A series of organizations denounce that the agreement of October 9, 2020, between the regional government surrounding the KDP and the Iraqi central government is another basis for the continuation of the genocide of August 3, 2014
These organizations (which sign below) have sent the following letter to the international authorities denouncing the situation and putting up their claims and requests. See letter hereafter:
Will of the Êzîdî (Yazidi) people, who remained in Şengal to struggle to protect their culture, religion, and existence against the atrocities of the so-called Islamic State, and who continue to organize themselves within Iraq.
The establishment of the United Nations plays an important role in the ability of all nations of the world to live Öl in a democratic, peaceful manner. For years, the institution has worked hard to play this critical role. As the Êzîdîs, we, too, benefitted from UN support for our displaced people in the aftermath of the ISIS attacks. We would like to express our gratitude in this regard.
For centuries, we as the Êzîdî people, have suffered from discrimination, humiliation, and massacre in the region due to our faith. Throughout history, there were many systematic attempts to remove us from our culture and force us to abandon our faith. The massacre committed by ISIS, which was witnessed by the entire world, killed thousands of our defenseless people, among them many women and children. It was the most recent example of a history of genocidal massacres. Close to 7.000 mainly women and children were kidnapped, sexually enslaved, sold in streets, and forcibly converted. Tragically, our abducted children were brain-washed, raised with ISIS’ mindset, and instrumentalized as weapons against their own people and other communities. Homes were destroyed, all of our material and spiritual values were erased.
For the Êzîdî community, which constitutes a minority compared to the majority Muslim communities in the area, this amounts to a confrontation with extinction. The current population has been reduced to 30% of its original size as a result of massacre and forced displacement.
The Êzîdî culture is under threat of extinction and erasure from history. We want to raise this urgent issue with the people of the world.
According to information obtained by the UN, 6.417 of our people were kidnapped, out of which 3.548 are women. These are official numbers and we know from our people that the number of unrecorded cases is much higher. The rest are mainly children, as most of the men that were captured were massacred on the spot. 2.902 people are still missing. Currently, 81 mass graves have been identified. This excludes the number of graves that contain smaller numbers of people. Nearly all of our sacred temples, namely 68 of them, have been exploded. For us as a people, this massacre means a cultural and physical genocide. It is a historic duty of the nations of the world to recognize this genocidal reality and to respond to the Êzîdî people’s demands to prevent their extinction.
Even after the state structure of ISIS has been dismantled, our people’s existence issue continues. This is because the Êzîdî people’s existence was not only threatened by ISIS, but also by our region’s political atmosphere. Iraq has been living under conditions of war since 2003. With the rise of ISIS, certain powers have tried to take advantage of the regional instability to turn their hostility against our people into practice. Particularly the Turkish state used the presence of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) as an excuse to conduct countless airstrikes on Şengal. We condemn any kind of targeting and attack of our people, who have already experienced so many atrocities and thus live under constant fear of further hostilities. The Turkish army is a major reason for the Êzîdî people’s safety concerns, and we would appreciate the UN’s sensitivity regarding this issue. Whenever the Turkish army engaged in airstrikes, civilians have lost their lives.
However, everyone remained silent. It is not acceptable that the Turkish state does not recognize the YBŞ (Şengal Resistance Units) as an Êzîdî defense force against ISIS attacks and our local Asayish forces that protect internal security but frame them as terror organizations to legitimizing attacks. The YBŞ consists of Êzîdî youth that has protected our people from ISIS. Just as they have done throughout history, Êzîdî youth have once again mobilized to resist against the most recent massacre. Without a doubt, they were in need of support for protection, and therefore gladly accepted the help of those, who offered such assistance. This stance continues. Any other stance should not be expected from a people under threat of annihilation. Behind this backdrop, the Turkish state creates pretexts to attack.
It is important to understand that a radical Islamist reflex informs the Turkish state’s aggression. To prevent us from asserting ourselves, they have even tried to close our political party PADE (Êzidi Freedom and Democracy Party), which we have built up with our own efforts. No matter what the excuse may be, attacking the resisting members of a people under genocide ethically amounts to immorality, politically amounts to aggressive state policy, and militarily amounts to a war crime. It is one of our expectations as a people to see the UN analyze these developments in this manner and put an end to the Turkish state’s aggressive attacks.
It is important to stress that these policies happen in coordination between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Turkish state. Although approximately 12.000 peshmerga fighters of the KDP with access to heavy weaponry were in Şengal at the time of the ISIS attack, they abandoned our people in the face of massacre and withdrew without any fight. As people believe that the Peshmerga forces are to share the blame for the massacre, they refrain from trusting them. Despite this, the KDP acts as though none of this had happened, when trying to re-assert authority over the Êzîdîs, rejecting their democratic organization and resorting to repression. Parallel to this, Êzîdîs staying at camps in Duhok are being prevented from returning to Şengal by the authorities. False propaganda is spread to discourage people from returning home. Whenever people insist on returning home, the authorities prevent them from bringing their basic needs with them to Şengal. By only allowing people to bring along the clothes that they are wearing, the authorities try to make people abandon their wish to return home. In addition, people traveling from Şengal to Duhok are arrested and pressured to serve as agents in the service of the KDP. Even whilst engaging in these abuses, the KDP presents itself as the protector of the Êzîdîs. By capitalizing on the prevalent perception of the Êzîdîs as victims, the KDP attempts to gain leverage internationally. We absolutely reject these policies of the KDP.
One of the most important conclusions that we, as the Êzîdî people, have drawn from our historic sufferings is that life under another religious or ethnic group’s domination will always expose us to the threat of massacre. In the 21st century, we want to live in freedom and safety, based on our own strength. We want a self-governing democratic system of organization free from relations of economic dependency, in which we can administer ourselves with our own means, such as through an autonomous protection force and an education system that enables us to teach our children in our own language and about our faith. We want an autonomous administration structure for Şengal within Iraq and believe that this will save us from extinction.
For the past five years, we have tried to organize to meet our requirements one by one, despite our lack of means. These efforts established trust within our community. In the aftermath of the massacre, 15.000 of our people were forced to seek shelter on Mount Şengal to save their lives. Within the framework of our self-administration in Şengal, a political, economic, social and security-related basis was created for our people to return home. In the last year and a half, tens of thousands of our people began returning home due to the poor conditions and repressions in the camps. At the moment, the population of the Êzîdîs alone amounts to 200.000 people. In addition to this number, thousands of Arabs and Muslim Kurds have returned. Every month, 30-40 families, i.e. 90-100 Êzîdî people return home.
However, you will understand that our power suffices only to provide the most fundamental support for these people of ours, who return only with the clothes they are wearing and lack the most vital needs. Until now, nobody, including the Iraqi state, have offered any support concerning this issue. We need support to rebuild/restore all the houses, to meet the living requirements, and strengthen the economic situation in the area.
Our demands to the UN are as follows:
We therefore call on the democratic public, the German Federal Government, USA, UN, EU and all relevant international organizations and institutions to do so:
1. To rise up against this agreement of 09.10.2020 between the KDP and the Iraqi government
2. Recognition of the Social, Political, and Democratic Self-Government Council in Sinjar.
3. Recognition of the self-defense units of the Yezidis (YBŞ and, YJŞ = Women’s Defense Units (Sinjar) and the “Ezidxan Asayîş” as a police unit
4.Prosecution of the perpetrators, instigators, assistants and supporters of genocide / femicide, nationally and internationally, in particular the KDP, Turkey and IS
5. Immediate end to the Femicide and Eziden genocide in Sinjar.
M.S.D- Ezidi Exil Council of Sinjar
– Central Association of Yezidi Associations e.V.
– Coordination of the Yezidi village communities from Turkey- KMGE
– HCE Alliance of Yezidi from Syria e.V.
– Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience
– NAV-YÊ Umbrella organization of the Yezidi Women’s Council e.V.
– SMJE Association of the Yezidi Youth e.V.
-YES Alliance of the Êzîd Youth -HCÊ