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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 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:41 am

Robert Fulford:
The brutalization of the Yazidi is the crime of our age, and shows ISIS for what it truly is


Of all the oppressed and terrorized minorities fated to live through this grim era, the Yazidis of northern Iraq are clearly among the most wretched.

Through no fault of their own they are enemies of the most venomous faction on the planet, the Islamic State, or ISIS. A newsletter from ISIS described Yazidis as a pagan minority and claimed that their continued existence “is a matter that Muslims should question as they will be asked about it on Judgment Day.”

In other words, the Islamic State must obliterate the Yazidis out of religious duty or face divine punishment. Their existence as heretics after nine or 10 centuries is, by a perverse form of theology, an offence to a jealous god who demands total belief, the version of god that ISIS worships. Several countries are trying to help the Yazidis; Canada will accept 1,200 of them as refugees this year. But it will be generations before time can heal their wounds.

The most terrible event in their recent history took place in August, 2014, when ISIS militants attacked Sinjar, the northern Iraq home of tens of thousands of Yazidis. About 5,000 were killed and 7,000 taken away. Males were shot. Women and girls were turned over to markets where they were sold into sexual slavery. A UN report speculates that about 3,200 women and children are still held by ISIS or the slave owners who were the customers of ISIS.

The bosses of ISIS justify slavery by scripture and manage the profits with bureaucratic thoroughness. As Fawaz A. Gerges of the London School of Economics writes in his recent book, ISIS: A History, the Islamic State has a Department of War Spoils. It governs slavery sales and specifies the contracts that are notarized by Islamic courts. Aside from raising money to pay for guns, bombs and drones, the offer of female slaves “has become an established and increasingly powerful recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies.”

Yazda, an international organization that advocates for the Yazidis, estimates that at least 35 mass grave sites of Yazidis have been identified. Those who escaped killing or enslavement eventually reached ramshackle refugee camps in Turkey and Greece.

The Yazidis speak a version of Kurdish. Their religion combines elements of Christianity (baptism, for instance) and Islam and Judaism (circumcision). They worship a Peacock Angel, one of the seven angels they consider important. Those who call them pagans claim they are devil-worshippers. They have no holy book and pass their doctrine down by word of mouth. They don’t accept converts and marry only within their religion, two rules that make it harder to maintain a sustainable population.

At the moment the Yazidis are hoping to arrange punishment for ISIS leaders. Amal Clooney, a leading human-rights lawyer (and wife of the actor George Clooney) has joined their cause. She’s gathering evidence to bring a charge of genocide against the Islamic State — the mass graves, the eyewitnesses, and of course the many videos and written statements in which ISIS boasts and threatens, always with pride in its atrocities.

Clooney hopes to see ISIS leaders tried by the International Criminal Court at The Hague. “If the ICC can’t prosecute the world’s most evil terror group,” she asks, “what is it there for?” Cases at the ICC often take a long time, and an effective verdict depends on capturing the accused. Even so, it can provide justice of a kind, sometimes the only kind ever available. A German court recently issued an arrest warrant for an ISIS commander (whose name is undisclosed for the moment) allegedly responsible for genocide against the Yazidis.

Clooney’s partner in the genocide campaign is Nadia Murad, a living piece of evidence. Born in an Iraqi village, Murad was captured as a 21-year-old, enslaved and brutally raped. She escaped from her captors and lived to tell the tale. Unlike most Yazidi women like her, she’s willing to describe being raped — she tells about it in speeches (including one at the UN) that bring her listeners to tears.

Link to Article - Photos:

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comme ... s-truly-is
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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 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:45 am

Iraqi Kurdistan's President Urges PKK to Leave City of Sinjar

Iraqi Kurdistan Region's President Masoud Barzani recalled on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Friday to leave the Yazidi city of Sinjar located in northern Iraq.

On Thursday, authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan Region thanked PKK, which is considered as a terrorist organization by Turkey, for their assistance in Iraqi Kurdistan and urged it to leave the region.

"There shouldn’t be other forces preventing the reconstruction, the activities of government institutions, and the movements of the Peshmerga forces while the [Kurdistan] Region’s official institutions and the Peshmerga forces are in Shingal [Sinjar] region… The Yazidis are indigenous Kurds, their religion and worship is in Kurdish. No person or party is entitled to impose other definitions on the Yazidis," Barzani said at the meeting with Yazidi leader Mir Tahsen Beg


Barzani pointed out that he would seek reconstruction of the Sinjar region the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Baghdad and the international community.

He added that the international community would not be ready to assist in reconstruction of the Sinjar region as long as "illicit forces are in the region."

Turkey considers Syria's PYD and YPG militias linked to Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been listed as a terror group by Ankara. Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK collapsed because of a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK members.

Kurds are living in parts of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. In Turkey, Kurds represent the largest ethnic minority, and are striving to create their own independent state.

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/2017 ... ve-sinjar/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:49 am

Rights group accuses KRG of detaining Shingal protesters without just cause

A human rights watchdog has accused Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) authorities of detaining unarmed protesters without just cause, a charge denied by the Erbil police chief.

At least 32 people were detained by security forces on March 4 at a protest in Erbil against recent clashes between Rojava Peshmerga and Shingal Protection Units (YBS) in the Shingal area. Most were released the same day but at least six are still being held.

“KRG authorities appear to be detaining protesters for no good reason,” Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Thursday. “They are also using threats and retaliation to discourage future protests, undermining freedom of expression and assembly in the Kurdish region.”

Director General of Erbil Police, Abdulkhaliq Talaat, told Rudaw English on Thursday that “Everything that was done was done according to the law.”

Under the law, protesters must obtain advance permission from the Ministry of Interior, he said. “These people neither had such permission nor asked anyone.”

According to Human Rights Watch, who interviewed some of the protesters, “several dozen unarmed protesters attempted to gather near Sami Abdulrahman Park in western Erbil to peacefully protest” against the clashes in Shingal. The organizers had publicized their planned demonstration on Facebook and police were there when the protesters arrived.

Talaat confirmed that six of those arrested remain detained, all Turkish nationals. “Only those who caused trouble, unrest, and blocked the way were arrested and are in jail now.”

He added however that the police have no intention to prosecute those remaining in jail but could not provide an expected timeline for their release.

Responding to the concerns raised by Human Rights Watch, Talaat advised the NGO to familiarize itself with the law in the Kurdistan Region.

Human Rights Watch spoke with some of those who have been released and reported that they had been denied access to a lawyer and one said he had been told to leave Erbil.

Talaat said that the law is applied equally to everyone and that “legal procedures will be taken against those who violate the law.”

Deadly clashes between the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Rojava Peshmerga and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)-backed Shingal Protection Units (YBS) erupted earlier this month in the town of Khanasoor in the Shingal area.

The Rojava Peshmerga claimed in a statement they were fired on first and that the YBS prevented them from carrying out a routine deployment of their forces to the Iraq-Syria border.

The YBS, in their own statement, said that they object to the presence of the Rojava Peshmerga, a brigade formed from Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region, calling them an “occupying force.” The YBS, formed by the PKK in the Shingal region to provide protection for Yezidi towns, deny they started the confrontation however, stating that the Rojava Peshmerga were the first to open fire.

This week, protesters demonstrating against the Rojava Peshmerga gathered near Khanasoor. Naze Naif Qavaland, a resident of Shingal and a member of the council of the Freedom Movement of the Ezidkhan Women (TAJE), was killed in the protest. Another 10 were injured.

The US State Department said it is concerned about the situation in the Shingal area. The US is having discussions with the parties involved, acting spokesperson for the department Mark Toner told reporters on Wednesday.

“We’re also having those discussions with those two groups because we recognize there’s tensions in the area. And again, we’ve said this many times, part of the success is once we’ve liberated an area from ISIS is how do we establish control, how do we establish local governance, how do we establish stability back in these regions? And that’s certainly something we’re focused on.”

Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, said her agency was also concerned about the “very disturbing reports” coming out of the Shingal region.

“The UN, in our stabilization work, has been trying to work in Sinjar now for a number of months. We’re very keen after the city was liberated from Daesh [ISIS] to get the water systems up and the electricity grid working and the sewage systems working and to help remove the rubble and to help make conditions livable in the city again,” she told reporters on Thursday.

“We haven’t been able to do that work because there was so much insecurity in the city. The recent clashes confirm that that’s still ongoing. It’s disturbing.”

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/170320173
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:41 pm

ISIS taunts Yazidi whose wife and sister are slaves

When the young Yazidi saw his sister for sale online, he barely recognised her. It had been 28 months since Dakhil last saw Hala and, though she was only 20, the face staring back at him from his phone had been robbed of its youth.

“She was wearing black jeans and a blue T-shirt, but she looked so different, so old,” he recalled, scrolling through a list of young women featured in a secure members group on a social app used by fighters in Islamic State — also known as Daesh and ISIS — to trade Yazidi slave girls.

Some seemed barely teenagers, facing the camera with tense, frightened smiles, wearing garish make-up and short skirts. Many were accompanied by an audio message in which a male voice gave their profile: age, figure, abilities — and a price tag.

“It was January. Her Daesh owner had just been killed and she was up for sale again,” he said. “By the time I realised it was my sister, it was too late. She had been sold to a new owner for $US14,000 ($18,159).”

Dakhil had been searching for Hala, and for his wife and another sister, since they were captured by Islamic State in August 2014. “So this is how I know Hala’s fate,” he told me as we sat in a cafe in Dohuk, northern Iraq, discussing his enslaved family — even as the battles to liberate Mosul, Hawija and Tal Afar from Islamic State raged on. “She’s not the only one I am trying to get back.”

He looked out of the window as he recounted the fate of his other family members, among more than 3000 missing Yazidis enslaved by Islamic State. He said he had organised the rescue of one, an older sister named Seve, but only after she had spent more than 18 months in an underground prison.

Dakhil’s father and two of his brothers are also missing and have not been heard of since they were abducted from the family’s village at the base of Sinjar mountain. Two other brothers are, it is believed, being held as forced labourers near Tal Afar, although nothing has been heard of them for months. Hala is being held in the town of Hawija.

He last heard her voice when she sent him a brief message last year. “Send someone to rescue us soon or these airstrikes and this fighting will kill us all,” she begged.

Secure members’ groups on sites such as “Souk al-Sobaya” are the favoured means of auctioning slave women.

The fate of Dakhil’s wife, Bushra, whom he married barely two months before she was captured by Islamic State, gave him even greater pain: she had been sold off and married to an elderly Islamic State emir, a Turkman from Tal Afar — who now phones Dakhil regularly to taunt him.

“He calls to humiliate me and tell me my wife is now his own, and that he wouldn’t sell her freedom for any price,” said Dakhil. “But I still believe that one day I can get her back, that we can go together to the holy waters of the Zamzam spring, wash our faces, be purified together and be husband and wife as once before.”

The plight of Iraq’s Yazidis was brought to the world’s attention on August 3, 2014, when Islamic State overran their settlements around Sinjar mountain. The Yazidis, whose faith is an amalgamation of Zoroastrian, Christian and Islamic beliefs, were denounced as “devil worshippers” and a “pagan minority” by Islamic State. Up to 3400 Yazidi women and children are still being held as Islamic State prisoners, it is believed.

Despite the scale of the Islamic State purge, the UN security council has yet to authorise a formal genocide investigation.

Gelawesh Jaffar Mohammed, a psychotherapist treating several traumatised former sex slaves in the general hospital in Dohuk, said her youngest patient was nine years old. Another aid worker told of a 15-year-old Yazidi girl who had been gang-raped and shared among 15 Islamic State fighters.

Despite the vast amounts of money being ploughed into the military mission against Islamic State in northern Iraq and Syria, the efforts to rescue Yazidi slaves are being funded by the hopelessly under-resourced Kurdish authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan. Its Office of Affairs for the Kidnapped, based in Dohuk, finances missions to rescue the captives, liaising with local operators who try to track them down using smugglers or by paying ransoms.

Dakhil’s one success in attempting to rescue his enslaved family came five months ago, when Seve, 36, was released from captivity in Raqqa after the payment of $US5000 to an Islamic State broker. She had spent more than 18 months in an underground prison with 53 Yazidi females and 150 children, and had survived largely due to her own wits and the chance offer of marriage by a virtual stranger. In the confused early days of her captivity, before Islamic State began separating Yazidi families, a young man named Khidir, an impoverished fruit seller seven years her junior whom she barely knew, offered to become her husband in the hope she would not be sold as a sex slave.

“I was 34 years old, so I was not among the first to be sold to ISIS fighters,” Seve said. “Khidir and I converted to Islam to stay alive, said we were married, and were held together for months as labourers in a village outside Tal Afar.”

Seve became pregnant and by the time the couple was finally separated and she was sold on to a Syrian emir in Raqqa, the pregnancy was too advanced for her to be sold as a sex slave. Instead, she was put in a subterranean prison with scores of other captives, ­kettled as cargo for ransom.

Over the next year she saw sunlight twice: on the day in July 2015 when she went into labour, and was taken out for three hours to give birth to her son, Jan Khidir, in the main hospital in Raqqa; and again when an airstrike destroyed the installation on December 6, 2015, forcing their captors to move them to another underground detention centre in the city.

Dakhil, working with a rescue group based in Dohuk, tracked Seve down using an Islamic State ransom forum on a secure messaging app. The rescue group paid $US5000 a head for the release of 47 Yazidi women and children last October. They were driven to a point in no-man’s land in Syria, where they were collected by Kurdish YPG fighters and driven to safety in Iraq.

“Until that day my baby boy had only seen sunlight on the day he was born and the day that airstrike broke the prison roof,” Seve said. “I didn’t even know we were being rescued until we stopped, the Daesh disappeared, and a fighter got into the bus smoking a cigarette. I said ‘That’s forbidden’ and he replied: ‘You can forget about all that now — you have been rescued.’ ”

Seve’s rescue brought a slither of joy to the broken family, but too many members remain missing for their happiness to find foundation. As she sat in the cafe with her brother, cradling her infant son in her arms, the siblings pondered how to get the rest of their enslaved family back. Among the disappeared is Khidir, the young fruit seller whose plan for a marriage of survival ensured Seve’s eventual release.

“I never heard of him from the moment we were separated in April 2015,” she said quietly. “I can’t say that I ever knew him well, only that he was a good man with a sudden plan we took through desperation. If I hadn’t taken that chance and become a pregnant wife, my fate would have been as terrible as that of our missing sister and Dakhil’s wife. For that I shall be forever grateful.”

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/wo ... d8ebe9ba2c
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:21 pm

Êzidîs to march from Germany to Brussels

Êzidîs living in Europe will march to Europe's capital Brussels in order to protest the attacks of the KDP and AKP on Shengal. Shengal Diaspora Assembly called for participation in the march that will go on for seven days.

The march of Êzidîs in Europe will begin in Dusseldorf, Germany on March 20 and end in the European Union's capital Brussels on March 27.

Shegal Êzidî Diaspora Assembly issued a written statement on the purpose of the week-long march and made the following demands from international powers:

“AKP-KDP gangs need to be removed from the Xanesor region in order to prevent the escalation of the crisis in Shengal. International coalition forces should inspect the weapons it gave to the KDP for the fight against ISIS, and these weapons should not be used against out people.

International powers should take an initiative to resolve this crisis and send independent committees to the region. A security perimeter should be set up to protect the faith and culture of Êzidî people.

The threats Êzidîs face are faced by all peoples living in Ninova region. Therefore, precautions should be taken for the security of Syriac, Assyrian, Kakai, Turkmen, Şia, Shebek and Arab people. The European Parliament's decision to recognize the autonomy of Shengal and Ninova on October 27, 2016 should be implemented and Shengal's status should be acknowledged.

Êzidîs' life spaces continue to be at risk. Therefore, Êzidîs require their self-defense forces. For this reason, YBŞ and YJŞ forces should be recognized as Shengal defense forces.”

MARCH PLANNING

The march of Êzidîs will begin in front of the local parliament building on Dusseldorf Platz des Landtags 1 at 10:00 and end in Brussels on March 27. A rally will take place after the meeting Êzidî representatives will have with EU officials in Brussels.
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:25 pm

ISIS friends, YBŞ enemies?

The attacks by KDP and AKP gangs on March 3 and 14 have entered week 3. The tension still continues. This tension can break out in new clashes at any time. But these attacks and the tension have hidden an important reality, that of ISIS. But why?

WHO DID KDP AND AKP GANGS ATTACK AND WHY?

Many words have been written on how Shengal and dozens of its villages have been abandoned to ISIS. Those days have been relayed by the Shengalis many times. Witnesses have spoken of how many people were massacred in which village, the region and the world heard of this.

On August 3, 2014, ISIS entered Shengal center and thus completed the takeover of the whole of Shengal and its villages and districts. Hundreds of thousands of people fled ISIS cruelty to the Mount Shengal, and through the lifeline corridor opened there, to Rojava. Before that, more than 700 peshmerga under the command of Serbest Babir arrived in Rabia, under YPG control at the time. They went from Rabia to Tel Kocher, and then from the Semalka border gate to Zakho and Duhok.

During that time, Rudaw and other TV networks broadcasting in Southern Kurdistan, especially the pro-KDP ones, broadcast live the group of guerrillas crossing over to Shengal with a ceremony, in official vehicles. The months-long resistance resulted in over 300 thousand Êzidîs saved through the corridor dozens of guerrillas and YPG members lost their lives to keep open.

Young Êzidîs stood with the HPG guerrilla during the resistance and then organized the Shengal Defense Units. In time, the YBŞ comprised of these young people officially declared their founding and the Iraqi Central Government recognized this force officially, and accepted to pay their salaries.

HPG and YBŞ forces launched an operation to liberate Shengal. They first liberated districts and villages like Sinuni, Khanasor, Digura and Dahola and the are up to Bare in that region. Then, by the beginning of 2015, they launched an operation to liberate Shengal city center. They liberated Heye Nasır and Siti Zeynep neighborhoods in Shengal center and positioned themselves there.

The operation to liberate the city center lasted for some 11 months and on November 13, 2015, Shengal city center was completely cleared of ISIS gangs.

But dozens of villages, like Tel Keseb, Tel Benat, Tel Özer, Siba Şeyh Xıdır, Kocho, Rambüsiye, Sekeniye, Hayale and Tevra, are still under ISIS invasion. After Shengal was liberated, the KDP peshmerga positioned in an arc from Tel Banat to almost the Kızıl Kent village. To the Shengal side of the arc there were KDP peshmergas, and against them the ISIS gangs positioned themselves in the villages they invaded, and they are still there. There has been no attempt at liberating these villages. Not one attempt has been made against the ISIS gangs continuing their invasion. It’s almost like they are living in peace on opposite sides.

WHY DID THEY ATTACK THE YBŞ WHEN ISIS WAS RIGHT THERE?

Many villages like Siba Sheikh Xıdır, Tel Özer, Tel Keseb, Kocho, Tel Benat, Rambüsiye and Tevra are still under ISIS invasion. As a large portion of the sacred Shengal lands is still under ISIS invasion, and the KDP does nothing, them launching attacks on areas liberated by the HPG and the YBŞ has raised serious concerns and discussions. All are inadvertently thinking, do they see ISIS as friends and YBŞ as enemies? Because while many villages and districts are still under ISIS invasion, without any attempts to liberate those villages and towns, them attacking YBŞ and their headquarters will bring those questions to the minds of the people.

YBŞ CONSIST OF THE CHILDREN OF THE INVADED VILLAGES

YBŞ are forces comprised of the children of Shengal who resisted ISIS with whatever weapons they could get their hands on despite the KDP gathering their weapons as ISIS attacked Shengal on August 3. Most significant among them is the Sheikh Xeyri group from Siba Sheikh Hıdır village where they resist. Sheikh Xeyri spent great efforts in the YBŞ afterwards. He took part in the Military Council and lost his life in one of the clashes. Some 60% of the children of Shengal in the YBŞ are from villages still under ISIS invasion.

KDP and AKP gangs attacking not the ISIS-invaded villages but the YBŞ forces unavoidably brings up questions of whether the KDP is in cahoots with ISIS over the AKP. These questions being asked is completely normal. If the KDP wanted freedom for Shengal and the Êzidîs, they wouldn’t join forces with the AKP and attack YBŞ forces with groups turned into gangs, they would rather aim to liberate the ISIS-invaded villages. Not only did they not do that, but the KDP didn’t even think of supporting the operation YBŞ forces launched on November 13, 2016, on the anniversary of the city center’s liberation, to liberate Siba Sheikh Xidir, Tel Özer, Kocho, Sekeniye, Hayale and Tevra villages and avenge Êzidî women and girls. On the contrary, acting with the AKP, the KDP started to pressure the Iraqi Central Government to stop the operation. They issued threats that if the operation didn’t stop, Turkey would directly intervene and invade Shengal. After that, the Iraqi Central Government asked the YBŞ forces, who are officially under the Iraqi Central Government, to stop the operation.

KDP and Turkey didn’t stop there. They pressured the Iraqi Central Government to stop paying the salaries of YBŞ fighters. Iraqi Central Government authorities declared they received threats that unless the YBŞ command stops the operation they launched, Turkey would invade. For that reason, the operation ended after Sekeniye and Hayale villages were liberated. Also, due to pressure from AKP and KDP, the Central Iraqi Government stopped paying salaries for YBŞ fighters from November on.

When one puts all these together, this view unavoidably emerges, questioning whether they see ISIS as friends and YBŞ as enemies. It’s possible to ask more questions like this, but really, the meeting in Amman before the Shengal invasion, after which Serbest Babir’s peshmerga retreated from Shengal and gave ISIS the opportunity to easily invade the land and massacre the people is enough to answer them.

What is important now is the question why there are attacks against YBŞ forces while ISIS is still present, and why the children of Shengal are asked to leave Shengal. KDP authorities must develop sufficient and correct answers to these questions. Otherwise, just like AKP, they will continue to be counted among the forces in cooperation with ISIS.
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:28 pm

Êzidî women in Berlin: The weapons given to KDP are used against us

Êzidî women joining a demonstration in the German capital Berlin are protesting the attacks on Shengal, denouncing that the weapons Germany gave to KDP are being used against Êzidî people.

Êzidîs in Germany have joined the chain of protests in Kurdistan and Europe against the KDP and AKP that continue the attack ISIS launched on Shengal in 2014.

Berlin Êzidî Women's Assembly launched a 5 day-long tent demonstration in front of the Federal Parliament in the German capital Berlin. Protestors will inform German parliamentarians and the society in the tent that will remain open until Friday.

Speaking at the tent demonstration, Êzidî women made the following call to the German state: "The weapons you gave to the KDP to fight against ISIS are being used against Êzidî people in Shengal. Gang groups affiliated with the KDP and AKP are attacking our people with these weapons. We want an end to this. Germany must see the situation in Shengal."
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:03 pm

Escaped ISIS sex slave appears on CNN with Amal Clooney to demand that her captors face justice in an international court

    International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney appeared on CNN on Sunday
    Clooney, who is also the wife of George Clooney, is representing Yazidi women
    The women have told harrowing tales of being taken as sex slaves by ISIS in Iraq
    Clooney is calling on the Iraqi government to allow the UN to investigate crimes
A Yazidi woman from Iraq who was held captive for months as a sex slave by ISIS spoke about her harrowing ordeal Sunday on CNN alongside her lawyer, famed human rights advocate Amal Clooney.

The international human rights lawyer and the wife of actor George Clooney is trying to bring attention to the plight of Nadia Murad and other Yazidi women who are routinely abused at the hands of the militants.

Clooney appeared on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show on Sunday alongside Murad, who recalled a harrowing ordeal that began when ISIS gunmen arrived in her village in Iraqi Kurdistan nearly three years ago.

'Early morning on August 3, 2014, they attacked us,' Murad said.

'Nearly 6,500 women and children from the Yazidi were abducted and about 5,000 people from the community were killed during that day. For eight months, they separated us from our mothers and our sisters and our brothers, and some of them were killed and others disappeared.'

Murad said that her mother and six of her brothers and stepbrothers were executed by ISIS.

The group also took Murad and other unmarried women as sex slaves and passed around by a number of ISIS men.

Murad recalled that she was once gang raped until she passed out as a punishment for attempting to escape ISIS captivity.

'They sold girls, girls that were underage, because ISIS considered that permissible under Islamic law,' Murad said.

'They came not just to attack certain people, but they came for all Yazidis.'

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ISIS has long claimed that they are permitted to take Yazidi women under their rule as sex slaves because the Yazidis do not practice Islam.

Murad was abducted and held by Islamic State fighters for three months in 2014 in Mosul.

She told her story to the UN Security Council in December 2015 and since then has been campaigning for justice.

Clooney, who is representing Murad and other Yazidi women with similar stories, says the time has come to not only wage military war against ISIS, but also a legal one.

She noted that there hasn't been a 'single prosecution against ISIS in a court anywhere in the world for the crimes committed against the Yazidis ... for any international crimes.'

Clooney addressed the issue during an appearance last week before the UN Security Council.

She urged the 15 governments that comprise the council to begin collecting evidence of war crimes.

'ISIS is not a local threat, it's a global threat,' Clooney said.

'So, my message to the UN was, this is a global threat. It needs a global response.'

'And part of that response must be a judicial one. It cannot be only on the battlefield.'

'You can't defeat ISIS on the battlefield alone, because you have to also deal with future recruiting.'

'And I think trials and exposing the brutality of ISIS and trying to make a dent in some of their shiny propaganda by showing that it's not a holy war and showing what they're really doing to children, to women, is one way to help that,' she said.

'ISIS has set up a whole bureaucracy involving the slave trade where they've set up committees, they've set up courts, so there are documents, there's DNA, there are mass graves, and nobody is actually collecting this evidence,' she said.

'And if it gets lost, it means we can never have trials and we can never have justice.'

Clooney says that the Security Council is ready to authorize an investigation into ISIS war crimes, but it can only do so if the government of Iraq makes an official request.

'There's already a resolution drafted and ready,' she said.

'And if Iraq just sends the letter, then there will be a vote. And from all of my conversations, including with the Russian ambassador and the United States ambassador and others, it seems that there's actually broad support in the Council.'

'So, this actually should move forward. It's in line with the Iraqi government's interests, because they're going after ISIS.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... rimes.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:54 pm

Yazidis who suffered genocide are fleeing again
but this time NOT from the Islamic State

Relatives collapsed in grief as the coffin of an 18-year-old Yazidi fighter was carried to a small temple at the base of Mount Sinjar.

Salam Mukhaibir’s death this month, along with four other Yazidi fighters, marked the latest dark turn for an Iraqi minority sect that has suffered genocide at the hands of the Islamic State.

But the men were not killed fighting the militants. They died in clashes with Kurdish peshmerga forces when long-simmering rivalries erupted.

The Islamic State overran the town of Sinjar and its surroundings 2½ years ago, executing thousands of Yazidi men, whom it considers apostates. Thousands of women who were kidnapped to be used as sex slaves and their children remain missing.

But the fierce infighting among forces ostensibly meant to be battling the militants now threatens to set back efforts to recapture more land and rebuild areas reduced to rubble.

The conflagration presents a challenge for the United States, which plays a role supporting both Kurdish factions involved — providing military assistance to them, or their affiliates, in the fight against the Islamic State. It also marks a bleak bellwether for the prospects of peace after territory is finally won back from the Islamic State. In neighboring Syria, U.S. troops have already been diverted to prevent warring between rival forces they support.

At a strategic crossroads between Syria, Turkey and Iraq, the traditional Yazidi heartland has become a flash point for Kurdish political rivalries, fueled by the wider competing interests of Turkey, Iran and the Iraqi government in Baghdad.

“We feel like a toy in the hands of the politicians,” Khalaf Bahri, a Yazidi religious sheikh, said before performing the burial rites for the young man, whose body was carried to a cemetery on the mountainside. “Yazidis are wounded and still bleeding. We still have our sisters and daughters and wives in the hands of Islamic State, but now this.”

The slain Yazidi fighters belonged to the Sinjar Resistance Units, a local force affiliated with the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a separatist group from neighboring Turkey. The United States has been providing arms to a coalition of forces over the border in Syria led by another PKK affiliate. Some fighters with the Yazidi group carried U.S.-made M-16 rifles. They said the firearms were captured from Islamic State militants or purchased on the black market.

On the other side of the confrontation was the Rojava Peshmerga, largely Syrian Kurds under the command of Kurdistan’s regional government, which the U.S.-led coalition is also supporting in its fight against the Islamic State. They fled to Iraq at the beginning of Syria’s civil war and have been blocked from returning home.

Both sides accuse the other of shooting first.

Kurdish President Masoud Barzani has repeatedly asked the PKK to leave Iraq. But many Yazidis credit the group with saving them when peshmerga forces charged with protecting them abandoned their posts with little fight during the Islamic State’s onslaught in 2014.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis became trapped atop Mount Sinjar as they sought refuge there. Those who did not make it ended up as Islamic State captives or were killed and thrown into one of the dozens of mass graves that surround the mountain.

The plight of those stuck on the mountain and surrounded by militants sparked the first aerial bombardment in Iraq by the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State fighters. But it was the PKK and its Syrian affiliate that fought to open a land route to allow Yazidis to escape on foot.

Since then, the PKK has put down roots, opening schools and training Yazidi fighters. Pictures of Abdullah Ocalan, the group’s figure­head, are ubiquitous in the area. A shrine on the mountainside, illuminated at night, is dedicated to more than 200 fighters from the PKK and aligned factions who died fighting here.

To Kurdistan’s semiautonomous government in northern Iraq, Sinjar is an integral part of its territory. The Iraqi government disputes that claim. Many Yazidis consider themselves ethnically Kurdish.

After Kurdish forces recaptured the town a year and a half ago, Barzani said in a triumphant speech from the mountainside that the Kurdish flag would be the only one to fly there. Since then, his party has expanded its influence, but the PKK has stayed put.

“We are vulnerable and in a weak position, so whoever gives us a piece of bread, a house, a weapon — people will take it,” said Bahri, the Yazidi sheikh at the funeral, who is aligned with Yazidi-PKK forces. “Our leaders have sold themselves for money.”

‘We have been betrayed’

As the rival sides vie for influence, thousands of Yazidis who took up arms against the Islamic State have also joined the peshmerga.

Hayder Shesho, who heads a force of Yazidi fighters, is integrating 1,000 of them into peshmerga ranks.

Shesho said he has decided to merge his forces with the peshmerga because it was the “only open door.” He said he was arrested in 2015 in what he describes as an attempt to “pressure” him.

“Yes, we have been betrayed by them. Yes, we have been abandoned by them,” he said of the Kurdish regional government’s ruling party. “But we are Kurds.”

He said the U.S.-led coalition should “take responsibility” and unite Yazidis, calling for international forces to protect them. “No one represents the Yazidis,” he lamented.

The clashes in recent weeks have sent thousands of Yazidi families that had returned to villages fleeing once more, some back to the mountain that provided them sanctuary in 2014.

“We’re poor; we’ve been through genocide,” said Gowri Mitchka, who was putting up tents with 20 members of her extended family. “We don’t want to be a part of this. We need help.”

Farther up the road, on the winding track that leads over the mountain, someone has spray-painted words that echo the sentiments of many here:

“Yazidism unites us, the parties divide us.”

Two days after the clashes this month, the peshmerga — riding atop bulldozers — created large earthen barriers between the two sides, and soldiers restricted traffic along the road. The other side was also building defenses.

“This isn’t a front line,” said Maj. Gen. Bahjat Taymis, a peshmerga commander, as he sat on a rooftop at his base, looking out toward the PKK positions on the other side.

“We have no borders here; this is all Kurdistan.”

But it had the signs of a front line, with armored vehicles lined up behind the berms.

Taymis said the Rojava Peshmerga had been on a mission to cut off smuggling routes, and fighters were setting up a base on the edge of the village of Khana Sour when they were surrounded. Reinforcements sent in were then fired upon, he added.

The PKK said the fighting began after two of its fighters were shot dead as they tried to block the advancing convoy. The five Yazidis died in those clashes, according to PKK and Yazidi commanders.

Shesho and PKK commanders said the decision to deploy a foreign force was a deliberate provocation. Kurdistan’s government contends that it can deploy forces in its territory as it wishes.

Circumventing the barriers between the two sides involves navigating dirt tracks at the foot of the mountain. On the other side, Yazidi fighters set up new mortar positions. But instead of pointing at the Islamic State militants, they were angled toward Taymis and his men.

“First, we will try and solve this through dialogue, but if not we will fight them, because it’s the will of the people,” said Zardasht Shingali, a 30-year-old commander with the group. “They are distracting us from fighting the Islamic State.”

He said the opponents were not real peshmerga but “thugs.”

“We consider Sinjar part of Kurdistan, and we have no problem with the peshmerga,” he said. “But these people are gangsters, working on a Turkish agenda.”

Turkey considers the PKK a terrorist group and has said it will not let Sinjar become a “new Qandil,” referring to the mountain range in northern Iraq that has become a hideout for PKK forces waging attacks against the Turkish state.

Others say the Sinjar Resistance Units are also influenced by outside forces, through their close relationship with the PKK and links to the Iraqi government’s popular mobilization forces, which are dominated by Iranian-backed militias.

“We will not accept a Turkish agenda or an Iranian agenda. Turkey and Iran are trying to pull Sinjar into a regional conflict, and Sinjar will not accept it,” said Mahama Khalil, the mayor of Sinjar, who belongs to the same party as Kurdistan’s president. He added that the PKK should leave.

But for the Iraqi government, the PKK presence in Sinjar provides a counterbalance to Kurdistan’s ruling party and Yazidi fighters said Baghdad paid their wages until late last year.

Blurred lines

Commanders with the Sinjar Resistance Units insist that they are independent and receive support only from their community. However, lines distinguishing it from the PKK are blurred, and Turkish and Iranian Kurds are among their ranks.

One 35-year-old Kurdish Iranian manning a checkpoint said he was moved from the PKK’s military wing to the Yazidi force about 15 months ago. A 17-year-old fighter with the group also said he was from Iran.

Agit Civiyan, a commander for the PKK’s military wing in Sinjar, said some fighters were integrated into the Yazidi ranks for “training and education” purposes. He said the PKK was ready to leave when no longer needed, but that the Yazidis still required protection.

While the infighting continues, little has been done to rebuild Sinjar — Kurdish officials say they cannot begin until the PKK leaves — and areas nearby are still under Islamic State control.

On the mountain, Jamil Khalaf said he was tired of all sides.

“We blame them all,” he said. “They don’t care about anyone else. Why are they fighting each other when they should be liberating our villages?”

His family has been living in a tent on the mountain for 2½ years because their village, Tal Azair, is still under Islamic State control. Two of his children died when the family’s tent caught fire, and his wife’s face and arms are scarred from burns. Her sister’s husband was killed when the militants advanced on the village.

“We don’t want these people fighting on our land,” he said. “But we have no power. It’s inevitable.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/mi ... 38251fc860
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:59 pm

What does "Home" mean after 73 genocides?
Interview with a Yazidi refugee

Sahir Saido is 18 years old. A former engineer student, he is Iraqi by nationality and Yazidi by religion. He enjoys photography and playing guitar. On August 3, 2014, the people of his town were massacred. Shortly after, the UN condemned the ISIS attack on his community, denouncing it as genocide. Sahir and his family fled from Iraq just before the massacre and had been living for five months in the Ritsona refugee camp in southeast Greece when he was interviewed by Patricia Charro Herrera.

“If you take a look, we are the happiest tent on camp. We make an effort to sing and dance everyday but we also have a critical soul: my brother has already produced several defiant artworks. Once, he didn’t have the proper materials, so what did he do? He painted a Yazidi woman on canvas, only using coffee and water. Do you see? That’s what family means.” Sahir offered us a glass of water. He seemed to be expecting an answer after all that, but we only felt capable of accepting the water.

A sign hangs from two pines which form the entry to Sahir’s tent: “Home is where your Mom is”, it reads. There was a baby sitting in a makeshift chair made out of stuck-together door frames and padded with rags and duct tape. An old man stared at us while smoking from a pipe. We could also see two baby cribs filled with almonds drying under the sun.

Two years ago on August 3, militants of the so-called Islamic State violently irrupted into the Iraqi city of Sinjar, where Muslims represented a clear minority alongside the predominantly Yazidi community, a pre-Islamic religion and ethnicity which has survived no fewer than 74 genocides throughout its history. More than 3,000 people died during the first few hours of the IS attack. NGOs are still counting how many people disappeared in what has already been declared the first genocide of the 21st century.

“It makes no sense, you know? Here we are at a refugee camp, commemorating the second anniversary of the Yazidi massacre. It is very hard to tell ourselves that we are now better in camp than back in Iraq. That day, the Peshmerga ran away when Daesh (IS) came. They did not kill even one of them! On the other hand, dozens of Yazidis were dying every five minutes.”

Sahir pulled out his phone to show us some pictures. He and his cousin were posing while holding a banner bearing the number of human losses from that day. Since August that year, only 2,600 people had been rescued while between 5,000 and 7,000 women and children were abducted into sexual slavery and forced to become soldiers.

“There were 28 of us who fled before the massacre and we all made it here together. You know, that is what people don’t understand, not even the ones staying here beside us. A house is not necessarily a home; and I am telling you that after I myself built our house along with all my relatives. Wait, let me show it to you, it was gorgeous.” The house in his picture was white and blue with a small fountain in front of the entrance.

“We had to sell it to the smuggler that first led us towards Europe. He ran away in the middle of our escape, leaving us all alone in the forest. It was winter and the wind was the worst; one of the babies was about to die. We made it back to Iraq and took our house back. But it wasn’t home. Home means much more; only you can take home away from you, no one else.”

It would have been great to have taken a seat with Sahir’s family and drink one of the dozen mugs of tea that the camp’s residents typically drank during the day. Maybe reflecting with Sahir about the etymological theories of the meaning of home, or about the difference that most Latin languages make between a person with no home and a person without a house. Maybe even about how his brother’s paintings were a sign of a high emotional intelligence. But Sahir did not approach us to talk about first-world essay topics; he was there to reaffirm what he thought through the eyes of others. Anyone with a bit of empathy would have noticed that. We pulled out the camera and started recording:

How do you see yourself in some months from now?

“Out of here and away from all of these people. France already accepted us and I plan to restart university as soon as we get there.”

Do you think the EU will give you extra social benefits because you belong to the Yazidi community?

“Are you kidding? My community has suffered and survived 74 genocides and no one here knows about it. To Europe, I’m sure I am just another Muslim Arab. We are no better or worse than them, but our people need protection. There are so few left of us and we have never harmed anyone.”

What is Home to you?

“I am home. Do you understand? Home is also you; you have it inside. No one can take home away from you, only if they take your family away. And even so, they will forever grow inside you.”

http://www.euronews.com/2017/03/22/what ... di-refugee
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:39 pm

Scottish Parliament recognizes genocide against the Yezidi people

The Scottish Parliament on Thursday recognized the genocide against the Yezidi people in northern Iraq at the hands of Islamic State’s (ISIS) extremists. The recognition followed a debate about justice for the Yezidi minority.

“The Parliament is mindful that genocide is a crime under international law and the law of all civilised nations,” a motion by the parliament said. “[The Scottish Parliament] recognises and condemns the genocide perpetrated against the Yezidi people by Daesh [ISIS]; acknowledges the great human suffering and loss that have been inflicted by bigotry, brutality and religious intolerance.”

It also condemned ISIS crimes against various communities in Iraq and Syria. “[The Parliament] further acknowledges and condemns the crimes perpetrated by Daesh against Muslims, Christians, Arabs, Kurds and all of the religious and ethnic communities of Iraq and Syria; welcomes the actions of the US Congress, the European Parliament, the French Senate, the UN and others in formally recognising the genocide.”

Moreover, the Scottish parliament drew attention to the calls on the UK Government to request that the UN Security Council refer the genocide committed against the Yezidi people to the International Criminal Court.

“I want to put on record the Scottish Government’s condemnation of the crimes that have been perpetrated against the Yezidi people—a condemnation that has been voiced by members today and which is clearly the view of this Parliament,” Dr Alasdair Allan, the Minister for International Development and Europe said during the debate.

“Ours is a Government and a Parliament that stand in solidarity with the Yezidi people. Indeed, ours is a nation that recognises its duty to stand in defence of human rights, equality, human dignity and minority communities around the world,” he added.

“However, in its campaign of hatred against the Yezidi people, Daesh [ISIS] has gone even further and has exceeded even its own record of brutality. It has committed the ultimate and unforgivable crime. In its fanatical desire to impose a corrupt and twisted interpretation of one of the world’s great religious traditions, it has sought to destroy an entire minority culture, an entire faith and an entire people,” he stated.

“What the Yezidi people have suffered merits condemnation in the strongest possible terms, and today’s debate has demonstrated that the Scottish Parliament is in no doubt about the matter. Daesh has committed, and is continuing to commit, genocide against the Yezidi people and against other religious and ethnic minorities. As we have heard, there is robust and unequivocal evidence that Yezidi men, women and children have been the victims of a campaign of murder, rape, abduction, sexual slavery, brutality and terror at the hands of Daesh in Iraq and Syria,” he concluded.

According to the UN 5,000 Yazidi men have been executed and thousands are still missing. Furthermore, more than 3,500 Yazidi women have been kidnapped by ISIS (also known as Daesh), and there have been multiple reports of sexual violence against women in detention and women living in ISIS-controlled areas.

Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yezidi human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, thanked the Scottisch parliament for their support.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all members of the Scottish Parliament for recognizing the Yezidi Genocide and for standing with my people. I am grateful to the people of Scotland for their immense support,” she said.

http://aranews.net/2017/03/scottish-par ... di-people/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:07 am

Over 300 Yezidis abandon PKK in Sinjar

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters continue to abandon the party on a daily basis in Sinjar and join the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces in the area, a Peshmerga official claimed.

Smi Bosali, the deputy commander of the Peshmerga forces in Sinjar, told BasNews that over 300 Yezidi youth in Sinjar have thus far left the ranks of PKK, noting that this phenomenon is occurring on a daily basis.

The Kurdish Yezidis join the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga after they abandon PKK, said the official.

The Yezidi community leaders and the officials in Sinjar district have repeatedly called on PKK to step out of Sinjar, but PKK insists on staying in the district.

“The increasing number of the PKK affiliates joining Peshmerga comes after their party launched violent actions against the Roj Peshmerga forces [earlier this month] in Khanasor sub district,” Qasim Shasho, head of Sinjar Directorate of Security told BasNews on Saturday.

He believes that the Yezidi members of PKK have realized that Peshmerga is the only legitimate force in the area to protect the Yezidis.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/ov ... -official/
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