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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 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:33 am

France takes in
27 Yazidi women


27 Yazidi women arrived in France with their children on Wednesday from Iraq, fulfilling President Emmanuel Macron's pledge to take in 100 families from the ethnic group who were victims of assault by Islamic State fighters.

The families were greeted at Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris by Eric Chevallier, head of the foreign ministry's crisis management division.

"Your children are going to go to school, you're going to make friends," Chevallier said, after they arrived from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Many of the children were still quite young, but others were adolescents, some dressed up in suits and ties for the occasion.

"What we've lived through these past five years is unimaginable. Today France is opening its arms to us, we can only be grateful," 30-year-old mother Turko told AFP.

"The first thing we would like to do is learn the language, send our children to school and learn French culture. Afterward our children will decide what they want to do with their lives."

The government is not releasing the names of the families, as they were long persecuted by IS fighters and many still fear for their lives.

Some were held in sexual slavery and struggled to regain a place in Yazidi society, others had to flee their homes as men died while trying to resist the IS advance.

"They have high expectations," said Giovanni Cassani, head of the International Organization for Migration in Erbil, who accompanied the women on their flight.

"On the one hand it was difficult to leave their country of origin, their family, their village, but there is also the excitement of starting a new life in a new country, with plenty of possibilities," he said.

The families were put on buses to be taken to different regions of France, officials said.

With the 27 women who arrived Wednesday, the foreign ministry said France had taken in 102 Yazidi families since last December.

Macron pledged in October 2018 to bring to France 100 Yazidi women who were targeted for sexual assault in northern Iraq beginning in 2014.

The offer came following a meeting in Paris with Nadia Murad after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaign to end sexual violence as a weapon of war.

Murad was one of thousands of Yazidi women captured by IS militants before they were driven out of Sinjar and other parts of Iraq, starting with campaigns by Kurdish forces backed by US-led coalition forces.

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https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/ ... tims-of-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 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:59 am

Yazidi women not
just ISIS sex slaves


On August 3 2014, ISIS attacked the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq, as part of their campaign to eradicate the Yazidi people and “purify” the region of non-Islamic influences

Yazidi women seized by Isis are not merely sex slaves – a term which oversexualises their ordeal and diminishes their trauma. They are collateral damage in a systematic attempt to wipe out an entire people

Image

That same day, Prince Tahseen Said, leader of the Yazidi people, issued an “urgent distress call” to the international community to “to assume their humanitarian and nationalistic responsibilities” and help the 40,000 Yazidis who had fled their homes in the district.

But it was already too late for Nadia Murad. Aged 19, she lived in the quiet farming village of Kocho, within the area around Sinjar ISIS had selected for “purification”. Before the Isis militants arrived, she lived with her large family of brothers and sisters and was studying at high school, harbouring dreams of becoming a history teacher and perhaps a make-up artist.

But Nadia's dreams were shattered as war ravaged Sinjar. Now she was simply an ISIS sex slave.

ISIS offered the Yazidi villagers a choice: convert to Islam or be executed on the spot. To young girls and women a third path was presented: slavery. Nadia's mother was considered too old to be enslaved, and so was executed. Nadia and her two sisters joined thousands of other women to become chattels of ISIS.

Last month, Nadia and another young Yazidi woman, Lamiya Aji Bashar, were jointly named recipients of the European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for speaking out at the ordeal they suffered.

Three months after her capture and sexual enslavement, Nadia managed to escape her captors thanks to a neighbouring family who smuggled her out of the area. She had by this point lost 18 members of her family.

Lamiya tried to escape several times before finally managing to flee with the help of people smugglers who were paid by her family, but not before a landmine exploded leaving her injured and almost blind.

Image

Before they escaped and were brought to the West, both women had suffered unspeakable brutality at the hands of their captors, who routinely kidnap women and children to “give” to the faithful Isis soldiers and trade in modern slavery markets in Isis-controlled territories.

Indeed, the phrase “Isis sex slaves” has passed into common currency... and therein lies something of a problem in the way we, the West, perceive this abhorrent situation in the Middle East.

Could it be there's something of an unseemly salaciousness with which we devour stories of sexual enslavement in far off lands? “Sex slave” has an almost exotic ring to it, as though we are talking about harems of perfumed and ultimately compliant women wrapped in bright silks in the desert tent of some brooding nomadic chieftain. It has a 1970s News of the World vibe, edging into almost Carry On-esque imagery.

“The terminology reduces the trauma that these women have gone through,” says Dr Katherine E Brown, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham. “It oversexualises what they are going through.”

Image

Because while the Yazidi women seized by ISIS are indeed slaves, bartered and sold in markets to the highest bidder, and while they are the victims of relentless sexual violence, the impact is even more wide-ranging than that.

“It is not only the fact that they are being raped,” says Dr Brown. She has to choose her words carefully so as not to lessen the impact of this brutality while at the same time bringing in the bigger picture. “The women have had all their human rights removed, and the rape is a big part of that. They have been removed from their communities and their communities have effectively been destroyed. Whole ethnic groups are being eradicated.”

In other words, it is genocide – as US Secretary of State John Kerry asserted at a press conference in March, saying in unvarnished terms that Isis “is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiia Muslims”.

It is a stated aim of ISIS to “ethnically cleanse” the region of non-Muslims, and the Yazidi – whose religion is an amalgamation of aspects of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam, thought to have been founded in the 11th Century – are in the group's sights. And it isn’t the first time they have suffered. Under Ottoman rule in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Yazidi were subjected to no fewer than 72 individual massacres, killing thousands.

Is there a difference between ethnic cleansing and genocide? The Encyclopaedia Britannica suggests there is, in that ethnic cleansing aims to create an ethnically homogenous territory, while genocide goes a step further and achieves that aim by the systematic destruction of a particular group of people.

Yet, even in the face of an ethnic group facing proposed extinction, we still focus on one aspect: the fact the women are becoming sex slaves. Perhaps part of this is due to Isis going out of its way to make a point of publicising their campaign of sexual violence against Yazidi women.

Rape as a weapon of war is nothing new, and was widely utilised in the Balkan conflicts, especially in Bosnia, in the 1990s. But the Serb forces who (predominantly) used it seemed to do so as part of the overall assault on other ethnic groups, a side effect, perhaps, of the conflict, merely one weapon in their arsenal.

Image

With ISIS, rape is part of their propaganda campaign in their bid to wipe out the Yazidi. And perhaps there is a method in their brutality above control, subjugation and violence for its own sake; the Yazidi culture dictates that women who form relationships with non-Yazidis automatically take on the religion of their partner. Isis is effectively raping the Yazidis out of existence, one horrific assault at a time.

Dr Brown says, ”The women are enslaved partly as a reward for Isis soldiers, partly as a weapon against non-Muslim groups. With Bosnia it seemed that rape was a byproduct of genocide; for ISIS it is something to be publicly celebrated.“

It is perhaps by focusing on the rapes we are imposing a narrative of our own on the situation – that of the rapacious, brutal enemy – that is supported by the Iraqi Peshmerga Kurds who are also fighting Isis and whose interest it is in to be seen by the West as the polar opposite of the ISIS terror brigade.

The presentation of the Sakharov Prize to Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar does focus attention on the plight of the Yazidi, perhaps going some way to cutting through the fog of war that obscures fact and truth. But still, says Dr Brown, ultimately “one of the biggest problems is that women's voices are still not considered legitimate”. The propaganda comes from men fighting the war, on all sides, and women’s experience is reduced to their sexual treatment.

It's a similar story on the flip-side of the ISIS sex slaves narrative – that of the “Jihadi Brides”. Whereas the Yazidi are forced into subjugation, Western women are freely going to join Isis... but with the same outcome.

Dr Brown says, ”The language is related, everything is reduced down to sex. Why would women give up what could be considered a relatively amazing life in the West to go to a horrific life with ISIS? Using terminology such as ‘Jihadi Bride’ suggests it is because they are naive, emotional and want sex. But it’s much more complex than that.”

With the estimate of women captured by Isis in the thousands, what will happen when – or if – the war is won against the terror group? Dr Brown takes as a reference point the situation in Afghanistan, when there was a lot of talk of prioritising women's rights in the aftermath of Western intervention.

She says, “In the instance of the Iraqi state defeating Isis we’ll probably see a lot of nice words about women's rights, but they will probably be just that: nice words. Even with the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 insisting that women are included in peace building, the international communities’ track record isn't exactly stunning.

“What we see is that in the aftermath, a lot of the concerns about the communities directly affected and what can be done for them end up being bargained away.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 45151.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:51 pm

Jewish Schindler
rescued sex slaves


‘Jewish Schindler’ recounts how he rescued girls from ISIS

It all began with the hunt for an extremely valuable old Bentley that lay amid the rubble of war-ravaged Iraq.

Montreal businessman Steve Maman was an importer of vintage cars who scoured the globe for collectors. He became aware through a friend of the king of Morocco, where Maman was born in 1973, that, among the thousands of vehicles that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had owned was this coveted convertible.

Although in ruinous condition, Maman’s client, the well-known Demers family of Quebec, wanted it. Maman located the Bentley, but that quest would pale in comparison to a life-and-death mission that he could never have dreamed would consume three years of his life.

In 2015, Maman, an Orthodox Jew and father of six, created a foundation known as the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI), in the wake of the genocide perpetrated by ISIS. Thousands of women and girls were being captured, tortured and forced into sex slavery.

Maman had made some influential contacts in Iraq, notably Canon Andrew White, an envoy of the Anglican Church, and his young Kurdish protégé who had first-hand experience in covert humanitarian relief, including trying to get the last five Jews in Baghdad out, an effort with which Maman became involved a little earlier.

Maman raised about $1.5 million to rescue the Yazidi captives, then assembled a multifaith CYCI team to negotiate their release and get them out of the country.

Maman claims 140 Yazidi females were liberated by CYCI from ISIS territory between June and November 2015, and thousands more Yazidis and other refugees from ISIS terrorism were assisted after that.

Maman courted international media attention, which aroused serious questions about what he was doing. Indeed, some Yazidi leaders believed Maman had not saved as many people as he claimed and took issue with his tactics.

Today, however, Maman feels vindicated.

CYCI still exists, but wound up most of its activities in 2017. Maman has kept a low profile since then, but on Nov. 20, he spoke at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in Montreal, revealing aspects of his work that he said he had not talked about before.

He accepted to do so, he explained, because the congregation and particularly its president, Edmond Elbaz, were among the few in the Montreal Jewish community to encourage his mission, which he describes as one of kiddush ha-Shem.

Over an hour and a half, Maman related an incredible story, which he stressed is documented, including each of the liberations, from beginning to end.

Maman credited his daughter Alexa, as well as Julia Benlolo Maman (no relation), the niece of the synagogue’s cantor, Daniel Benlolo, with being key to CYCI’s success.

Maman said he had the support of the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who he described as a “hero” who inspired him, and that Morocco also played an integral role.

The most serious question asked was whether CYCI was paying ISIS. “We never paid ransom to terrorists,” he insisted.

Typically, CYCI would try to buy the women from the “civilians” who purchased them from ISIS, using currency and legal threats, or directly at market.

Between November 2015 and November 2016, CYCI distributed food, clothing, medical supplies and other necessities to the 25,000 Yazidis, Christians and Muslims in refugee camps in Kurdistan, he said.

Throughout 2016, CYCI also operated in Greece. “We took 2,311 Yazidi refugees from Lesvos and assisted in transferring them to Germany. We paid everything from train, bus and ferry tickets to food rations,” he said.

“We then proceeded to the Macedonian border, where 20,000 refugees were amassed, as we had heard the Yazidis were being beaten and badly treated. There were 1,500 Yazidis in tents in the middle of 20,000 Syrians and others.”

In partnership with the Greek government, the Yazidis were taken to a camp on Mount Olympus.

Maman believes he has proved the skeptics wrong because CYCI documented – through videos, testimonies and fingerprinted paperwork – everything it did and published it on its website.

“This is our work. Nobody can ever take it away for us or diminish it,” said Maman, who says he at first resisted the sobriquet “the Jewish Schindler,” but now accepts it with pride.

Maman is still haunted by how the rescues ended though. At the beginning of 2016, a group of 20 girls that CYCI brought to the Syrian border were not allowed to pass by the Kurdish government, then led by President Masoud Barzani, said Maman, who to this day does not know their fate.

Maman said he was under RCMP protection for two years, but believes he never had a problem because he avoided criticizing Islam and stuck to the humanitarian goal.

In fact, he called some in the media a bigger obstacle than ISIS. “A Jewish man helping Christians and Yazidis did not fit their narrative of the Jewish state persecuting the Palestinians,” he said.

https://www.cjnews.com/living-jewish/je ... -from-isis
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:01 pm

The Yazidis’ Crisis
Continues to Unfold


Ending It Is a Moral Imperative

Yazidi women attend a ceremony to commemorate women who were killed by Islamic State militants at Lalish Temple in Shikhan, northern Iraq, March 8, 2019.

What the U.S., Iraq, the U.N., and the EU can do to help the ethnic minority return to their homeland in Iraq

The genocide of the Yazidis in northern Iraq’s Sinjar District will be remembered as one of the darkest chapters in the rise and “fall” of ISIS. It is hard to fathom the pain, suffering, and losses the Yazidis have endured. Five years after the genocide, the community remains shattered and deserted. Most of its homes and farmland were destroyed.

The number of boys and men who were summarily slaughtered is estimated at 7,000 to 10,000, and nearly 400,000 Yazidis continue to languish in camps. Thousands, including women and children, suffer from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). Thousands of women were raped, many repeatedly, while thousands of others were sold as sex slaves.

The many thousands who have been injured are still in desperate need of medical treatment. Alas, there seems to be no end in sight to the Yazidis’ unfolding crisis, as they are now living in extreme anxiety and fear, not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Marginal Help

Many individuals and a few countries have made efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Yazidis. A Yazidi who lived in Iraq and was an interpreter for the U.S. Army in Iraq co-founded Yazda, a U.S. nongovernmental organization that supports the Yazidi community. A group of Israelis, led by Ari Zivotofsky and Yaakov Hoffman, with the support of Bar Ilan University, brought 16 women to Israel for training on how to treat women back home who suffer from CPTSD. Nadia Murad, a Yazidi woman who co-won the Nobel Peace Prize, continues to work relentlessly to bring the plight of her people to the attention of the international community.

Germany provided invaluable assistance by accepting more than 1,100 women and children who had been rescued, and in Armenia, another country that understands the meaning of genocide, some 50,000 Yazidis found a second homeland. They recently opened Quba Mere Diwane, the largest Yazidi temple in the world, in Aknalich, Armenia. Yazidis are represented in the Armenian parliament. Canada has also helped, offering itself as a haven for Yazidi women and girls since 2017. At least 1,200 have been resettled as of June 2019.

Causes of the Persecution

The goodwill and the efforts of these countries and concerned individuals have been great, but they have fallen short because of the enormous magnitude of the humanitarian crisis facing the Yazidis. Amnesty International found clear evidence that ISIS targeted the rural environment that supports the people who live off the land. The Yazidis now face new threats caused by four interrelated developments, which are making their repatriation and rehabilitation extremely challenging.

First, the precipitous withdrawal of American troops from Syria has created a vacuum that Turkey, Russia, and Iran has been quick to fill. Despite President Trump’s claim that ISIS was “100 percent defeated,” the Pentagon in a report in August said that the group “solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was resurging in Syria.” The pullout of U.S. troops has already had devastating consequences for all minority groups, especially the Kurds, Yazidis, and Christians.

Second, Trump’s ill-fated withdrawal of U.S. forces invited Turkey to invade Syria — and invasion that Ankara was preparing for these past two years. There was never any love lost between the Turks and the Yazidis.

The tension goes back to the Ottoman Empire. In 1915, entire Yazidi villages were wiped out; thousands were killed and many more displaced. When Turkey took control of the Afrin region in Syria, Turkish soldiers and proxy fighters in Syria were engaged in ethnic cleansing; they rained havoc on Yazidi temples, and many Yazidis were expelled from the areas.

What makes matter worse is the fact that owing to ISIS’s deliberate targeting of agriculture, on which the Yazidis were wholly dependent for both their main food source and main source of income, no Yazidis who depend on agriculture live in Sinjar in northern Iraq any longer.

Amnesty International reports that the area around Sinjar suffered some of the worst destruction: “Irrigation wells . . . were often sabotaged with rubble, oil, or other foreign objects. Blockage was often accompanied by theft and/or destruction of the pump, cables, generators and transformers. IS[IS] also burnt or chopped down orchards and pulled down and stole vital electricity lines.”

Third, the Turkish invasion of Syria gave rise to the regrouping of ISIS. Not surprisingly, armed factions loyal to Turkey have released or simply allowed thousands of ISIS fighters to escape from prisons. One of ISIS’s main goals remains the annihilation of minority groups including the Yazidis. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights recorded scores of incidents in which ethnic-minority civilians were kidnapped; many, including women, were executed, and ISIS and Turkish fighters mutilated female corpses.

Fourth, a significant part of Sinjar, which was populated by Yazidis, has now fallen to an array of militia groups, including pro-Iranian and other jihadists who have adopted a hit-and-run tactic. Now they are free to rampage through the area and inflict mortal danger, if not expel the Yazidis from Iraq altogether. The high level of insecurity and the ongoing conflict render Yazidi children vulnerable to forcible conscription by militias in Sinjar and the surrounding areas.

The U.N. Human Rights Council affirmed that, in the aftermath of the ISIS campaign to eradicate the Yazidi community in Sinjar, “the 400,000-strong community had all been displaced, captured, or killed. . . . The majority of the region’s Yazidis live difficult and impoverished existences in IDP [internally displaced person] camps scattered throughout the Duhok region of northern Iraq.” Complicating and impeding the return of the Yazidis are a housing shortage, insufficient security, insufficient access to basic services, and the mental trauma suffered by survivors.

Urgent Plan of Action

The need for a comprehensive plan of action to alleviate the plight of the Yazidis by resettling them in their ancient homeland is desperate and urgent. There is little time to spare, because a new peril faces this vulnerable community. The camps for internally displaced Yazidis do not have access to health care and face a scarcity of medical supplies. Resources to provide psychological and emotional healing, especially for the young, are lacking.

Because Iraqi security forces do not have the capacity by themselves to control Sinjar and other rural areas in Iraq, the Yazidis are fearful of returning to their homes. The security problem is compounded by thousands of land mines and unexploded ordinances of the sort that have claimed the lives of scores who have attempted to return.

There are four main actors that can help the Yazidis return to their homeland and begin the arduous process of building their shattered lives and of healing.

Notwithstanding the Iraqi government’s preoccupation with internal unrest, it must take special care to acknowledge the danger that Yazidis still face; it must stop short of nothing in the search for missing Yazidis and in the effort to repatriate them. Given that Sinjar is an integral part of Iraq, the Iraqi government must work with the U.S., the EU, and the U.N. and assume the task of coordinating all the assistance coming from outside. That central first step would begin with the placement of adequate security forces in the area.

The Iraqi Kurds have remained steadfast in their efforts to repel ISIS attacks in Iraq. Their heroism and commitment have prevented an even worse catastrophe. Despite their territorial dispute, both the Kurdistan regional government and the Iraqi government should train and arm able young Yazidis, along with state armed forces, to defend the Sinjar area.

The EU can provide financial support, offer vocational training to Yazidis and in particular train scores of Yazidi men and women to provide basic medical assistance, including psychiatric help for Yazidis who suffer from PTSD. In addition, European states should work with Iraq and the U.S. in the formation of peacekeeping troops.

Ideally, the U.N. Security Council would pass a resolution and station a multinational peacekeeping force in Sinjar. Granted, the Yazidi situation is largely an Iraqi problem, the U.S. military force in Iraq is already significant. The U.N. can at least direct special agencies, including the U.N. Refugee Agency, the U.N. Development Program, and the U.N. Children’s Fund, to assist the Yazidis.

The U.S. should assume yet greater responsibility to support the return of displaced Yazidis, by providing financial aid, medical assistance, and rehabilitation expertise. Together with Iraqi security forces, the U.S. should defend the area and provide the military hardware needed for that purpose.

Such measures to be taken by the U.S. could be incorporated into the resolution that was submitted by Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R., Neb.) and Anna Eshoo (D., Calif) in March 2019 and referred to the House Committee of Foreign Affairs. According to the resolution,

    (1) it should be a policy priority of the United States, working with international partners, the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and local populations, to support the safe return of displaced indigenous people of the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar to their ancestral homeland;

    (2) Iraqi Security Forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga should work to more fully integrate all communities, including religious minority communities to counter current and future terrorist threats; and

    (3) the United States, working with international allies and partners, should coordinate efforts to provide for the safe return and future security of religious minorities in the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar.
I would suggest the addition of a fourth article: The U.S. should provide an initial sum of at least $250 million to support health care, farm supplies, infrastructure, and security, to be coordinated with the Kurdish regional and the Iraqi central governments.

I fully agree with Representative Fortenberry, who states:

    The prospect of unprecedented exodus, with most never returning, is real. If this happens, Iraq will lose the possibility for a healthy pluralism. Iran will seek to expand its influence. Permanent refugee camps will dot the landscape, placing inordinate pressure on Kurdistan and the Iraqi government in Baghdad. ISIS could regenerate.

    The Yazidis have suffered enough. The longer they remain, with limited resources, scattered outside their homeland, the more they become vulnerable in the face of the prospective return of ISIS and other militias. It is urgent for the Iraqi government, in coordination with other players, to act with precision and with no further delay, lest the Yazidis become the victims of a second genocide.
This is a moral imperative. The countries that can prevent another catastrophe must come together to rescue the Yazidis, who have been subjected to unfathomable atrocities for no other reason than that they are ethnically distinct.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/11/ ... mperative/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:39 am

From captive to activist

a Yezidi girl's fight against violence

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At only 18, Iman Abbas has overcome suffering that would break many - the Yezidi was repeatedly sold as a "slave" by jihadists but escaped to become an award-winning advocate for fellow survivors.

"Because of what I've been through, I don't consider myself a teenager," the softly-spoken Abbas said in her family's modest two-room tent in the Sharia displacement camp in northern Iraq's Kurdish region.

The tall, dark-haired young woman recently returned from Mumbai, where she received the prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial Award on behalf of the region's Yezidi Rescue Office (YRO), with whom she works.

The YRO has helped rescue around 5,000 Yezidi girls taken captive when the Islamic State group swept through the minority's ancestral homeland in northwest Iraq in 2014.

Receiving the award was "emotional", recalled Abbas, wearing a traditional Yezidi layered white robe and headpiece.

"When I shared my story and the stories of other Yezidi female survivors, some attendees started crying," she told AFP in an interview ahead of the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked on Monday.

"The ceremony lessened some of my pain, but it increased my responsibility of helping other women survivors."

Abbas was just 13 when the Islamic State (ISIS) stormed through the rugged villages of Sinjar, forcing thousands of Yezidi women and girls into "sex slavery", killing men en masse and taking the boys as child soldiers.

She was immediately separated from her family by the jihadists, who proceeded to sell her and other Yezidi women on "slave markets" to ISIS members.

Abbas was sold three times, eventually ending up with a 40-year-old Iraqi ISIS doctor who pledged to set her free if she memorised 101 pages of the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

'Painful stories'

Yezidis are a Kurdish-speaking ethno-religious minority, so learning to recite new religious texts in Arabic was an enormous challenge for the terrified teenager.

"Every day, he was asking me to sit in front of him and recite the Quran. I was able to memorise 101 pages in one month and four days," she said.

Her captor promptly took her to an ISIS court in the group's Iraqi bastion of Mosul to issue a formal document from its self-styled "caliphate", declaring Abbas "a free Muslim girl".

She found her away to Tal Afar in northwest Iraq, where the rest of her family had been put to work as ISIS slaves tending to flocks of sheep.

In 2015, they were rescued by YRO and resettled in Sharia, a sprawling camp now home to over 17,000 displaced Yezidis.

Now, Abbas spends half her days in school and the other half working with the very same office that rescued her.

IS lost its Iraqi strongholds in 2017 and was ousted from its last shred of territory in neighbouring Syria in March.

Hundreds of Yezidis who had been held captive for years streamed out as the last vestiges of the jihadists' "caliphate" crumbled.

But several thousand remain unaccounted for, according to the YRO.

Some have converted to Islam and still live with Muslim families, too afraid, ashamed or "brainwashed" to come home, Yezidi officials say.

Abbas said part of her mission at YRO, where she started working just under a year ago, is to coax these women and girls into returning to their original families.

She has also interviewed more than 50 rescued girls to document their stories in the organisation's archives, a job which she says makes her "sad and happy at the same time".

"I have to hear all these horrible stories, each one different from the other. They're all very painful, some even more painful than my own," she said.

But she is also proud of the work she does: "I'm glad to be part of the process of rescuing women survivors."

Only the beginning

Her path has echoed that of Nadia Murad, the Yezidi survivor who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for her advocacy work.

Since her Mumbai trip, Abbas has herself become something of a mini-celebrity, especially within the camp where she lives.

Her parents field phone call after phone call expressing congratulations and thanks for their daughter's activism.

"I noticed Iman has become happier and stronger since she started to share her story publicly," said her father Abdullah, proudly telling AFP she has already swayed his opinions on the power of storytelling.

"At first, whenever she talked about her captivity, I used to turn my back to her because it was very painful for me to listen to her face-to-face," he said.

But now he wants every Yezidi survivor to speak out, believing it will both help the individual and the broken minority.

Abbas is now taking English courses -- but they're only the beginning of her activist ambitions.

"In the future, I want to become a lawyer to get familiar with Iraqi and international law so I can defend the rights of Yezidi female survivors as well as other ISIS victims," she said.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/251120191
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:25 am

Five years after ISIS massacre
Yazidi transformed by trauma


It’s been five years since the Islamic State killed 3,100 Yazidi people in Iraq – mostly men and the elderly – forced 6,800 women and children into sexual slavery, marriage or religious conversion and sent hundreds of thousands fleeing

Image

The Islamic State saw the Yazidis as infidels with no right to exist under the extremist group’s rule. The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking Mideast minority whose monotheistic religion differs from Islam, Judaism and Christianity. They have a distinct historical lineage and no systematic requirement of fasting or prayer for the faithful. The Yazidis have lived in northern Iraq since at least the 12th century.

Today, more than 3,000 enslaved Yazidi women and children in Iraq have been freed from ISIS captivity, but life is far from normal.

Since 2017, we have interviewed over a hundred Yazidi survivors, both in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Germany, where several thousand Yazidis have sought asylum since the massacre. Our research documented long-lasting emotional, cultural and spiritual effects from the violence they experienced.

Exhuming a mass grave in Iraq’s northwestern region of Sinjar, where IS’s assault of the Yazidis occurred, March 15, 2019.

Cynicism and secularization

This once tight-knit religious community has been transformed by the Islamic State’s assault, albeit in different ways for different people.

Those who survived the August 2014 massacre – which the United Nations has declared a genocide – now live as displaced people in Iraqi Kurdistan or as refugees abroad.

For many Yazidis, religious practice has been replaced by a struggle to survive.

“I don’t care what will happen to the Yazidi identity in the future, or if all Yazidis live in foreign countries,” said Gule, a displaced Yazidi woman we met in a Yazidi village in Duhok, Iraq.

To protect the anonymity of our interviewees, who continue to be vulnerable and insecure, we refer to them by their first names only.

Gule, who once had a house in her village, now lives in a tent with her children and chronically ill husband. All she wants for Yazidis is “a house, an income.”

Being targeted for their religious identity has made Xidir, a young man in his late 20s, disillusioned with religion in general.

“When you look at what has happened, not only this genocide [but] all these wars, all this violence, you see it is because of religion,” Xidir told us.

Xidir lives in a camp for displaced Yazidis in Iraqi Kurdistan and struggles to provide for his family.

“I don’t believe in any religion anymore,” he told us. “I wish I could erase all religions from the Earth.”

Embracing Yazidi identity

Others have had the opposite experience.

The Yazidis have long led a precarious existence alongside their Muslim and Christian neighbors in Iraq. The Islamic State’s assault was a bitter reminder that they are a persecuted people, causing many to feel more strongly committed to their faith.

“Before I would say, I am a Yazidi, and that was it. But now it is different,” said Azad, who had escaped to Kurdistan with his family during the ISIS attacks. “When I say I am a Yazidi [now], I embrace it in a whole new way.”

Yazidi refugees who escaped ISIS – many on foot – at the Newroz camp in Iraq, Aug. 13, 2014.

Some of the Yazidis we spoke with expressed greater concern for Yazidi holy sites like the Lalish temple complex in Iraqi Kurdistan. They said they were determined to preserve Yazidi oral traditions, such as religious hymns known as “qawls,” and to pass their faith on to future generations.

But they are not necessarily strict practitioners of the Yazidi religion, praying daily or making pilgrimages to the Lalish. In fact, many Yazidis we interviewed in Germany – like other war refugees just struggling to survive in their new homes – had become more secular.

Their renewed interest in their Yazidi identity was primarily cultural and political. They advocate for their community on social media and see Yazidis as a separate ethnic group with a unique history – a people that should have autonomous political representation in Iraq, perhaps even self-rule.

Yazidi women find power and struggle

The status of women in Yazidi society has also changed since the massacre, our research found.

Despite some recent advances in women’s rights, the Yazidi culture remains deeply patriarchal. Women’s educational attainment, labor participation and political representation is very low. Many Yazidi women marry as young as 15 and become financially dependent on, and socially subordinate to, their husbands for the rest of their lives.

This social structure was upended by the Islamic State’s highly gendered attack, in which men were killed, while women and girls were kidnapped.

Some Iraqi Yazidi women actually gained real or symbolic power. The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, for example, survived IS captivity to become an international activist.

Nadia Murad has been globally honored for her efforts to obtain justice for the Yazidis, Feb. 6, 2019. US Dept. of State

We also met some Yazidi women working outside the home for the first time.

“I work with people from all backgrounds, I travel alone,” said Leila, a college graduate from Sinjar who works for an international Christian philanthropy.

“My family respects this, as I contribute to the family budget,” she said. “I feel confident and proud of myself.”

The lives of most Yazidi women, however, are more precarious than before.

Many lost not only their homes but also their husbands, fathers and brothers – the breadwinners. And while the Yazidi religious leadership welcomed women survivors back from IS captivity, the community strongly opposes integrating the children born of rape by IS members, forcing some mothers to make an impossible choice between their children and their people.

‘I am not afraid to tell my story’

When we met 31-year-old Nesreen in the summer of 2018, she was living in a Yazidi village in Duhok, Iraq. She told us her husband was killed by IS and that she and her two children had endured almost three years of enslavement.

No one in her family had received therapy. They all live together in a tent, dependent on a monthly allowance of 100,000 Iraqi dinars – around US$84 – from the Kurdistan regional government.

With the help of her brother, Nesreen had written a manuscript telling the story of her captivity.

“I escaped the hell and I am not scared to tell my story,” she told us. But, she wondered, “How can we get a normal life after all this?”

http://theconversation.com/5-years-afte ... uma-126917
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:33 am

U.N. investigators
eye 160 ISIS militants


United Nations investigators have so far identified 160 Islamic State militants accused of massacres of Yazidis in northern Iraq in 2014 and are building legal cases against them, the head of the team told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday

The U.N. investigative team, created by the U.N. Security Council, started work a year ago to collect and preserve evidence for future prosecution of acts by Islamic State in Iraq that may be war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

“In relation to the Yazidi community alone, the crimes that targeted them, we have identified over 160 perpetrators of massacres against the Yazidis ... and we’re focusing our work to build solid cases hopefully in relation to each of those that may be presented to domestic courts,” said Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, head of the U.N. team.

U.N. experts warned in June 2016 that Islamic State was committing genocide against the Yazidis in Syria and Iraq to destroy the minority religious community through killings, sexual slavery and other crimes.

Islamic State militants consider the Yazidis to be devil-worshippers. The Yazidi faith has elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam.

Nadia Murad, who won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney played a key role in pushing for the U.N. investigative team. Murad is a Yazidi woman who was enslaved and raped by Islamic State fighters in 2014.

Islamic State overran the Yazidi faith’s heartland of Sinjar in northern Iraq in 2014, forcing young women into servitude as “wives” for its fighters and massacring men and older women.

Yazidi survivor Kachi, whose full name was withheld to protect him, addressed the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

“After shooting at us, ISIL members left to another place. I found myself under a pile of dead bodies,” he told the council. “When I opened my eyes I saw three of my brothers. They were next to me. They were dead. So were my nephews and my cousins.”

He said his wife and daughters were kidnapped and sold as slaves and that he had lost some 75 members of his family.

“Five years have passed and I can still hear my wife and my daughters screaming when the members of ISIL kidnapped them. I can also hear the voice of my daughter Lara, who was three months old when she passed away in captivity because of thirst and hunger,” Kachi said.

He said the Yazidis now want justice

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mide ... SKBN1Y02F1
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:07 am

ISIS members
accused of atrocities


War crimes investigation identifies ISIS members accused of Yazidi atrocities in Iraq

UN says information is 'incontrovertible' evidence for prosecutions

A war crimes probe has identified 160 ISIS members who could eventually face prosecution for atrocities carried out against the Yazidi community in northern Iraq, the UN Security Council was told on Tuesday.

The UN team known as Unitad, set up a year ago to make ISIS accountable for its crimes, says its information gathering has increased significantly in the past six months.

Criminal case files are being prepared and the inquiry's geographical scope was recently broadened.

Karim Khan, a UN special adviser and head of the team, said members met tribal leaders, victims' relatives and survivors in Arbil, Tal Afar, Mosul, Anbar Province, Diyala Province, Nineveh and other parts of Iraq.

“Despite suffering abduction, enslavement and unspeakable treatment, they were willing to re-engage with these memories to assist in holding their abusers to account,” Mr Khan said.

He was referring to meetings he had with ISIS victims in Dohuk, northern Iraq, last week.

Mosul, Sinjar and Camp Speicher in Tikrit are prime areas being looked at the 107-member UN team, more than half of whom are women.

More than 50 per cent of its senior management positions are also held by women, Mr Khan said.

Laser scanning of crime scenes in Sinjar, where most of the Yazidis lived, has enabled 3D models to be built.

ISIS fighters killed men, abducted children, and raped and enslaved women and girls.

With ballistics data, accounts from survivors and DNA from the remains of victims excavated from mass graves, evidence is also mounting against the killers of judges, religious figures, journalists and health workers.

“In the context of our investigation in relation to the attacks committed against the Yazidi community in Sinjar, we have identified over 160 perpetrators, and have now focused our work to build case files that may be presented to appropriate courts,” Mr Khan told the council.

Iraq's government is assisting the UN team but despite “purposeful steps being taken”, there is still no legislation to try acts committed by ISIS as war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, he said.

“The government of Iraq also facilitated the transfer of an ISIS detainee to Unitad premises to provide testimony,” said Mr Khan, stressing that prosecutions would one day be possible.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/w ... q-1.943185
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:13 am

Yazidi still hears brothers
before ISIS kills them


A survivor of the mass slaughter of the Yazidi minority in Iraq five years ago told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that he still hears his brothers and nephews calling his name before they were killed by Islamic State extremists — and he hears the screams of his wife and three daughters when the militants kidnapped them

The man, who was identified only as Kachi, said he is “still suffering from psychological harm” and “my life is extremely hard.”

But Kachi said in a video briefing that he believes he survived, “under a pile of dead bodies ... by God’s will, to be a witness to the hideous crimes committed by the terrorist group” against the Yazidis.

He urged the international community not only to ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted but to “acknowledge that the crimes committed against the Yazidi community amount to genocide.”

Kachi spoke at a council meeting on activities of the U.N. investigative team promoting accountability for crimes committed by the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq. Diplomats said he used only his first name for fear of reprisals.

Extremists from the Islamic State group, also known as Daesh and ISIL, rampaged through the Sinjar region of northern Iraq in August 2014, destroying villages and religious sites and shooting men and elderly women before kidnapping women and children and selling them in slave markets.

Kachi said he was living in Kojo when “terrorist gangs of Daesh took control over Sinjar and its villages” on Aug. 3, 2014.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled to the Sinjar mountains, but some 7,000 Yazidi women, children and men were killed or captured that day, he said.

Kojo was besieged for 12 days, until Aug. 14, 2014, when large numbers of militants entered the village, initially taking people to a school, robbing all their belongings, and then taking all the men — about 400 — to different locations on the outskirts near its orchards and farms, Kachi said.

“Later, they started shooting at us while shouting, `God is the greatest, Alahu Akbar,’ while carrying ISIL flags,” he said.

When they finished firing, they left for another place, he said.

Kachi said he was slightly injured, but alive under a pile of bodies.

“When I opened my eyes I saw three of my brothers. They were next to me. They were dead. So were my nephews and cousins,” he said.

“I managed to run away for fear of being killed by ISIL,” Kachi said. “I left the remains of my brothers and their children in that mass grave.”

“After all the men were killed, ISIL kidnapped the women, girls and children, around 850 of them, took them to the east of Sinjar,” he added.

“They separated the elderly women from the rest, around 77 women including my stepmother who was 90 years old. ISIL killed those elderly women or buried them alive in a mass grave,” Kachi said.

Then, he said, they took the rest of the women, including his wife and three daughters, and sold them in slave markets in Iraq and Syria.

“Today, I speak before you as I have lost around 75 members of my family and my brothers’ families who were killed at the hands of ISIL,” Kachi said.

Only 19 of Kojo’s 1,250 residents survived, he said

Even though five years have passed, “I can still remember the remains of my brothers and my nephews. And I can still hear them calling my name ... and I can still hear my wife and my daughters screaming when the members of ISIL kidnapped them.”

Kachi said his youngest daughter, Lara, who was 3 months old, died in captivity “because of thirst and hunger.” He did not say where he was speaking from, or what happened to his wife and two other daughters.

Despite the rout of Islamic State extremists, Yazidis say they are still unable to return to Sinjar or locate hundreds of their women and children enslaved by the militant group.

Karim Khan, who heads the U.N. investigative team, told the Security Council that the courage of survivors who come forward underlines the urgency of the team’s work to help ensure “those who inflicted their suffering will be held accountable.”

A year after the team’s arrival in Iraq, he said there has been significant progress in collecting documentary, digital, testimonial and forensic evidence in three priority areas — Mosul, Sinjar and Camp Speicher in Tikrit.

Khan said the team’s investigation of attacks on Yazidis in Sinjar has identified “over 160 perpetrators,” and work is now focused on building “case files that may be presented to appropriate courts.”

Khan said the team has also assisted the prosecution of two alleged Islamic State members facing war crimes charges in Finland and has been approached by other governments seeking its help.

“In a significant development,” he said, “the government of Iraq has also taken purposeful steps towards the introduction of legislation allowing for the prosecution of acts committed by ISIL as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”

https://apnews.com/366390a79e994225aaf9abc856d70cfd
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:31 am

Five Years After
ISIS massacre


It’s been five years since the Islamic State killed 3,100 Yazidi people in Iraq – mostly men and the elderly – forced 6,800 women and children into sexual slavery, marriage or religious conversion and sent hundreds of thousands fleeing

The Islamic State saw the Yazidis as infidels with no right to exist under the extremist group’s rule. The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking Mideast minority whose monotheistic religion differs from Islam, Judaism and Christianity. They have a distinct historical lineage and no systematic requirement of fasting or prayer for the faithful. The Yazidis have lived in northern Iraq since at least the 12th century.

"This once tight-knit religious community has been transformed by the Islamic State’s assault, albeit in different ways for different people."

Today, more than 3,000 enslaved Yazidi women and children in Iraq have been freed from IS captivity, but life is far from normal.

Since 2017, we have interviewed over a hundred Yazidi survivors, both in Iraqi Kurdistan and in Germany, where several thousand Yazidis have sought asylum since the massacre. Our research documented long-lasting emotional, cultural and spiritual effects from the violence they experienced.

Cynicism and secularisation

This once tight-knit religious community has been transformed by the Islamic State’s assault, albeit in different ways for different people.

Those who survived the August 2014 massacre – which the United Nations has declared a genocide – now live as displaced people in Iraqi Kurdistan or as refugees abroad.

For many Yazidis, religious practice has been replaced by a struggle to survive.

“I don’t care what will happen to the Yazidi identity in the future, or if all Yazidis live in foreign countries,” said Gule, a displaced Yazidi woman we met in a Yazidi village in Duhok, Iraq.

To protect the anonymity of our interviewees, who continue to be vulnerable and insecure, we refer to them by their first names only.

Gule, who once had a house in her village, now lives in a tent with her children and chronically ill husband. All she wants for Yazidis is “a house, an income.”

Being targeted for their religious identity has made Xidir, a young man in his late 20s, disillusioned with religion in general.

“When you look at what has happened, not only this genocide [but] all these wars, all this violence, you see it is because of religion,” Xidir told us.

Xidir lives in a camp for displaced Yazidis in Iraqi Kurdistan and struggles to provide for his family.

“I don’t believe in any religion anymore,” he told us. “I wish I could erase all religions from the Earth.”

Embracing Yazidi identity

Others have had the opposite experience.

The Yazidis have long led a precarious existence alongside their Muslim and Christian neighbors in Iraq. The Islamic State’s assault was a bitter reminder that they are a persecuted people, causing many to feel more strongly committed to their faith.

“Before I would say, I am a Yazidi, and that was it. But now it is different,” said Azad, who had escaped to Kurdistan with his family during the IS attacks. “When I say I am a Yazidi [now], I embrace it in a whole new way.”

Yazidi refugee camp

Some of the Yazidis we spoke with expressed greater concern for Yazidi holy sites like the Lalish temple complex in Iraqi Kurdistan. They said they were determined to preserve Yazidi oral traditions, such as religious hymns known as “qawls,” and to pass their faith on to future generations.

But they are not necessarily strict practitioners of the Yazidi religion, praying daily or making pilgrimages to the Lalish. In fact, many Yazidis we interviewed in Germany – like other war refugees just struggling to survive in their new homes – had become more secular.

Their renewed interest in their Yazidi identity was primarily cultural and political. They advocate for their community on social media and see Yazidis as a separate ethnic group with a unique history – a people that should have autonomous political representation in Iraq, perhaps even self-rule.

Yazidi women find power and struggle

The status of women in Yazidi society has also changed since the massacre, our research found.

Despite some recent advances in women’s rights, the Yazidi culture remains deeply patriarchal. Women’s educational attainment, labor participation and political representation is very low. Many Yazidi women marry as young as 15 and become financially dependent on, and socially subordinate to, their husbands for the rest of their lives.

This social structure was upended by the Islamic State’s highly gendered attack, in which men were killed, while women and girls were kidnapped.

Some Iraqi Yazidi women actually gained real or symbolic power. The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, for example, survived IS captivity to become an international activist.

Yazidi Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad has been globally honoured for her efforts to obtain justice for the Yazidis, on 6th February.

We also met some Yazidi women working outside the home for the first time.

“I work with people from all backgrounds, I travel alone,” said Leila, a college graduate from Sinjar who works for an international Christian philanthropy.

“My family respects this, as I contribute to the family budget,” she said. “I feel confident and proud of myself.”

The lives of most Yazidi women, however, are more precarious than before.

Many lost not only their homes but also their husbands, fathers and brothers – the breadwinners. And while the Yazidi religious leadership welcomed women survivors back from IS captivity, the community strongly opposes integrating the children born of rape by IS members, forcing some mothers to make an impossible choice between their children and their people.

"I am not afraid to tell my story"

When we met 31-year-old Nesreen in the summer of 2018, she was living in a Yazidi village in Duhok, Iraq. She told us her husband was killed by IS and that she and her two children had endured almost three years of enslavement.

No one in her family had received therapy. They all live together in a tent, dependent on a monthly allowance of 100,000 Iraqi dinars – around US$84 – from the Kurdistan regional government.

With the help of her brother, Nesreen had written a manuscript telling the story of her captivity.

“I escaped the hell and I am not scared to tell my story,” she told us. But, she wondered, “How can we get a normal life after all this?”

https://www.sightmagazine.com.au/14110- ... -by-trauma
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:50 pm

Moment former sex
slave meets ISIS rapist


This is the moment a brave Yazidi former sex slave finally confronted her ISIS rapist, after previously fleeing Germany and returning to Iraq when she bumped into him in the street in Stuttgart

Ashwaq Hajji Hameed was kidnapped, sold into slavery and abused at the age of 14, but started a new life in Europe after fleeing ISIS.

However, she revealed last year that her slaver and rapist, Abu Humam, had stopped her in the street in Stuttgart and said he knew where she lived.

Ashwaq said she 'wanted to leave Germany immediately' after the encounter and said she 'felt better staying in a refugee camp' in Iraq with her father after meeting her slaver.

Now, with Abu Humam arrested and in Iraqi custody, a sobbing Ashwaq was finally able to confront him, telling the ISIS former fighter that he had ruined her life when he raped her.

In the dramatic confrontation, Ashwaq demanded Abu Humam held his head up and look her in the eye - though he failed to do so, with the ISIS thug crying as he ignored her.

The brave woman asked her attacker 'why did you do that to me?', before collapsing to the ground at the end of the confrontation.

Ashwaq's heartbreaking face off was revealed in footage recorded by the Iraqi National Intelligence Service and broadcasted on Iraqi TV last night was shared on social media.

In the clip, Ashwaq said: 'Raise your head. Why did you do that to me? Why? Because I'm Yazidi?

'I was 14-years-old when you raped me. Raise your head.

'Do you have a sister? Do you have feelings? Do you have any honour? I was 14-years-old.

'The age of your daughter! The age of your son! The age of your sister!

Ashwaq Ta'lo confronting Abu Humam, her ISIS rapist and slaver who abused her while keeping her as a sex slave

The brave woman asked her attacker 'why did you do that to me?', before collapsing to the ground at the end of the confrontation

Ashwaq demanded Abu Humam held his head up and look her in the eye - though he failed to do so, with the ISIS thug crying as he ignored her

Ashwaq's heartbreaking face off was revealed in footage recorded by the Iraqi National Intelligence Service and broadcasted on Iraqi TV

'You've destroyed my life. You took everything from me. Everything I dreamed of.

'But now you know what torture is, what it's like to be tortured, what loneliness is. If you had any sense, any feelings, you wouldn't have raped me when i was 14-years-old.

'I was the age of your son, the age of your daughter.'

Abu Humam refused to look at Ashwaq during the face-off, the brave Yazidi collapsing to the ground afterwards.

It is hoped that the encounter and Abu Humam's incarceration will finally bring some closure to Ashwaq.

It is unclear how Abu Humam came to be imprisoned in Iraq, though German authorities had promised to investigate after Ashwaq revealed she had met him in Germany.

In 2018, speaking in a Facebook video, she said she had seen the man in 2016 and then again two years later in Schwäbisch Gmünd in south-western Germany.

Ashwaq is pictured back in a refugee camp in Iraq after she fled Germany following a terrifying meeting with her former ISIS captor in Stuttgart

Ashwaq is pictured left in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, during her stay in Germany, and right at a German airport with her brother Ibrahim. She bumped into her slaver and rapist on a street in Stuttgart

She told police and asylum officials about the encounter and although they identified the man from CCTV they said there was nothing they could do because he was also registered as a refugee.

The Yazidi genocide of 2014 saw ISIS storm into the Sinjar region of Iraq, home to hundreds of thousands of Yazidis, and slaughter thousands.

Ashwaq's father said the family had been unable to flee the advancing terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam.

She and 65 other family members were driven to Shaddadiya in Syria where they were put in a three-storey building under the watchful eyes of the ISIS militants.

Former sex slave describes moment she saw ISIS captor in Germany

Ashwaq is back in the Iraqi refugee camp with her father Haji Hamid Ta'lo

Ashwaq, a teenager, was sold to Abu Human, a Syrian ISIS member, for $100.

After repeated rape, torture and abuse, she said she had slipped pills into her captors' food to escape in the middle of the night, walking for 14 hours to Mount Sinjar where other Yazidis had found safety.

She moved to Germany in June 2015, started to go to school and learn the German language and was provided with medical and psychological care and treatment.

But although her mother had told her that 'this is Germany and no one could ever hurt you' she revealed she was so scared by her meeting with her former captor that she could not stay in the country.

She said in a video she had pretended to be Turkish after he had spoken to her in German and Arabic and told her: 'I know where you live'.

Two months later, Ashwaq left Germany and returned to live with her father in the refugee camp in Kurdish Iraq.

Her father, 53-year-old Haji Hamid Ta'lo, told Mail Online: 'I'm not happy that Ashwaq is back here in Iraq to live with me in a refugee camp along with 2276 or so people without electricity, without comfort, without any hope.

'Why should I be glad about that? It's a terrible catastrophe but, it's the will of God.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... ed-14.html

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:09 am

Ashwaq Haji Hamid interview
with her ISIS rapist captor


On November 26, 2019, Al-Iraqiya Network (Iraq) aired a report about Ashwaq Haji Hamid, a Yazidi girl who had been held captive by ISIS, and Abu Humam, the ISIS terrorist who had held her captive and brutally raped her

Hamid recounted that she had been 14 years old when an ISIS gang abducted her and took her to Mosul with 300 or 400 other Yazidi women who were above the age of nine. She said that she was separated from her family and sisters and that the Yazidi women were sold off or given as gifts to ISIS members in Iraq or Syria.

She described how Abu Humam selected her and violently raped her several times a day. Abu Humam, who has since been captured and is being held by Iraqi intelligence services, was also interviewed, and he described how he was given Hamid as a slave girl after casting lots with other ISIS members, how he raped her and beat her several times a day, and how he registered her under his name before an ISIS judge.

Later in the report, Hamid was brought before the captured Abu Humam and tearfully confronted him, saying: “Why did you do this to me?... Do you have any feelings? Direct Link To Video:Do you have any honor?” While speaking to him, Hamid fainted. Hamid and a group of other girls had escaped from ISIS captivity by drugging their captors.

phpBB [video]


Direct Link To Video:

https://youtu.be/QgoHBQAoHg4
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:17 pm

Yezidi woman rescued by
Iraqi Army near Ramadi


Iraqi troops have rescued a 17-year-old Yezidi woman who was being held captive in the Anbar desert near the city of Ramadi

Preparations are underway to reunite Zhiyan Shamo Khidhir with her family, Hussein Qaidi, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s Yezidi Rescue Office, told Rudaw on Tuesday.

Born in 2002 in the village of Kocho, Shingal, Khidhir was among around 7,000 Yezidi women and girls kidnapped by the Islamic State (ISIS) group in the summer of 2014.

No other details about the rescue, Khidhir’s condition, or her current location were provided.

Qaidi said his office is coordinating with the Iraqi Army to help reunite her with her family. He did not say where the family now resides.

Many of those who escaped the ISIS genocide in Shingal fled to displacement camps in the Kurdistan Region province of Duhok. Others emigrated to Europe or further afield – decimating the region’s once vibrant ethnic and religious diversity.

Roughly half of the women and children abducted by ISIS have since been brought to safety by the Yezidi Rescue Office.

What happened in Kocho and other villages like it has been highlighted by Yezidi survivor and human rights activist Nadia Murad, who became a UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2016 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.

Although Shingal was retaken from ISIS in 2015, the region remains hotly disputed between rival forces. Displaced families are wary of returning amid the insecurity, the lack of infrastructure, and recent Turkish airstrikes targeting the alleged positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Of Iraq’s remaining 550,000 Yezidis, an estimated 360,000 of them live in camps and communities in the Kurdistan Region, according to statistics from the KRG’s Yezidi Rescue Office. Around 40,000 remained or returned to Shingal.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/031220193
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:19 am

Times Christmas Appeal 2019:

    Captured by Isis, sold into slavery
      the forgotten Yazidi girls of Iraq
Five years after the first survivors escaped, many are still emerging, but face stigma, the squalor of refugee camps and psychological trauma.

A refugee camp near Duhok in northern Iraq. It is home to Yazidis who survived kidnap, brutality and rape

Nawnaz, 14, has had three real friends in her life.

The first was her cousin, with whom she grew up in their pretty village at the foot of Mount Sinjar, the ancestral homeland of the Yazidi minority in Iraq.

The second was the teenage girl she clung to for comfort during her first days as a nine-year-old slave in the home of an Islamic State commander.

The third is Ajwan, the fellow survivor she befriended in the refugee camp she has lived in since she escaped three years of enslavement and rape under one captor after another.

“Everyone knows what happened to the girls who were in Isis captivity,” Nawnaz says. “I always see myself as different to my sisters now. Only Ajwan understands.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/time ... -htdkcxztx
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:13 pm

Three Yazidi women
rescued from ISIS captivity


Three Yazidi women have been rescued from ISIS captivity in Iraq and Syria this week, some nine months after the defeat of the terror group’s caliphate

A 17-year-old woman was found by Iraqi security forces in a desert hideout used by the jihadi group near the city of Ramadi, and two others aged 16 and 20 were found in separate locations in Syria, according to local media.

The discoveries will fuel hopes that some of the thousands of Yazidi women still missing may yet be found in the territory formerly held by ISIS.

The three women have been held in captivity by the terror group since 2014, when ISIS fighters carried out a murderous rampage against the Yazidi people in their traditional homeland of Sinjar in northern Iraq.

The attackers killed thousands, and took more than 6,000 women and children as slaves. The group officially sanctioned the rape and enslavement of Yazidi women.

The United Nations would later declare the attack on Sinjar, and the ongoing enslavement, a genocide.

In the final days of the caliphate, which fell earlier this year, dozens of Yazidis were discovered during a mass exodus of women and children from ISIS territory.

Around 3,000 women remain missing, and Yazidi tribal leaders have repeatedly called for more efforts to be made to discover their fate. Some believe many Yazidi women may still be held captive and are too afraid to come forward or try to escape.

While the ISIS caliphate has been fully recaptured, the group still remains a threat in both Iraq and Syria. It now operates as an underground insurgent organisation with sleeper cells active in both countries to carry out attacks.

The Yazidi woman rescued near Ramadi was only 12 years old when she was abducted by ISIS from the village of Kocho, in Sinjar, according to the Rudaw news outlet. Local officials said she would soon return to Sinjar to be with her family.

In Syria, one woman was reportedly found in al-Hol camp, which is home to tens of thousands of family members of Isis fighters. The third was found in the city of Manbij.

The two women have already been reunited with their families in Sinjar, according to the local Arta FM radio station.

Yazidi groups have consistently complained that not enough has been done to find and rescue the thousands of women who were taken.

“It is outrageous that thousands of our women and girls have been missing since 2014 and it has not been a priority or main area of discussion with the global coalition and the international community,” Pari Ibrahim, founder of the Free Yazidi Foundation, told The Independent earlier this year.

“We can understand that this is a war zone situation, and because of that, maybe locating and rescuing the women is very difficult. So we understand and appreciate that. But we still feel that this should have been considered important and necessary. Instead, our women and girls were being tortured in excruciating agony, month after month, year after year.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 32621.html
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