezidis' genocide is ongoing :

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syri ... -896855921


Poor Yazidis suffer everywhere they are and the entire world seems to be against them X(
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:10 pm

Stranded between Syria's frontlines
Afrin's Yazidis yearn for lost homelands


Despite living as displaced people in Shahba, a Kurdish-controlled enclave in northern Syria’s Aleppo province, the 25 members of the Barekat family feel fortunate.

All of them were able to escape from their homes in Faqira, a Yazidi village in the Afrin region, when the fight between the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Turkish military and allied Free Syrian Army fighters erupted early this year. After a difficult journey, they finally found refuge in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Fafin village.

"I remember 13 March as the worst day of my life. Making the escape route on foot was very hard. It was a long way so we could only carry a bottle of water. Some elderly people lost their lives on the road because of fatigue and shelling," Michael Barekat, told Middle East Eye.

Barekat, 47, and his relatives are among nearly 6,000 displaced Yazidis living among the 137,000 displaced civilians in Shahba, according to United Nations figures and local officials, after local Kurdish authorities and the Syrian government reached an agreement in March to host IDPs from Afrin there.

"After expelling Daesh [the Islamic State group] in 2016, we managed the north of the region and Damascus controlled the south. The regime had declared it a military zone and it was nearly uninhabited," said Hevi Mustafa, co-chair of the Afrin canton administration.

"Although there was an understanding to relocate the IDPs, the relationship with the Syrian government is not easy in other fields," said the Kurdish official.

Sileman Cafer, a Yazidi community leader in Afrin and author of the book Qewlen Ezdiyan (The Yazidi Texts), told MEE that the size of this religious minority had been in decline since long before the start of Syria's civil war in 2011.

"At the beginning of the 20th century there were 58 Yazidi villages in the Afrin region out of a total of 358. Due to the pressure exerted by the Muslim majority, some Yazidis converted to Islam. The villages were reduced to 22 with a total population of 60,000 Yazidis before the breakout of the Syrian war in 2011," said Cafer, who is also the president of the foreign affairs commission for Afrin canton.

    The will of God was to create us Yazidis and Kurds. So, what authority do they think they have to force us to convert to Islam?
    - Abdo Barekat, Yazidi from Afrin
"Since 2013 the neighbouring Sunni villages of Afrin have been controlled by radical groups. Due to some threats a large part of the 60,000 Yazidis began to abandon the region [to go] towards Europe or countries such as Australia."

Most of Afrin's Yazidi villages are in the southern part of the region and extend from Azaz to Mount Simeon. These communities have functioned as a de facto border between the mainly Kurdish enclave, towns such as Deir Semaan where the population is predominantly Sunni Arab, and towns such as Nubl and Zahra, where the population is mostly Shia Arab.

"Before the Turkish-led assault on Afrin the Yazidi population had been reduced to 20,000 people. As a result of the attack many have emigrated abroad or towards cities such as Aleppo or Damascus. Nowadays, in Shahba only 6,000 of us remain," said Cafer.

Persecution

In the Shahba region there are three large camps with tents that lodge around 16,000 people, although the bulk of those living as IDPs have occupied empty houses.

International organisations including Unicef are responsible for running some services such as the water supply, while the Kurdish administration is in charge of managing rubbish collection and medical centres, and also provides free bread and four hours of electricity per day.

"When we saw videos of the Islamists threatening to kill us if we did not convert to Islam, some Yazidi women decided to fill small items with poison to drink if necessary in order not fall into the hands of the enemy. Unfortunately, some had to do it," Michael Barekat said from inside his tent in the "Resistance Camp" in Fafin.

Barekat was referring to videos widely shared online by Kurdish activists and by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based pro-Syrian opposition monitor, which appeared to show Turkish-backed Syrian rebels questioning men in Afrin about how many times a day they prayed and threatening to kill those who did not convert to Islam. The Yazidis follow their own monotheistic religion.

[list=]In the family book, the Syrian state always registered us as Sunni Muslims. We are Yazidis, we do not want to be Muslims
- Michael Barekat[/list]
Yazidis have faced persecution for centuries because of their religious beliefs, which draw on elements of religions including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism and have led them to be denounced by some as "devil worshippers" and heretics.

Even before the war, the Syrian government had refused to recognise the community's religious identity, Barekat said.

"In the family book, the Syrian state always registered us as Sunni Muslims. We are Yazidis, we do not want to be Muslims," he said.

In August 2014, the Yazidi community was the target of an attempted genocide by the Islamic State group as it gained territory in Syria and Iraq.

More than 3,000 people were killed and more than 6,000 abducted, with many Yazidi women held captive as sex slaves. Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled their homes and found refuge on top of Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq.

"It seemed that the Yazidi massacre in Sinjar was a red line. But after what happened in Afrin, there is no doubt that the international community has given a green light to reactionary Islamist forces to attack the Yazidis anywhere," 24-year-old Ibrahim Barekat told MEE.

"Daesh kidnapped our women and sold them in the street market as sexual slaves. We were afraid that it would happen again, so we decided to escape," said Ibrahim's uncle, Abdo Barekat.

"The will of God was to create us Yazidis and Kurds. So, what authority do they think they have to force us to convert to Islam?"
Shrines destroyed

In Afrin city, Sileman Cafer said, Turkish-backed forces had destroyed the centre of the Yazidi community including an historical archive.

"Luckily, we were able to save some important documents and relics," said Cafer, who was born in Basofan village.

The destruction of Yazidi shrines by Free Syrian Army forces was documented in reporting by the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) earlier this year, while the United Nations said in August that it had received reports of the destruction of Yazidi shrines and other sites.

Michael Danti, the academic director of cultural heritage initiatives at ASOR, said that a major challenge in documenting the destruction of Yazidi shrines was that the whereabouts of many of them was unknown.

"We know there is a high likelihood during conflict in Syria and Iraq for minority cultural heritage sites to be vandalised or destroyed. This is especially true for Yazidi holy places in particular, and heritage associated with Kurdish ethnicity in general (Sufi sites are also frequently targeted)," Danti told MEE in an email.

Cafer told MEE that temples and holy sites in Yazidi villages had been destroyed, and he blamed Turkey for allowing rebel groups to act freely.

"In my hometown, Basofan, they have opened a mosque when there has never been a single Muslim in it. They forced women to wear black clothes and forbade them from wearing trousers," he said.

    In my hometown, Basofan, they have opened a mosque when there has never been a single Muslim in it. They forced women to wear black clothes and forbade them from wearing trousers
    - Yazidi community leader in Afrin
"They have also opened Quranic schools and force all children to go," he said. "Last week they arrested some parents who refused to send their children to an Islamic school."

MEE cannot independently verify Cafer's account.

Cafer said that the few Yazidis who remained in Afrin had stayed because they were older people or couldn't afford to leave.

"During the first days of the exile in Nubl, house owners asked for 150,000 Syrian pounds [nearly $300] for renting a house for a month and some decided to go back."

With a Shiva lingam stone hanging around his neck, a religious symbol brought back by a relative from the Yazidi sanctuary of Lalish in Iraq's Kurdish region, Michael Barekat is aware that the return of his family to Afrin is complicated.

"As long as the Islamists are in Afrin, we cannot return, unless the big powers force Turkey and its allied groups out of the region," said Barekat, speaking under the watchful eye of his nephew Hesen, a YPG fighter injured by a Turkish air strike and who has the word "Love" tattooed on the knuckles of both hands.

"In our village, they forced a 50-year-old Yazidi man to kiss a Quran and say he was Muslim. But he refused because he could not betray his God and they killed him."

Hesen Barekat, a 20-year-old YPG fighter injured in a Turkish air strike, bares his tattoos (MEE/David Meseguer)

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have raised concerns about violations committed by Turkish forces and Turkish-backed fighters in Afrin since the assault on the region in March.

Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International's Middle East research director, said last month: "Turkey's military offensive and occupation have exacerbated the suffering of Afrin residents, who have already endured years of bloody conflict. We heard appalling stories of people being detained, tortured or forcibly disappeared by Syrian armed groups, who continue to wreak havoc on civilians, unchecked by Turkish forces."

Neither Amnesty nor Human Rights Watch mentioned alleged atrocities committed specifically against the Yazidi minority, and neither organisation had responded to requests for comment on the allegations raised in this article at the time of publication.

    The crimes against Yazidis and civilians are not true ... We treat everybody in the same way because we are all Syrians
    - Mohammed al Abed, Al-Hamza Brigade Special Forces
A local Free Syrian Army spokesperson told MEE that he did not consider reports of atrocities committed against Yazidis credible.

"We handed over the region to the local council in Afrin, which consists of the people of the area itself. We don't consider this information reliable because it doesn't come from impartial sources," said Mohammed al-Abed, head of the political bureau of the Al-Hamza Brigade Special Forces, a Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army group operating in Afrin.

Kurdish 'cornerstone'

But for Cafer, the current situation in Afrin is so fragile that the survival of the Yazidi religion and people is at stake.

"The Yazidi religion is the cornerstone of the Kurdish identity, its culture and its language. If a single Yazidi survives there will be Kurds on the face of the earth. But there is a real danger that our people could be exterminated," he said.

"We are very grateful to the European states that have hosted a large number of Yazidi refugees, but that is not the solution. In this way we are leaving our land, our history. We must continue here, and therefore they must protect us here."

Others take solace from the turning tide of the Syrian war that has seen pro-government forces gradually reclaim territory from rebel groups and militants across the country.

Isdihar Sabri, 40, told MEE that three of her cousins had been killed by aerial bombardments during the Turkish-led attack on Afrin.

"We've tried to stay close to our land," Sabri said. "Now we are hoping for a Syrian government victory so we can return to our hometown."

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:39 pm

Ceaseless persecution marks the Yazidis' history

Over the past centuries, the Yazidi community, one of Iraq's oldest religious minorities, has repeatedly been subjected to brutal attacks leaving thousands of its members dead. One of their worst subjugations occurred four years ago with the rise of the extremist Islamic State group.

ISIS committed genocide and other crimes against the Yazidi minority in Iraq as their power in the country peaked in the summer of 2014.

Thousands of Yazidi women were captured, taken as sex slaves and subjected to horrific abuse by the extremists. Some managed to flee, including newly laurelled Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad who told the world of the horrors she and her community experienced.

About 5,000 Yazidi men were killed by ISIS when the Sunni militant group took control of Iraq's northwest four years ago.

About 3,000 Yazidis still remain missing, most thought to have been killed in the war that rolled back ISIS control in Syria and Iraq over the past three years.

An isolated religious minority, the Yazidis have been persecuted for centuries. Many Muslim sects consider them infidels; many Iraqis falsely see them as worshippers of Satan. They speak Kurdish.

In August 2014, ISIS militants swept into Sinjar, the ancestral homeland of the Yazidis near the Syrian border, after capturing the northern city of Mosul and declaring an Islamic caliphate across large areas of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis escaped to Mount Sinjar, where most were eventually rescued by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.

In November 2015, Kurdish militias with close support of U.S.-led coalition aircraft, drove ISIS out of Sinjar.

Before ISIS rose to power, the Yazidis were the subjects of one of the deadliest single attacks after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. On Aug 14, 2007, four suicide truck bombs targeted Yazidi villages north of the country, killing some 400 people and wounding many more. The attack was carried by out by the Islamic State in Iraq, IS's predecessor.

During the Ottoman empire, Yazidis were subjected to several massacres in the 18th and 19th century.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wi ... y-58307840
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:01 pm

Helping Yazidi children overcome trauma of ISIS group rule

Hundreds of Iraqi children from the Yazidi ethnic minority were forcefully recruited or enslaved by the Islamic State group. One French NGO is now trying to help these children gradually overcome their trauma. EliseCare operates a mission in northern Iraq, where children are encouraged to draw pictures as part of their therapy. Our colleagues from France 2 report, with FRANCE 24's François Wibaux and Wassim Cornet.

https://www.france24.com/en/20181008-fo ... -elisecare
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:33 pm

What does the future hold for Yazidis who survived ISIS?

The New Arab Meets: Bushra and Bashida, two Yazidi sisters who share their stories on Islamic State group atrocities and researcher Barzan Barzani about future legal protection for the community

Earlier this week, Nobel peace prize winner Nadia Murad met US Vice President Mike Pence to discuss the security situation for Iraq's religious minorities.

In her moving speech at the UN General Assembly in March 2017, the young woman, who was abducted by Islamic State [IS] militants in 2014 from her hometown in Iraq, had bravely shared her horrific experience with the world, becoming a symbol and spokesperson for the Yazidi people.

The gripping question now is: what is the future for those who have survived IS?

While ISIS has been militarily defeated in Iraq and no longer occupies the area of Shingal, where the Yazidi community lived, roughly 350,000 Yazidis now continue to live in refugee camps.

Over 3,000 people were reported to be slaughtered by IS, over 6,000 kidnapped and an unknown number of women remain unaccounted for even today in Syria. Some are still held in captivity but no one knows how many are still alive. There are 45 mass graves in the area that have not been excavated yet. Most of them lived in Shingal in a primarily farming setting.

ISIS contaminated the zone, especially south of Shingal; it also became a conflict area between political parties. This explains why only around 65,000 people have returned, as they experienced extremely dire conditions: no medicines, destroyed homes, lack of aid and security. International aid has reached Iraq but not in this area, Nadia Murad stated.

A process had been launched to begin to collect the evidence and testimonies required to compile the needed documentation to officially classify it as genocide.

The Yazidi are no strangers to experiencing mass killing. Under Ottoman rule, the Yazidis were victim to 72 genocidal massacres . They have been considered infidels by different groups even before IS, according to some sources largely due to their worship of a 'fallen angel' or Peacock angel, which earned them the misleading reputation for being devil-worshippers.

The UN formally recognised it as genocide in June 2016, describing the situation as "ongoing" with a high number of Yazidi still missing. The lack of formal research on the death toll appears to be one the reasons holding back international action.

The New Arab met with Bushra* and Badiha*, two young sisters who were abducted by IS, and now live in the Khanke refugee camp in Iraq's Dohuk, to learn about their hopes and aspirations for the future.

Trapped in a camp life with no prospects and little psycho-social support, no schooling or jobs, while they survived IS the question seems to be: what next for the rest of their young lives?

The failure of the international community to act at this point may be equally responsible for shaping their lives now, unless significant measures are put in place.

"I was 11-years-old when my life was torn to pieces," Bushra tells The New Arab.

"I was sold to an 'emir' in Mosul. I did not think I would survive much longer when I decided to try to escape. I was 'fortunate' when I managed to make it out of the home. A peasant from Mosul found me in the fields and he hid me with his family for almost a year, until the city was liberated from IS."

As frequently documented by other IS Yazidi victims, many girls who escaped and asked for help ended up being returned to their captors and brutally punished for their escape.

"When ISIS came to my village and kidnapped us I was 12. I will never forget what they did to us," says Badiha.

"I was sold many times and I ended up in [the Syrian city of] Raqqa. I was freed only when the city was liberated from IS. I remember being always afraid, I never thought I would ever be reunited with my family."

When asked if they would ever want to return to their original home, Bushra responded, "Never, never, never. I never want to go back. All that happened there, in my house, in my village, I can never forget it. I do not want to see it again."

Bushra is now 15 and while her face is that of a teenager, the expression of grief and sadness are present in every feature and movement.

"I would like to leave this camp one day and go to Europe or the US, to leave. There is nothing for us to do here in the camps. My sister and I, like everyone else here, just sit here waiting."

Badiha on the other hand is more hesitant."I don't know if I want to go back, maybe some day. Here we do not go to school, our days are so different from when we had our lives before IS. We live in these tents and not in our home. I don't want to leave my country. But I will never forget."

Many Yazidis now live in tents at the refugee Camp in Dohuk, Iraq

The New Arab also spoke to post-doc researcher Barzan Barzani, at McGill University, to discuss the legal implications of the establishment of a Truth Commission versus the International Criminal Court and whether the Yazidi community wants it.

"I work with international lawyer and professor Paym Akhavan at McGill University in Montreal, who was a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague. In 2016 he was asked by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to help establish a Truth Commission to help investigate and document the crimes committed by IS," Barzan Barzani tells The New Arab.

"My contribution was to co-author the survey which was distributed to the Yazidis to learn what they expected from the international community in terms of ensuring their future legal protection."

The survey was comprised of 22 questions, distributed to 700 Yazidis, as well as other minority groups who suffered in Iraq under IS. David Matyas from Oxford also worked with Barzani and his team to help analyse the data.

"We wanted to know from them what they wanted. However, drafting a set a questions proved to be a complex process. The Yazidi community are mostly comprised of farmers, so the overall education level is low. We needed to ensure the concepts were clear and understood," Barzani said.

"It struck me how often the concept of 'how do you feel about this' went unanswered. People struggled with this idea, not due to language barriers, all the surveys where distributed in their specific dialect, but with the idea itself.

Talking about the different implications for the Yazidis from a legal perspective of having their case taken before the International Criminal Court vs. the establishment of a Truth Commission, Barzani said, "It is two-fold. Iraq is not a state party to the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, it is a question of the time needed for due process. It will take at least two or three years to conduct its investigations and issue arrest warrants. By then, the chance these IS members would be captured is dim.

"On the other hand, as we see today, the victims cannot be forgotten, their wounds need to be acknowledged first, only this way will a healing process be possible. By establishing a historic record, offering the community with a type of 'collective therapy', people who have suffered such inhuman conditions and referred to as devil-worshippers will be given a way to heal. Human rights are one of the most powerful antidotes to violence by the factions that are ripping the region apart."

Barzani added that a Truth Commission is not binding legally in its findings and is usually effective only when it includes compensation for the victims.

But, "one of the positive effects of having the International Criminal Court try the cases, if found guilty, is that it will have long-term effects."

Barzani explains that the Yazidi community has four main demands. They want the women and children still held captive to be rescued; they ask that the tragic events be recognised internationally as genocide and reparation for what happened to them and they ask the international community to protect them.

"They have lost faith in both the Iraqi government and KRG to protect them which is why they predominantly ask for an international court system," he says.

Bushra and Badiha, like most of the Yazidi girls taken by IS, and currently held in refugee camps. They have many difficulties expressing their feelings as eloquently as Nadia Murad – their trauma is ongoing while their future remains grim and uncertain under those tents. This limbo has resulted in some girls committing suicide in the camps.

While nothing can erase their past, their future can still be shaped by what the world decides to do for the Yazidi people today.

*The sisters' last name is omitted to protect their identity and privacy. The sisters speak the Kermanji dialect, the interview was conducted with the aid of an interpreter and in the presence of their remaining family members, in their tent. To shield the girls from further trauma, detailed questions about the horrors they suffered were not asked. They expressed relief when this was explained to them before being interviewed.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/indep ... urvived-is
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:46 pm

Nobel laureate draws attention to Yazidis’ plight

Three years after the Islamic State (ISIS) was ousted from the northern Iraqi province of Sinjar, the Yazidi people indigenous to the area continue to suffer the effects of the extremist group’s brutality but are determined to forge a better future for their community

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“We must not only imagine a better future for women, children and persecuted minorities, we must work consistently to make it happen, prioritising humanity, not war,” said a statement by Nadia Murad, a 25-year-old Iraqi Yazidi woman who was announced as a co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for efforts “to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.”

Murad, who was captured and enslaved by ISIS fighters when they overran her village in Sinjar in 2014, said she shared the award “with all Yazidis, Iraqis, Kurds, other persecuted minorities and all of the countless victims of sexual violence around the world.”

Yazidi activists said Murad’s victory meant a lot for the community but should not draw away from the overwhelming struggles many continue to face.

“Yazidis feel very happy. We all know the Nobel Peace Prize is a huge accomplishment,” Pari Ibrahim, executive director of the Free Yezidi Foundation, said via e-mail. “However, the world must remember that most Yazidi women live in deplorable conditions and thousands are still missing and likely held captive. We are happy for Nadia… she is a voice for our people… but it is hardly a happy celebration. I’m sure she would say that, too.”

The Yazidis, whose religion combines elements of various monotheistic faiths, have often been subject to persecution. When ISIS established its self-declared caliphate to Iraq in 2013, Yazidis bore some of the worst of the extremist group’s abuses because ISIS deemed them “pagans” or “devil worshippers.”

Yazidi men were killed by the thousands and women were captured, tortured and forced into sexual slavery. An estimated 3,000 women and children remain in captivity and countless others live with the scars of war.

Many areas in northern Iraq once inhabited by the Yazidis are in ruins, with landmines and booby traps littered across the towns, making it all but impossible for them to return.

On top of the physical barriers, Yazidis’ strained relations with their Arab and Kurdish neighbours, who have long competed for influence in and around Sinjar, make reintegration more difficult. Yazidis are infuriated that some Sunni populations accused of supporting ISIS have returned to areas in the north.

As a result, most members of the community have either fled the country or live in camps for the displaced across Iraqi Kurdistan, where they often lack access to adequate medical care, education or employment opportunities.

“No jobs, bad living conditions and a grim future: That’s life for Yazidis who came back after, sometimes, years of captivity,” Bahar Ali, director of the Emma Organisation, told Al-Monitor in June. “They faced all this sexual violence and just sit there in the tents, with all their memories.”

Yazidis yearn for both justice and a world in which they can live and thrive as they once did, Ibrahim said, but they are wary of an international community that has too often used their plight as a prop and done little to effect actual change.

“There is no justice… Terrorists who (have committed) genocide and mass rape and torture… must not only be seen as terrorists but tried in real courts for what they did to our people, including what they did to our girls,” said Ibrahim. “We want these perpetrators to be tried for their rapes and murders.

“Awareness and awards must be followed by serious action and empowerment of Yazidi community itself, not dependence on local or regional government or national governments and also not permanent dependence on foreign aid. In the long run, that won’t work.”

https://thearabweekly.com/nobel-laureat ... dis-plight
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:10 pm

Saz courses in Shengal

Shengal Culture and Art Center continues its activities

Within the scope of its cultural program, the centre encourages young people to engage in artistic activities. And to promote this approach to culture, the centre opened a course which is being attended by 8 students.

The students are studying 2 days a week and learn the technique of saz.

Saz teacher Xelef Bapîr said that they wanted to educate young people on the basis of their culture by giving saz education. Bapîr invited young people to participate to the cultural activities to protect their culture.

One of the students of the course - Sam Bapir, told RojNews that the saz culture had a special place in the culture, so they enrolled in the course and learned to play the instrument.

Dilesam Bapîr said that they have been studying for around one month and the course going well.
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:07 am

Yazidis of Sinjar today

Last August marked the fourth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide, and while many countries have spoken out condemning the actions of ISIS that led to the death of thousands, very little is being done to aid those still reeling from the aftermath of this massacre.

Iraq is often overlooked as the international community focuses on more recent crises in Syria, but some consider the genocide to be ongoing, as there are still thousands in captivity whose fates are unknown. The situation is far from stable, and there is a pressing need to support the 300,000+ Yazidi genocide survivors displaced by the violence who are still in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. More than 3,000 Yazidis who had been abducted remain unaccounted for.

While the Sinjar district of northern Ninewa in Iraq that was home to a large Yazidi population has technically been reclaimed, there is still mass devastation and many towns and villages have been completely destroyed.

Most of those who were forced to leave currently have no plans to return to their homes, due to the lack of basic services such as water and electricity, inadequate healthcare and education, few job opportunities, and the contamination of the countryside and towns by improvised explosive devices that still carry risk of detonation.

Some are staying away in fear, convinced the attacks and killings could begin again. There is a palpable lack of hope in the region, and many are abandoning their home country for safety and better prospects abroad, where some family members have had a chance to settle and establish new lives.

This situation not only affects those displaced within the country, but also the non-governmental organisations attempting to assist the refugees and asylum seekers in the area. Many NGO’s serving the internally displaced Iraqis are based in Erbil or Duhok, but are facing challenges aiding the Iraqi people. There are logistic barriers, such as the ban on international flights to and from Erbil International Airport for almost six months, leaving aid workers stranded in and out of the country. Humanitarian organisations also struggle to obtain the legal recognition required by the central government.

NGOs face endless challenges attempting access to the parts of the country where needs are greatest. There are also psychological obstacles that must be addressed, as the Yazidis of Sinjar are not only internally displaced people, but also genocide survivors. Special considerations must be made to address the long term psychological and emotional effects of mass murder, enslavement, and forced conversion.

The Yazidi people have been victims of religious persecution for more than 300 years, most recently by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS. The Yazidi are monotheists who practice an ancient, gnostic faith that has been condemned by some followers of Islam in the region.

In August of 2014, ISIS militants captured the town of Sinjar, in northern Iraq, which was a known Yazidi inhabited area. Hundreds of thousands of Yazidi people were forced to abandon their homes, fleeing to the Sinjar Mountains. They were trapped and surrounded by the militants, facing starvation and dehydration, and forced to choose between conversion to Islam or death.

Women have been disproportionately affected by the genocide, with most males being executed or forced into child soldiers. Survivors have told stories of being repeatedly sold, passed between ISIL soldiers, only to escape and discover their entire family has been executed. Fr Joseph Cassar SJ, the JRS Country Director for Iraq, recounted the story of a brave, young Yazidi woman, known to JRS, who had been kidnapped by ISIS with her two young children, carried away into Syria, and had been bought and sold over 100 times before she was ransomed.

Among genocide survivors, the personal and collective trauma, lack of prospects, and waning hope for a way out has led to a sharp increase in suicides, PTSD, conduct disorders, and acute depression. Even after escaping, many women struggle to accept life as a survivor of horrifying violence.

Following the JRS model of accompaniment, many efforts are made to understand and assist the women as they reconstruct their lives. Through JRS programmes such as the Women’s Support Programme, communities of acceptance and friendship are slowly being rebuilt.

The presence of religious leaders encouraging reconciliation and attempting to aid their plight shows the survivors not only that they are still valued by the global community, but that their stories are important as well.

The women have embraced the shared frustrations and challenges of forced relocation, sharing valuable skills and stories. JRS facilitates these discussions and offers special courses meant to address the increased strain genocide puts on these displaced people.

https://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/iraq- ... njar-today
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:17 pm

Yazidi doctor devotes her life to women who survived Islamic State

Dr Nagham Nawzat has provided life-saving support to around 1,200 Yazidi women enslaved by ISIS

Shireen was studying for a high school examination at her home in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on 3 August 2014, when Islamic State group (IS) militants broke into her house and kidnapped her from her family.

At the age of 19, she was sold as a sex slave to an ISIS militant in the north-western city of Tal Afar.

Three months later, Shireen was sold once again to another ISIS fighter in Mosul, Abu Omar, to become his third wife.

"He said ‘I love you’ but when you love someone, you don’t rape her. It destroyed my life,” Shireen tells MEE. “Abu Omar already had two Iraqi wives.”

Although Abu Omar’s other wives lived in a separate house, Shireen says that they used to beat her whenever they got together.

Shireen's story is just one from the thousands of stories recounted by Yazidi women that have experienced the raw cruelty of ISIS.

Last week, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman who also survived ISIS, and Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege. The international recognition put a spotlight on those fighting against the use of rape as a weapon of war and has once again brought the Yazidi cause to the forefront of the media.

Shireen is a Yazidi, one of Iraq's oldest religious minorities. Their beliefs are drawn from Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. The Islamic State group considers Yazidis “devil worshippers”.

She was told that Melek Tawwus, or the Peacock Angel - one of seven angels Yazidis worship - was the devil and was forced to convert to Islam. Yazidis believe in Yasdan, a god who emanates seven angels. The greatest one they worship is Melek Tawwus.

For more than two years, Shireen says she was not allowed to leave the house in Mosul. She was forced to cook, wash the dishes and clean every day.

“There were two guards at the entrance of the house and I was not allowed to go outside, [or] even to the garden to breathe fresh air,” she says.

According to Shireen, Abu Omar later brought two other Yazidi girls to the house. One was six years old and was forced to clean the house, while the other was ten years old. She was raped frequently by Abu Omar. Shireen says she tried to stop Abu Omar from raping the child, but her pleas fell on deaf ears.

In 2016, Shireen was released by Iraqi forces during the campaign to retake Mosul from ISIS.

After more than two years of captivity, Shireen suffered from depression and constant nightmares that prevented her from sleeping. Her uncle and many of her friends were killed by ISIS, while her father and one of her sisters have been missing since 2014, after they were also kidnapped by ISIS.

“It's too horrible, the skeletons of my uncle and my friends are under the ground.”

Upon her release, she visited Dr Nagham Nawzat, a Yazidi gynaecologist operating in the city of Duhok, in Iraq's Kurdish region, for a physical check-up, but Dr Nawzat also listened to Shireen and offered her emotional support.

“Dr Nawzat helped all of us. Without her help, I wouldn't be here today,” the 23-year-old confesses. “After I came back from captivity, Dr Nawzat sat down with me and told me that I was brave.”

“I love her so much,” she adds.

A doctor devoted to survivors

Dr Nawzat is highly respected among the Yazidi community. According to Hussein al-Qaidi, the director of the Kidnapped Affairs department at the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Duhok, 2,023 Yazidi women have been liberated from ISIS territories as of July 2018.

Dr Nawzat, 42, has provided life-saving support to more than half of them, helping around 1,200 Yazidi women, according to al-Qaidi.

In March 2016, Dr Nawzat received the International Women of Courage Award from United States Secretary of State John Kerry for providing psychological support to traumatised Yazidi survivors and for combating gender-based violence.

Born in Mosul to a Yazidi family in 1976, it was a life-long dream of Dr Nawzat to study medicine. Concerned about women's issues from an early age, Dr Nawzat graduated with a degree in gynaecology from Mosul’s Medical College in 2002.

“[I wanted] to better understand issues related to women’s health, teach women about health care and provide support for them,” she explains.

In 2014, Dr Nawzat was forced to flee her home near the northern city of Sinjar, as IS militants advanced and took over the Yazidi heartland. She witnessed first-hand the difficulties Yazidi survivors faced after being displaced.

In 2014, ISIS seized almost a third of Iraq. At least 12,000 Yazidis were killed or kidnapped as part of what the United Nations describes as an "ongoing genocide" against the religious minority.

In 2015, Dr Nawzat decided to Join the Duhok Survivors' Centre, where she volunteers to provide healthcare and psychological support for Iraqi women who survived IS. Funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the centre is the only facility in Iraq that specialises in gender-based violence.

Rebuilding a community

Shocked by the horrific stories survivors have shared with her, Dr Nawzat opts for a post-traumatic medical approach commonly used in Iraq.

First patients are offered some time to talk “to establish a climate of trust,” Dr Nawzat says. Afterwards, she conducts a thorough physical check-up and then listens attentively as her patients talk about their fears and their traumatising experiences. She offers them support and positive reinforcement "like a big sister the survivors can confide in,” she says.

According to Dr Nawzat, as she creates a relationship with her patients based on mutual trust, they confide in her and reveal their deepest emotions and fears with ease. Dr Nawzat is happy to meet her patients again whenever they request psychological support.

In severe cases where women suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or there is a suicide risk, patients are directed to the nearby psychiatric department of Duhok's Azadi hospital for treatment.

Because of her engagement with Yazidi community survivors, Dr Nawzat says that she has received frequent death threats from ISIS sympathisers in phone calls or via social networks.

Yazidis still in captivity

Although Iraqi forces declared a final victory over IS in December 2017, 1,500 Yazidi women still remain captive in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, according to al-Qaidi.

Today, Sinjar is still in ruins and memories of ISIS brutality still weigh heavily on the people.

According to the Board of Relief and Humanitarian Affairs in Duhok (BRHA), Ninety-thousand Yazidis have fled abroad and 160,000 live in limbo in 17 precarious displacement camps scattered across Duhok Governorate in northern Iraq.

Shireen lives alone in a tent at the Khanke internally displaced population camp in Dhokok and rejects the idea of returning to Sinjar, as most of her family members managed to obtain asylum in Germany.

In 2014, Khurto Hajji Ismail, the supreme leader of the Yazidis who is known as Baba Sheikh, declared that Yazidi women who had been enslaved by IS were welcome back to the Yazidi community. This announcement helped facilitate Dr Nawzat's daily work and ease the women’s reintegration back into the community.

According to al-Qaidi, four years on Yazidi survivors are still being released by IS in exchange for ransom.

Dr Nawzat says she will continue her mission to be there for other Yazidi women and help heal their wounds. “I dedicate my life to the Yazidis,” she says.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/ ... 1057630460
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:25 pm

How The Yazidi Women Are Fighting Back With Boxing

“If you look into the eyes of some of these girls when they are hitting each other you sometimes see something else, It’s like they are imagining an ISIS member in front of them and they are getting revenge."

Visit http://www.thelotusflower.org/donateboxingsister to help fund the Boxing Sisters.

In early October 25-year old Yazidi girl Nadia Murad won the Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness of sexual violence being used as a weapon of war. She did so by bravely speaking up about how she was held as a sex slave and raped countless times by members of terrorist group ISIS.

The Rwanga refugee camp on the dusty hills in the Kurdistan region of Iraq is full of girls just like Murad. It’s home to almost 3000 Yazidi refugee families and while not every girl here suffered sexual violence, all had to flee for their lives when ISIS attacked their hometown in August 2014.

Today, in a large stuffy room on one corner of the camp, a group of young girls are gathered, chatting excitedly. They are here to take part in Boxing Sisters, a revolutionary new scheme launched this month by Lotus Flower, a charity which works with women and girls affected by conflict. The young girls have ditched their traditional dress and headscarves in favour of training gear and leather boxing gloves and are limbering up for a fight.

“Boxing is not only just a great physical activity, it’s also really good for mental health,” says Taban Shoresh, Lotus Flower founder. “These girls all have very traumatic stories to tell. It’s an opportunity to channel their emotions.”

Amongst the dozen or so girls turning up for training today is petite 22-year-old Fairooz who hid up in the mountains with no food or water when ISIS came. Also, there’s Nadia, a 17-year old Yazidi orphan with braids and big smile who has lived on the camp for four years, as well as 15-year old Sohela who witnessed her grandmother die as they all ran for their lives.

And there are many more tales of unimaginable atrocities amongst the girls on the camp. There is one girl Zina who tells us ISIS came when she was just 14 years old and took her and her sister into captivity. When her sister refused to perform the sexual acts required they burned her and threw her dead body in the street. ‘Then they sold me on to four different men who all raped me violently,’ says Zina, ‘They laughed at me and told me I was nothing but a sex slave. They drugged me so I couldn’t defend myself and they tortured me for a month when I tried to escape. I was captive for three years and in that time had no contact at all with my family.’

The same stories emerge over and over again. Of how ISIS came to their villages in 2014, rounded everyone up and separated the men from the girls and the women. The girls were ‘tested’ for their virginity and the ones still intact - some as young as 9 or 10 - were sold into sexual slavery. Here they were kept in locked rooms and one who tells us she was kept tied to the floor as the men raped them mercilessly. Many tried to escape and many attempted to kill themselves. ‘I jumped off a large building,’ says 18-year old Faiza, ‘but I survived. I smashed my head and broke my arm in three places.’

It’s no wonder the girls are relishing the cathartic release of a bout in the ring.

“I love the way boxing relaxes my mind. Afterwards I always go home with a clear mind,” says Fairooz, wiping the sweat from her brow. “I also feel that if we are well trained, if anything happens to us again, we can fight back and defend ourselves. Isis came with guns so there was little we could do, but in the future the situation may be different.”

Lotus Flower is serious in its intent. As the girls carefully wrap cloth round their knuckles and pull on protective head gear, it’s clear this isn’t just a boxercise class. Shoresh has enlisted former pro British boxer Cathy Brown who runs Boxology, an academy which trains boxing coaches. The idea is that Brown will visit the camp and teach the girls to become boxing trainers themselves.

Currently they are lining up Nadia to be the first female Yazidi boxing coach. She is a natural who fights with a glint in her eye and a ferocious intensity. “I love the way boxing keeps my body strong,” she says, “I would love to take it further and learn to become a coach.”

If funding allows, Shoresh has plans to roll the scheme out to other refugee camps. If this happens it could see Nadia, once she’s trained up, travelling round the region earning money as a coach - something which may one day earn her a ticket off the camp.

When Murad received her Nobel prize she declared, “I share this award with all Yazidis, all the Iraqis, Kurds and the minorities and all survivors of sexual violence around the world.” The Yazidis are a religious community numbering only 400,000 people and it is estimated that around 3000 of them were sold into sex slavery in an ISIS campaign that is now being described as genocide. Every single one of them has felt the impact.

“If you look into the eyes of some of these girls when they are hitting each other you sometimes see something else,” concludes Vian Ahmed, Lotus Flower regional manager. “It’s like they are imagining an ISIS member in front of them and they are getting revenge. They are different from other boxers. They have something that is pushing them to fight.”

https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/in-the-n ... ting-back/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:28 pm

Save our women from ISIS sex-slave trade: Yazidi victim

Yazidi activists and victims made a fervent appeal to the global community to help rescue their women from the alleged sex-slavery and abuse perpetrated by the Islamic States, here on Monday

Some Yazidi women who have escaped from the clutches of the IS spoke about their sexual abuse and human rights violations. IS still holds captive many families and women and continue to sell them to the highest bidders.

One of them, Layla Talo Khudher Alali, shared her own experiences and brutalities suffered at the hands of the IS at a media interaction here.

"I was sold 9 times as a sex slave by the cowardly terror group. They have instilled fear and unleashed a reign of terror against the Yazidis by mercilessly raping, abusing and selling our women," Layla said.

She said there are many other women who were abducted and continue to be held captive as sex slaves.

"The world cannot remain a mute spectator while everyday my fellow sisters are raped, assaulted and then sold off," Layla said.

"My efforts to rescue the women being held by the IS operatives continue. But we need assistance from the world community. It needs to do much more for the cause of the suffering Yazidis," said Idris Bashar Silo Taha, who has risked death to personally rescue around 300 Yazidi girls from the IS.

Other speakers included Hussein Al-Qaidi, Director for Yazidi Rescue of the Kurdistan/Iraq government, Women for Afghan Women, Najia Nazim, Nashwa Show host-founder (Miss) Nashwa Al-Ruwaini and Oby Ezekwesili who is leading the 'Bring Back Our Girls Campaign.'

Mumbai NGO Harmony Foundation Chairman Abraham Mathai, which organised the event, said that the world has heard of some of these stories, especially the plight of this year's Nobel Peace laureate Nadia Murad, who was also awarded this year's 'Mother Teresa Award' on Sunday.

Stating that the Yazidi girls don't have the backing of a "#MeToo" campaign, he pointed out that it is imperative that every victim of sexual abuse anywhere in the world is heard equally and all efforts are made to give them full justice.

https://www.business-standard.com/artic ... 261_1.html
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