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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 Dec 16, 2017 4:15 pm

Not one single dinar

Yezidi MP slams Baghdad for failing Shingal

Baghdad has not allocated a “single dinar” for the reconstruction of Yezidi areas ravaged by the war with ISIS, said a Yezidi lawmaker, slamming the government for a multitude of failures with respect to the country’s persecuted minority.

On the occasion of Eida Rojiet Ezi, a Yezidi festival that follows three days of fasting, MP Vian Dakhil said, “When the catastrophes happened in Shingal, the Iraqi parliament issued several resolutions, one of which designated Shingal a war-ruined zone and thus needs reconstruction. It also named ISIS’ mass killings and kidnappings as genocide. But the Iraqi government does not do anything for them.”

According to Dakhil, Iraq has not allocated "a single dinar in its 2018 budget bill for Shingal.”

In last year’s budget, a section was passed that dedicated a small fund to help Yezidis being rescued from ISIS, but that section was abolished by the government through a court decision, Dakhil said.

She also criticized Baghdad for failing to develop any plan to help displaced Yezidis return to their homes and for preventing international investigations into crimes committed against the community.

Half of the 6,417 Yezidis abducted by ISIS in August 2014 are still being held captive or their fates remain unknown, according to the latest data released by the KRG’s ministry of religious affairs.

Some 350,000 people were displaced from the Shingal area when ISIS militants overran northern Iraq and committed genocide against the Yezidi community. Some have returned in small numbers to Shingal and Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul. They are in need of essential services like health care, water, electricity, and education, but face difficulties because roads between these regions and the KRG have been closed since Iraqi forces took control of the disputed areas in mid-October.

Tens of thousands have also emigrated abroad.

The international flight ban imposed by Baghdad on the Kurdistan Region amid deteriorating relations between the central and regional governments has also caused problems for Yezidis.

According to Dakhil, some aid that used to be brought in through the Erbil and Sulaimani airports has stopped.

The multiple armed groups operating in the Shingal region is another hurdle for returning normalcy to the area.

Dakhil reported that recently some Arabs from villages around Shingal, operating under the Hashd al-Shaabi, were alleging

“Yezidis were ISIS.”

“This is something very, very bad. Therefore we sent [a letter] to the Iraqi prime minister that we do not accept that,” Dakhil said. She claimed that the Arab villagers had in fact participated in killing and kidnapping Yezidis when ISIS took over.

Shingal mayor Mahma Khalil signaled alarm over the demographics of the area, alleging that Arabization of Shingal under the Hashd al-Shaabi is taking place.

He was also concerned that Arab families who had fled during fighting between Iraqi armed forces and ISIS were now returning without being questioned for possible affiliation with the extremist group.

He said that before the Peshmerga withdrew and Iraqi and Hashd forces took over in mid-October, some 20,000 Yezidis were living in Shingal and the surrounding area, but that number has now decreased to 13,000.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/151220175
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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 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:37 pm

Two Yezidi girls, one boy rescued in Turkey return to family in Duhok

Three Yezidi children who had been abducted by ISIS militants were reunited with their family in Duhok on Sunday.

One mother tightly hugged and held her daughter in her arms after three years of separation.

The mother with whom Rudaw interviewed said eight of her children taken by ISIS were still missing.

“All of our [other] children are under the hands of the enemies,” the mother said while holding her rescued little daughter, crying. “Yet my five sons, three daughters and husband are under ISIS. I do not know anything about them.”

The three now returned Yezidis, ranging between the ages of 5 and 7, were living in Turkey with a Syrian family who had helped the children, according to the Embassy of Iraq in Ankara.

A Rudaw correspondent in the Turkish capital reported they spoke little Kurdish when interviewed, but appeared to have good knowledge of Turkish.

In Duhok, the girl struggled to express anything when spoken to by Rudaw reporter Ayub Nasri in Kurdish.

“We have been working for three-and-a-half months to rescue these three children,” Khairi Bozani, the head of the Yezidi affairs at the KRG Ministry of Religious Affairs told Rudaw.

Bozani said they would continue to work to rescue the many Kurdish Yezidis still with ISIS.

Parts of Shingal at different times have been under the control of ISIS, the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Government of Iraq, Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias, and other groups.

Many ISIS families took the kidnapped Yezidi children in August 2014 and fled to Syria and elsewhere, so Bozani explained, their work has become more difficult.

“For example, these three kids were in Turkey and Turkey did not hand them over so easily. Therefore, we are forced to formally call for their handover and of course that requires time,” he stated.

Ali Atalan, a Yezidi member of the Turkish parliament from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) who visited the children in the embassy had described the three’s situation as tragic.

“You see, they have become mute, they have lost their native language,” explained Atalan. “They cannot speak their language. They may not even know their parents anymore. They do not know who they are, or where they come from.”

The children were given into the custody of a Yezidi religious leader in Turkey to accompany them back to their relatives in the Kurdistan Region, through Baghdad airport.

Nearly half of the Yezidis abducted by ISIS in August 2014 from Shingal and its surrounding areas are still being held captive or their fates remain unknown, according to the latest data released by the KRG’s ministry of religious affairs.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/171220175
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:15 pm

Peshmerga to reopen Shingal-Duhok road

The Peshmerga will reopen the road between Shingal and Duhok province, but the Iraqi army is waiting for authorization before doing the same on their side.

The road through Sihela, connecting Duhok to Zummar district and Shingal, was closed after Iraqi forces and Hashd al-Shaabi took control of Shingal and Snuny in mid-October. Many Yezidi personalities and organizations have called for the road to be reopened.

“Blocking this road has separated many families of Shingal. Some of them are here, some in Shingal. Two of my sons are in Shingal. We are waiting for the reopening of this road so that we can reunite,” said Ilyas Khalaf, a Yezidi living in Duhok’s Sharya camp.

With the Sihela route closed, people were resorting to a longer and more dangerous route through Mosul. Most of the Yezidis who fled their homes when ISIS took over in 2014 are still living in camps in the Kurdistan Region, waiting for security and services to return so they can go home. http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/181220177

“At the request of the people of Shingal, the Ministry of Peshmerga has decided to reopen the road between Duhok and Shingal. A checkpoint will be set up in Zummar after the road is reopened,” Babakir Zebari, supervisor of Peshmerga forces on West Dijla Front, told Rudaw.

Asthi Kocher, director of Asayesh in the area confirmed the decision to Rudaw, adding, “What remains to be done is a mechanism to control people’s travel.”

There is no confirmation, however, that Iraqi forces will open the road where it comes under their control.

“We don’t know what their stance will be,” said Kocher. “But we on our side have made a decision to reopen the road.”

A local official said he took the Peshmerga decision to the Iraqi forces, visiting the federal police on Sunday.

“They said they won’t reopen the road without an order issued from above,” Ahmed Mala Hasan, president of the council of Zummar sub-district, told Rudaw.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/181220177
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:31 am

Yazidi women struggle to return to daily life after enduring Islamic State brutality

Yazidi women, who were sold as sex slaves by Islamic State militants, are now returning to their families from formerly ISIS-controlled territories. Special correspondent Jane Ferguson visits the Yazidi religious community in Iraq to hear the stories of these survivors and what they are doing to move on with their lives.

Full Transcript

Judy Woodruff:

    But first, the American war against ISIS was driven initially by the militants’ attack on the Yazidi religious minority of Iraq. The campaign of mass murder, forced displacement and enslavement of the Yazidis shocked the world.

    Now many have returned to their ancestral homeland around Sinjar Mountain in Iraq’s far Northwest.

    But, as special correspondent Jane Ferguson found, so much there will never be the same.

Jane Ferguson:

    On Iraq’s Sinjar Mountain, this is a celebration of one of the world’s oldest religions people giving thanks to God and the angels for who they are.

    Among the graves of their ancestors, families meet here for one of the greatest festivals of the year in the Yazidi religion, a time to celebrate their identity as a people. It’s called the Eid al-Jamma festival, or the Feast of the Assembly.

    The community invited us to join them in their celebrations. It’s normally a time of spiritual rebirth for the Yazidi people, and, right now, rebirth is something they desperately need.

Man (through interpreter):

    The men are not here because they are happy. They are here to pray and ask God for the return of their wives and daughters.

Jane Ferguson:

    When ISIS gunmen swept across Iraq in 2014, they came here, to this peaceful rural community, declaring the Yazidi people infidels for their ancient religious practices. They took away thousands of women and girls as sex slaves, and they slaughtered many of the men.

    The road back to Sinjar is an emotional journey for Adeeba Qasim. Her homeland is a broken, scarred place, haunted by memories of what the United Nations determined was a genocide. She is a local journalist and brought us here.

    When ISIS arrived into her village, Khana Sor, the extremists showed no mercy. Adeeba grew up on this street surrounded by her extended family. When they got word ISIS was coming, her aunts and uncles decided to stay. Despite rumors of ISIS brutality, they could not imagine the stories were true. They never thought anything so terrible would happen to them.

    Adeeba’s parents, alongside her and her siblings, played it safe and drove away, she says, just 15 minutes before the Islamic State fighters came down here.

    Do you ever think about what would have happened if you had stayed?


Adeeba Qasim:

    My father, the other people who stayed, they all have been killed. Their bodies are in the mass graves, yes. So we were lucky.

Jane Ferguson:

    Around 70 members of her wider family are still missing, she tells us. Some were young women sold as sex slaves. The men were probably killed.

    Her half-brother has come back here now with his family. When Adeeba brings us for a visit, it’s a rare moment of joy for them. Adeeba is now 24 years old, and, like thousands of other Yazidi survivors, she is trying to recover.

    She moved to the nearby capital of Kurdistan, where she works with foreign journalists and aid workers. Her whole family are scattered. Some have managed to get asylum in Germany, while others are refugees in Turkey.

    And then there are those who became ISIS victims, missing or killed. She took us to her old home.

Adeeba Qasim:

    I mean, I lost everything. This house is full of memories of mine, beautiful things, but not anymore. Yes.

Jane Ferguson:

    You don’t want to go inside?

Adeeba Qasim:

    No, never.

Jane Ferguson:

    Do you think you will ever go back to this house?

Adeeba Qasim:

    No, I don’t think so.

Jane Ferguson:

    Helping other Yazidi women and girls is now part of Adeeba’s recovery. She took us to visit one such family she met through her work with charities providing psychological support for victims.

    They are one of the only Yazidi families to return to Hardan village, and now they’re trying to move on with their lives. Zahida was just 17 when the militants came. They took her to Mosul as a sex slave for a year before she managed to escape.

    Her mother, Ramzia, was held as a house slave, cooking and cleaning for an ISIS family, until finally being freed just a few days ago. We have changed their names and hidden their identities because other family members are still being held by ISIS.

    Ramzia watched as nine of their children were taken from her, the girls sold as sex slaves, the boys sent to militant training camps, never returning.

    Then she was sold too.

Ramzia (through interpreter):

    ISIS families wanted Yazidi old women to clean for them, but not if they came with children. They put my picture and my name on social media as a slave for sale, and said I come without children.

Jane Ferguson:

    She was bought by a Saudi family in Raqqa, at the time the Islamic State’s capital in neighboring Syria.

Ramzia (through interpreter):

    I told the woman who bought me that I dreamed of going home, and she said- “You will never go home. You will die in my house.”

Jane Ferguson:

    She didn’t die there. Instead, as Raqqa began to fall to coalition forces, her captors contacted her family and sold her back, exchanging her freedom for $13,000.

    Her daughter’s story is one of personal triumph. She waited in a refugee camp after escaping, while one by one her sisters also managed to buy their freedom, and after so much pain, Zahida found love.

Zahida (through interpreter):

    I never thought I would be happy again. When something so terrible happens to you when you are just a girl, just 17, it’s very hard to forget it. In the refugee camp, life was very tough, but eventually my sisters returned, and then I met my husband in the camp. We dated for a year and fell in love.

    So I have experienced both great sadness and great happiness in my life.

Jane Ferguson:

    The wedding was just a month ago. She and her husband now live in the battered village.

    Just a few hundred yards down the road, a mass grave, this nameless hump of scrubland, is a cruel reminder that the men of the village who are still missing are unlikely to be coming home.

    The old lady in that village just told you that she saw your cousins, she heard from them?

Adeeba Qasim:

    Yes, she told me that she saw two of them. And, I mean, the last time I saw them they were like 12 years old. And she told me that they were bought and sold. They were, like, slaves. And last time she saw them was last year. And then after that, she — she couldn’t hear from them anymore.

Jane Ferguson:

    In Raqqa?

Adeeba Qasim:

    Yes.

Jane Ferguson:

    They were sold?

    For the rest of the community, many turn to prayer to recover from the past. And celebrations like Eid al-Jamma are as much about keeping their identity alive too. Since 2014, thousands of Yazidis have left Iraq as refugees.

    The religious practices of the Yazidi community are some of the oldest in the world, and with so many members of the community leaving the country, traditions like this are in danger of dying out.

    Once people enter into the temple, they take pieces of colored cloth and they tie it on to the walls inside here. Each one represents a prayer or a wish.

    The elders here are praying for joy to return.

Man (through interpreter):

    In the past, people were coming here and dancing and celebrating, but, after the genocide, they don’t dance anymore.

Jane Ferguson:

During the ceremony’s climax, the atmosphere is triumphant. A bright cloth, representing the colors of life and God, is carried with elation into the temple.

    For the people here, it is a brief moment of triumph, something to be savored at times like these. Standing in the way of recovery is a deep sense of betrayal. Many of the Yazidis we spoke with adamantly believe their Arab Muslim neighbors welcomed ISIS in and handed them over.

    It has left a bitterness those like Adeeba struggle to overcome, especially, she says, because her father’s friends in nearby villages assured them they would be safe.

    Do you think there can be never any healing?

Adeeba Qasim:

    Never. There is something in our hearts, and we will never get healing for it, never. And it will never be forgotten.

Jane Ferguson:

    You can’t forgive?

Adeeba Qasim:

    It’s difficult to forgive. It’s not easy.

Jane Ferguson:

    Across Iraq, the violence of recent years has pitted neighbor against neighbor.

    Bitterness and mistrust have pulled diverse communities apart from one another, and in turn pulled the country apart. For the Yazidis, the memory of this genocide will last for many generations to come, and forgiveness may take generations too.

For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Jane Ferguson in Sinjar, Iraq.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/yazid ... -brutality
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:11 pm

Emad's birds, Yezidism, and displacement from Shingal

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The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria committed genocide against the Yezidi people. The Yezidis, a Kurdish-speaking ethno-religious minority in northern Iraq, were targeted by ISIS since the militant group took over large parts of Iraq and Syria. From their bases they stormed Shingal on August 3, 2014, quickly capturing it and forever changing the lives of its population. Thousands of Yezidis were murdered while thousands more were taken captive, victimized by brutal and unspeakable acts of violence. Yezidi women have been forced into sexual slavery, sold off as brides, and have been subjected to the worst kinds of physical and mental torture. Shingal, home to a majority of the world’s Yezidi population, now lies in ruins.

Since its liberation from ISIS control in November 2015, much of this city is uninhabitable. Even though Shingal is no longer under ISIS control, many Yezidi families are still residing in camps within the borders of the Kurdish Region of Iraq. One of these places, Camp Rawanduz, is home to small group of families who fled Shingal in August 2014. They are hoping to return home.

It was here, on the outskirts of the small town of Rawanduz, that I encountered a young displaced Yezidi boy named Emad. His unique love for birds inspired me to write this article, detailing his story and the struggle of his people. My time spent with Emad and his friends in the hot summer months of 2016 opened my eyes to a whole new way of life, showing me the horrors that many only see through a television screen. It is through Emad that I am able to briefly tell the story of the Yezidis and the hope for their future.


This is his story.

Emad squats on a dusty cinderblock, hiding in the shade from the burning mid-afternoon sun. He sits and chews sunflower seeds, spitting the salty shells on the dusty ground by his feet. Several of his pigeons wander back and forth in the shade near him, picking at small bits of seed and bread. Perched on his cinderblock in front of me, Emad and his birds are taking refuge not only from the sun, but also from the Islamic State.

Emad is 16 years old, and his high-pitched voice carries with it a bit of sarcasm, even when I can’t understand his words. Along with 200 other Arabs and Yezidis, he lives in a small camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in a quiet town called Rawanduz, two hours north of Erbil, the capital city of the Kurdish Region. His beloved birds softly coo and wander around us.

Emad’s cinderblock seat is next to a makeshift bird coop, which is shaded by a worn out blue United Nations tarp that protects the birds from the scorching sun. Emad enjoys sitting with his birds, watching all eight of them eat and drink before letting them stretch their wings and fly over the camp. The love Emad has for his birds is unique, setting him apart from everyone else in the camp.

The camp is conveniently located next to an abandoned stadium. Like the rest of the Yezidis, Emad enjoys playing football. Once the sun falls low to the horizon, cooling the dusty summer air, you can find him running in the overgrown stadium with other Yezidis, all of them engaged in a competitive game of football. As the men run after each other and the young children play together on the sidelines, Emad’s birds soar through the evening air, flapping their wings high above the field below.

Shingal

Sadly, these are not the same birds he had back in Shingal. Those are gone, along with his childhood home. The sectarian violence that has engulfed Iraq since the rise of ISIS forced him to give up his birds, pushing his family out of its ancestral home in the Nineveh Plains and into the mountains of Kurdistan. Based on a radical interpretation of Sunni Islam, ISIS established a caliphate in Iraq and Syria and with its rapid and brutal rise it carried out a systematic and genocidal campaign of death and destruction.

The ISIS offensive forced Emad and thousands of others into the mountains just north of Shingal. Emad and 200,000 Yezidis were able to escape death, violence, and sexual repression through a humanitarian corridor opened by Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Many were not so lucky, as between 2,000 and 5,000 Yezidi men, women, and children were murdered or enslaved by ISIS in what is known as the Shingal Massacre. Suffering from what has now been recognized as genocide by the United Nations, the Yezidi people were thrust into the spotlight of the international community. Their persecution and suffering became a rallying cry in the global fight against ISIS.

The Peacock Angel

The Yezidi faith is an ancient religion that predates Islam. They believe in one God who is represented by seven angels. The most important angel to Yezidis, Melek Tawous, or the Peacock Angel fell from heaven after refusing to bow to Adam. This defiance in the face of God caused Melek Tawous to be cast from Heaven and sent to Earth. After falling from God’s grace, Melek Tawous was later forgiven, returning to Heaven. Some extremists still unjustly relate the Yezidi veneration and worship of Melek Tawous to devil worshiping as in Islam it was the devil that was expelled from heaven.

Enslavement

Further, the Yezidis do not have a written or sacred text such as the Bible, Koran, or Torah. This allows ISIS to kill them without remorse, as it is justified by their radical interpretation of the Koran. Unlike the Christians of northern Iraq, the Yezidis have faced the worst type of oppression as they are not, ‘People of the Book.’ Subsequently, with the unjust labels of devil worshippers the Yezidis were faced with two options when ISIS took over Shingal: conversion to Islam or beheading. Those who weren’t executed—many women and young girls—were given as prizes and brides to fighters. Girls as young as 11 were raped repeatedly, given a monetary value and sold off, and forced into a life of sexual slavery and servitude. Boys of fighting age like Emad were beheaded or lined up and shot in the head.

More than thirty mass graves and killing fields, filled with the remains of innocent victims, have been discovered in and around Shingal since its liberation from ISIS rule in November 2015. Containing the bones of murdered Yezidis, these mass graves, in combination with forced slavery and sexual servitude, amount to the world’s first case of recognized genocide since Darfur in 2003. Thousands of Yezidi men, women, and children are still missing.

Hope

In Soran, a small city just north of Rawanduz, Emad and I wander a busy street in the bazaar. It is evening time during the holy month of Ramadan and the sun is setting, its rays dulled as it falls to the horizon. Men and women hurriedly shop for last minute fruits and vegetables before breaking their fast. We walk together into a small bird shop to buy two new pigeons for his collection back in the camp. After about twenty minutes of excited browsing, Emad decides on a pair of brown and white pigeons, a strong male and a female, complete with a fertilized egg. I’m happy to give Emad this present of two new pigeons and a soon-to-be chick. As we travel back to Rawanduz in a taxi, Emad’s birds are headed for a new home and a new life.

Much of Shingal still lies in ruin. If the city is rebuilt, Emad will return home with his new birds. Until then, he will patiently care for his birds in the camp and remember better days before the war.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/people-places/27122017
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:38 am

Iraqi troops find 12 mass graves of Yazidis in Sinjar

Iraqi troops have run into 12 mass graves in west of Nineveh, security source was quoted saying on Wednesday.

“The graves were found in Kojar region, Sinjar. They include bodies of Yazidi civilians who were executed by Islamic State since its control on the town in 2014,” the source told Baghdad Today.

“Specialized teams are removing the bodies to extradite them to forensic medicine department in Nineveh,” the source added.

On Sunday, Fahd Hamed Omar, acting mayor of Sinjar, said the total number of mass graves of Yazidi victims have reached 62 in Sinjar, describing the execution of Yazidis as “the biggest genocide in the modern times”.

On the same day, relics of 24 Yazidis were found in a mass grave in Kesra al-Mei’rab village in the town.

Habitat of the Iraqi Yazidi religious minority, Sinjar came under the international spotlights after IS militants took over the region in 2014.

Many Yazidis were persecuted and held in Mosul by Islamic State, which considered them devil-worshippers.

A study on the number of Yazidis affected showed that at least 9,900 of Iraq’s Yazidis were killed or kidnapped in just days in an attack by the militants in 2014.

Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied.

https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/iraq ... is-sinjar/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:02 pm

‘I ran for a day and a night’:
Yazidi girls share blood-curdling stories of ISIS slavery

A woman who spent three years as an ISIS slave and a girl who was only five when taken are among the lucky few to have returned home, while hundreds of Yazidi girls remain in captivity. RT spoke to them about the ordeal.

Samiyah was pregnant when Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants descended on her village in 2014. After three bitter years of slavery in the former IS Syrian stronghold of Deir ez-Zor she managed to break free and was finally brought home a mere three weeks ago.

RT’s Murad Gazdiev traveled to the northern Iraqi district of Dohuk, where the former captive lives with her mother. She told him of her despair when IS ransacked the village, capturing her husband and almost all of her family. To escape her fate, she chose to take poison. Though it proved not enough to kill her, it was fatal to her unborn child.

“I was left alone with my mother. So I took poison, I decided it was better to die. When they caught me, I thought that since my family, my husband and my house were gone, it would be better to die,” she told Murad.

Soon, Samiyah joined some 3,000 Yazidi women and girls, turned into forced laborers and subjected to daily rape. Seeing the Yazidis as devil-worshippers, their IS captors treated the girls as commodities.

“The men would offer us as gifts. In the evenings, they would get together and trade the women, and have their fun with us,” Samiyah recalls.

IS brutality against the Yazidis was recognized as genocide by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, investigating human rights abuses in the protracted conflict.

Samiyah fled during one of the bombings, breaking the window of her sealed cell. She said she ran for “a day and a night” before a local family sheltered her and told her where the Kurdish YPG units were. She threw herself on the mercy of the YPG as soon as she reached them, and within two weeks she had made her way home.

Inas is now nine years old, and her mother found herself in a state of utter despair when all her family members either perished or went missing, including her then 5-year-old daughter.

“It was indescribable for me. Life turned into endless suffering, tears, and hunger. I couldn’t do anything but cry,” she told RT.
Nevertheless, she did not give up hope of finding her child. She posted the girl’s photo on Facebook, and everything changed overnight when someone contacted her relatives, reporting having seen Inas.

In order to reunite with her daughter, she first had to collect $10,000, a ransom demanded by the human traffickers.

“The seller was in Turkey, but said he would deliver her to Baghdad. We paid over 10,000 dollars,” she told RT. After four years away from her mother, Inas did not at first recognize her. The child seems happy, but it will undoubtedly take her some time yet to adjust to a normal life after all that she has been through.

https://www.rt.com/news/414419-yazidi-g ... ery-murad/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:05 pm

At least 3,000 Yazidis still held by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

At least 3,000 Yazidis are still held by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Kurdistan Region’s Government declared on Thursday.

3,073 Yazidi males and females of different age groups are still captivated by ISIS,” Hussein Qa’idi, head of KRG’s Yazidi Kurds Liberation Office.

The federal government in Baghdad, according to Qa’idi, does not offer any kind of assistance in searching for or liberation of the kidnapped.

Moreover, Qa’idi blamed the difficulty of the mission on entrance of the pro-government of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), the financial crisis in Kurdistan and the ban on international flights.

On Wednesday, news reports said Iraqi troops ran into 12 mass graves in Sinjar, west of Nineveh.

Fahd Hamed Omar, acting mayor of Sinjar, said, earlier this week, the total number of mass graves of Yazidi victims have reached 62 in Sinjar, describing the execution of Yazidis as “the biggest genocide in the modern times”. Relics of 24 Yazidis were found in a mass grave on Sunday in Kesra al-Mei’rab village in the town.

Habitat of the Iraqi Yazidi religious minority, Sinjar came under the international spotlights after ISIS militants took over the region in 2014.

Many Yazidis were persecuted and held in Mosul by Islamic State, which considered them devil-worshippers.

https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/leas ... kurdistan/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:02 pm

Survivors of Yazidi genocide & sex slavery
DENIED justice in Iraqi trials over ISIS

The Yazidi minority who suffered a “genocide” in the war against IS in Iraq, with thousands of women and children still missing and survivors subjected to sex slavery, are not getting justice human rights organisations told RT.

“This community has suffered so much throughout this genocide…,” co-founder of the Yazda humanitarian organization, Murad Ismael said. “Roughly 12,000 Yazidis were killed or enslaved. We’ve found so far more than 45 mass graves, that have the remains of thousands of people.”

“We still have roughly 3,000 who remain in captivity or who remain missing, even though there have been a lot of areas recaptured from ISIS,” Ismael said. “We’ve been able to bring some of them back, but roughly 3,000 are still missing… They are mostly women and children, and we don’t know where they are at. We know that a lot of the children have been brainwashed and they can no longer even speak their mother language and they have been assimilated in some cases into families and they have been taken in some cases to other countries like Turkey.”

While Iraqi and Kurdish authorities have been undertaking significant efforts to find and rescue those enslaved by IS (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the survivors are yet to see any justice served against their abusers, said Belkis Wille, senior Iraq researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“In the process of the battles against ISIS, of course, thousands of civilians were killed and among them surely also Yazidis... Yazidis that were being held as prisoners by ISIS,” Wille told RT. “The Kurdish authorities and the Iraqi authorities made efforts to get those Yazidis still alive and under the control of ISIS out of their control. There were many ransoms that were paid by government officials, but also by personal individuals.”

“But what you have not seen is any serious efforts by the Kurdish or Baghdad government to ensure that Yazidi victims get their day in court and get justice for what has been done to them,” Wille pointed out. Such injustices, she said, may force part of the community to take matters into their own hands and seek revenge.

    Price of victory: Legacy of war against #ISIS in #Iraqhttps://t.co/yAuPjdlmBh
    — RT (@RT_com) December 11, 2017

“You have thousands of men and boys being held and charged for membership with ISIS in Iraq. And yet not a single one of them has yet been charged for specific abuses against the Yazidi community. Even when some of these men and boys admit to judges during the trials against them that they held Yazidi sex slaves. But Yazidis are not being invited in courtroom, are not being invited to these trials, and are not being granted real access to justice,” she said.

“The Iraqi authorities have been very adamant that they do not want the international community getting too involved in the ongoing trials. They have said in meetings with me and also publicly many times, ‘the victims were Iraqi, the crimes happened in Iraq and therefore we’re the only government that has jurisdiction over these crimes.’"

https://www.rt.com/news/414508-yazidi-g ... q-justice/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:09 pm

Forgotten in Hell

Half of abducted Iraqi Yazidi girls
remain in ISIS captivity & sex slavery


15yo Nadi could barely speak when RT crew met her just a few hours after she was bought out after years of slavery for $2,500 – not the highest ransom by far, as ISIS terrorists fetch $10,000 on average for young Yazidi girls.

Nadi is one of thousands of Yazidi girls, captured and then enslaved by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists who would turn the girls – often no older than 10 years – into forced laborers, sex slaves, and send them on suicide missions. With the self-proclaimed IS caliphate crumbling, the slave trade has become a source of income for the retreating militants in need of money to flee the battlefield and resettle in nearby countries.

The girl was kidnapped in 2015 in Mosul – then a major IS stronghold in Iraq – where the group’s mastermind, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a self-styled terrorist caliphate in June 2014. Though Mosul was “liberated” in July, Nadi’s long journey home ended just two hours before RT’s Murad Gazdiev spoke to her in Baghdad.

Asked how she feels now that her horrific ordeal is over, Nadi, still visibly shaken but already smiling, said “good, thank God.” She was rescued by a group of local men who track down Yazidi girls taken captive by ISIS and try to bring them back by either negotiating a price with the militants or stealing them.

Nadi’s family forked out $2,500, which was handed over to the militants in a clandestine exchange operation with no law enforcement involved as militants threaten to kill the captives if they are exposed.

“ISIS say that if we show the girls still in their possession – or if their relatives appear on TV – the deal will be off. That they’ll kill their hostages,” a man involved in the rescue told RT.

Despite all the difficulties and controversy, deals are still being struck with the terrorists, as remnants of ISIS are in desperate need of money and the relatives of the girls do not have much hope of ever seeing them again otherwise.

“When ISIS fighters flee to Turkey – they sell their slaves because they need money to go back to their home countries,” the man said.

Yazidi girls are treated by jihadists as human commodities that could be easily sold or given away as presents. A man, who preferred to stay anonymous, told RT that he knows several girls as young as 10, 11, and 12 who were “all raped” by the militants and “were gifted or sold as many as 15 times.”

The price tags militants put on the abducted girls and women ranges from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. “If they’re in a dangerous place – it can be 80 thousand dollars. Otherwise, around 10-15 thousand,” he said.

There are nearly 3,000 Yazidis that are still missing with their fate unknown according to Vian Dakhil, Yazidi Member of the Council of Representatives of Iraq, which has gained prominence for leading rescue efforts on behalf of Iraqi MPs. Dakhil would sometimes pay ransom with her own money, saying that no amount of money is worth more than a life.

“I was stunned by the tragedy of the Yazidi people,” she told RT. She recalled the story of a 12-year-old sex slave girl, who drugged her ISIS captors with sleeping pills and walked with her aunt 30km before they were rescued. “Yazidi women have incredible inner strength. At first I could not believe how they could endure all of this.”

https://www.rt.com/news/414518-yazidi-g ... ex-slaves/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:37 pm

In a recent interview Murat Karayılan touched upon the importance of Shengal and said: “Shengal concerns not only the Êzidîs in Shengal but all Êzidîs everywhere. Shengal is important for all Êzidîs. If people come together in Shengal, if a will and an autonomy emerges, if the Êzidî people can govern themselves, if they have a defense force, that will have an impact on all Şêx’s and the Êzîdxan.”

Karayılan continued with how important and sacred Shengal is for all Kurds, not just Êzidîs.

Karayılan said the Êzidî people should not face another genocide and argued that the Êzidî people should make themselves strong, have self defense and at the same time govern themselves. He said their movement helped them, taught the young people how to fight and offered ideological support but the Êzidîs should be at a level where they can defend themselves and be self-sufficient from now on.

When asked, “What does the PKK want for the Êzidîs?”, Karayılan said: “All Êzidîs should know this. PKK wants Êzidîs to be united, become a force and govern themselves in Shengal. PKK wants them to have their councils, elect governors for the councils, and have self defense. That is what the PKK wants. PKK wants these for the Êzidîs, not for itself. PKK didn’t say it wants to have power there. PKK didn’t say, ‘This is for us.’ What PKK wants is a spiritual wish, it is national and humane. PKK wants the Êzidîs to not face the reality of a genocide again, PKK wants them to have a free and equal life.
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:05 am

Four Yezidi girls rescued in Deir ez-Zor

Over the past 24 hours, four Yezidi girls were rescued from ISIS and are now in Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan. They will reunite with their relatives over the next two days.

"Three of these girls are from the village of Kocho, and the other one is from Girhizer camp," Hussein Qaedi, head of the Duhok office for rescuing Yezidis, told Rudaw.

The four were rescued in Deir ez-Zor.

Of the 6,417 Yezidis documented to have been captured by ISIS, 3,248 have so far been rescued, according to official figures.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/301220173
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:19 am

Yazidi woman describes her time as an ISIS sex slave

Yazidi woman, 24, who was captured by ISIS and sold as a sex slave reveals how she was passed around by terrorists before she escaped

Nadia Murad has shared her harrowing experience of being captured, beaten and sold as a sex slave by militants in a new book published on Tuesday.

In ‘The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State‘, Murad, 24, recounts her life in a northern Iraqi village, her brutal captivity, tension-filled escape and feelings of betrayal and abandonment by those who failed to help.

Murad is Yazidi, a religious minority who live in an uneasy existence with their Muslim neighbors. In 2014, she was one of about 7,000 women and girls captured by the hard-line Sunni Muslim fighters who view Yazidis as devil worshippers.

Yazidi men and older women, including five of her eight brothers and her mother, were killed. The younger women and girls were held in captivity for sex.

‘It never gets easier to tell your story. Each time you speak it, you relive it,‘ Murad writes in her book.

‘[But] my story, told honestly and matter-of-factly, is the best weapon I have against terrorism, and I plan on using it until those terrorists are put on trial.‘

United Nations investigators estimate more than 5,000 Yazidis were rounded up and slaughtered in the 2014 attack, and UN experts have said the Islamic State was committing genocide against the Yazidis in Syria and Iraq.

In September, the UN Security Council approved the creation of an investigative team to collect, preserve and store evidence in Iraq of acts by Islamic State.

International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who represents Murad and wrote the foreword to ‘The Last Girl‘, is campaigning for the Islamist group to be prosecuted through the International Criminal Court.

Murad was abducted at age 21 from the village of Kocho near Sinjar, an area that is home to about 400,000 Yazidis.

Murad‘s new book ‘The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State‘ was released on Tuesday

‘Our Sunni neighbors could have come to us and tried to help,‘ she writes. ‘But they didn‘t.‘

Murad was registered as a slave and even had a photo ID that would be dispersed among the fighters if she were to run away.

Her new owner, a high-ranking ISIS judge named Hajji Salma, told her: ‘You‘re my fourth sabiyya (sex slave). The other three are Muslim now. I did that for them. Yazidis are infidels – that‘s why we are doing this. It‘s to help you.‘

Recounting the seemingly endless rapes by men who bought and sold her was clearly difficult for Murad.

‘At some point, there was rape and nothing else. This becomes your normal day,‘ she says in the book.

‘You don‘t know who is going to open the door next to attack you, just that it will happen and that tomorrow might be worse.‘

Murad detailed about how she tried to escape by wearing abaya, the robe-like covering that devout Muslim women wear, and crawling out a window.

She was caught by a guard. Hajji Salman whipped her and let his sentry made up of six men gang-rape her until she was unconscious.

Over the next week, she was passed to six other men who raped and beat her, before being given to one who planned on taking her to Syria.

To escape, Murad saw a fleeting chance to jump over the garden wall of her captor‘s house in Mosul. After wandering the streets cloaked in an abaya, she made a daring decision to knock on the door of a stranger‘s house and ask for help.

That was a huge risk, and she later learned her niece, also enslaved, had been turned in six times to the Islamic State by people she had asked for help.

‘Families in Iraq and Syria led normal lives while we were tortured and raped. They watched us walk through the streets with our captors,‘ she writes. ‘They let us scream in the slave market and did nothing.‘

Murad was lucky that the strangers she found in Mosul helped smuggle her to a refugee camp.

With the publication of her memoir by Tim Duggan Books, Murad says she wants to see Yazidis in captivity released, the resettlement of survivors, the removal of landmines in the Sinjar region and prosecution of Islamic State.

But more than anything else, she says: ‘I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine.‘

She now lives in Germany and has become a campaigner on behalf of the Yazidi community. This year she became a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

http://jacksonobserver.com/yazidi-woman ... sex-slave/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:24 pm

The Peacock Angel of the Yazidis

By Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik – Author, Speaker, Illustrator, Mythologist - e-mail: devdutt@devdutt.com

To the North of Iraq live the people known as Yazidis, roughly half a million in number, who have been mercilessly hunted down by the rabid hordes of the Islamic State (ISIS) on grounds that they are Devil-worshippers. In reality, Yazidis have a unique belief system that is a mix of Abrahamism and Zoroastrianism and, probably even, Hinduism. This may be why followers of Hindutva have shown, at least on the Internet, an unusual and exaggerated empathy for their plight. They argue that the mass killings and rape of Yazidis by ISIS is what is in store for the Hindus of India unless they abandon the naïve ‘ahimsa’ route and take up arms against the rising Islamist menace.

The Yazidis believe in one God, who has placed the world in the care of seven angels, the first of whom is the Peacock Angel. In Abrahamic mythology, when God created Adam, the first man, he asked the angels to bow to Adam. The angel who refused to is called Iblis in Islamic mythology and he became the Devil. However, in Yezidi mythology, the angel who refused to bow before Adam was the Peacock Angel who argued that he was the first angel created from light and so could not be expected to bow before a creature made of dust.

This answer pleased God who made the Peacock Angel his representative on earth. The Peacock Angel’s tears extinguished the fires of Hell, and so, humans, through his guidance, can rise up to Heaven, closer to God. But he is both good and bad, just as the earth is good and bad, and this ambiguity has led to Yazidis being seen as Devil-worshippers by Muslim communities around them.

The Yazidis believe they are a superior race as they are descendants of Adam while rest of humanity are descendants of Adam and Eve. God asked Adam and Eve, before they copulated, to collect their vital fluids in a jar. From the jar containing Eve’s vital fluid were created vermin and insects. From the jar containing Adam’s vital fluid, a son was born who married a celestial being of Paradise known as houri and from them the Yazidis are said to have descended. This is why Yazidis are strictly forbidden to marry outside their community. Those who do are ex-communicated. This strict endogamy mirrors the Hindu caste system.

The Yazidi veneration of the peacock, which is not native to Northern Iran, and the snake, has led to some people assuming a connection with Tamilians, who see the peacock and the snake as the symbol of Murugan, the ancient Tamil God, worshipped atop mountains. The seven angels are seen as the seven siddhas who possess celestial powers known as siddhis, leading to the rather forced etymology of Yazidi from ‘ya siddhi’. Yazidis bury their dead like ancient Tamilians, and tombs have a conical roof, like the ‘vimana’ of a Hindu temple. In Yazidi rituals, lamps play a key role, much as in Hindu rituals.

The Yazidis believe in the purity of elements such as earth, fire and water, and they pray looking in the direction of the sun, much like Zoroastrians, who thrived in Iran before being pushed out following the rise of Islam. The Zoroastrians emerged from the Iranian arm of the eastward moving Indo-European tribes, while Vedic Hindus emerged from the Indian arm. However, unlike Zoroastrians, Yazidis do believe in a kind of reincarnation that leads to spiritual purification. This is explained with the metaphor of ‘changing the garment’ resonating ideas from the Gita furthering the connection with Hinduism.

https://starofmysore.com/peacock-angel-yazidis/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:04 pm

Persecution Of Yazidis Persists Despite Islamic State Collapse

Over 3,000 Yazidi women remain unaccounted for

Despite the fall of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, no justice appears on the horizon for the Yazidis, who were brutally targeted for mass destruction by the terror group. Over 3,000 members of the faith—which incorporates elements of the three major monotheistic religions—are still missing, with many believed to have been killed by ISIS or still be in captivity. This, as thousands of others who have returned home remain in desperate need of humanitarian aid.

The demise of the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate can be traced back to the liberation of Mosul, Iraq, in July 2017, which was followed by the recapture of ISIS’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria in October. Beneath the ruins memories of the terror group’s rapid rise and crimes are buried, along with many Yazidis, whose villages in and around Sinjar—located in Iraqi Kurdistan—were initially besieged in August 2014. Since then, Yazidi men have been serially executed, with women and children sold off to ISIS fighters in slave markets. These horrors perpetrated by the Islamic State were the first to garner widespread media attention and, in turn, become etched into the world’s collective consciousness.

Though ISIS has suffered significant setbacks, having lost more than 90 percent of its territory, this has not put an end to Yazidi suffering. “The genocide is ongoing and the situation is just getting worse because of political [instability],” according Ahmed Burjus, Deputy Executive Director of the Yazda human rights organization dedicated to helping the minority group. Referring to the over 3,000 missing Yazidis, he confirmed to The Media Line that some “are still [alive and in the possession] of ISIS in Turkey and other countries.” Others have been barbarically slaughtered, as evidenced by the “sixteen mass graves that were just found in Sinjar.”

Burjus stressed that there are many obstacles preventing aid organizations from attending to thousands of freed Yazidis. “With the great influx of Yazidi victims, we are asking anti-ISIS organizations and the [Iraqi] government to intervene, but no serious action is being taken.” Therefore, Yazda is forced to “work with overseas humanitarian organizations which recognize the cause,” with relocation efforts being facilitated by a limited amount of countries such as Canada and Australia.

Notably, Burjus claimed, “not one ISIS militant has been prosecuted” even though the organization’s gross rights violations are well documented. In this respect, The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) previously concluded that ISIS’ abuse of Yazidis amounted to crimes against humanity. As recently as this past August, The United Nations Assistance for Iraq issued a report, in conjunction with the OHCHR, highlighting the ongoing plight of those Yazidis captured and sexually exploited by the Islamic State.

Azzat Alsaleem, a Yazidi activist, echoed these sentiments, telling The Media Line that while “many Yazidis [are in areas that have been] liberated, some [still] live in homes belonging to the Islamic State and Iraq is not prepared to search for them.” He added that “many Sunni families have kept Yazidis as hostages, implanting them with a fear that Iraqi forces will kill them.

“ISIS terrorists and numerous Muslim families from Mosul have taken many Yazidis with them to places like Turkey and Baghdad,” Alsaleem elaborated. “Either they make fake IDs or have connections with corrupt officers in the Iraqi government. Family members lack the money in which to reclaim Yazidi hostages as they have lost everything. A few days ago, A Yazidi father was forced to take a loan in order to free his daughters who had been enslaved for over three years.”

For his part, U.S. soldier Michael Ledford, who fought against ISIS in Iraqi Kurdistan, was exposed to the hardships endured by the Yazidis and later co-founded The Yazidi Times Facebook group to support their cause. His activism has allowed for multiple missing Yazidis to be located and “help[ed] a few Yazidis flee Iraq to Germany and the U.S.” Ledford added that while some 800 Yazidis currently live in Nebraska alone, “he failed to obtain government support.” In this respect, he further contended that both private relief groups and public bodies, including the KRG, have “become greedy and money [is] more important than the women and children.”

Sufyan Hammo, a Yazidi Public Relations Officer at Yazidi Human Rights Organization International, stressed to The Media Line from Sinjar that there is a “need [for] urgent help.” The U.S.-led coalition forces “have not liberated any Yazidi girls,” he asserted, while those who have returned “need major psychological treatment, medical injections for those who have been raped as well as abortions. Some Yazidi girls gave birth to one or two children while in ISIS captivity, yet never raised those kids because of the [associated] trauma.

“How do we have a future in Sinjar,” he questioned, “how can one Yazidi girl, who was raped more than 100 times in her village, return home and remember what happened?”

Hammo, like many activists, believes the Yazidi community has no future in Iraq unless the international community intervenes to provide the minority group with protections and assistance. Otherwise, he predicted the Yazidi population will continue to dwindle.

(Daniella P. Cohen is a Student Intern in The Media Line’s Press and Policy Student Program)

http://www.themedialine.org/human-right ... -collapse/
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