“They Came to Destroy: ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis”

Yazidi ppl 3

Report by International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

ISIS has committed the crime of genocide as well as multiple crimes against humanity and war crimes against the Yazidis, thousands of whom are held captive in the Syrian Arab Republic where they are subjected to almost unimaginable horrors.

The present report, which focuses on violations committed in Syria, is based on 45 interviews with survivors, religious leaders, smugglers, activists, lawyers, medical personnel, and journalists. Considerable documentary material was used to corroborate information collected by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

ISIS has sought to destroy the Yazidis through killings; sexual slavery, enslavement, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and forcible transfer causing serious bodily and mental harm; the infliction of conditions of life that bring about a slow death; the imposition of measures to prevent Yazidi children from being born, including forced conversion of adults, the separation of Yazidi men and women, and mental trauma; and the transfer of Yazidi children from their own families and placing them with ISIS fighters, thereby cutting them off from beliefs and practices of their own religious community, and erasing their identity as Yazidis. The public statements and conduct of ISIS and its fighters clearly demonstrate that ISIS intended to destroy the Yazidis of Sinjar, composing the majority of the world’s Yazidi population, in whole or in part.

In the present report, the Commission has made wide-ranging recommendations to the United Nations, the Governments of Syria and Iraq, and the wider international community concerning the protection of and care for the Yazidi community of Sinjar. While noting States’ obligations under the Genocide Convention, the Commission repeated its call for the Security Council to refer urgently the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, or to establish an ad hoc tribunal with relevant geographic and temporal jurisdiction.

Over 3,200 Yazidi women and children are still held by ISIS. Most are in Syria where Yazidi females continue to be sexually enslaved and Yazidi boys, indoctrinated, trained and used in hostilities. Thousands of Yazidi men and boys are missing. The genocide of the Yazidis is on-going.

Read the full report here:  International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic page 

*We are thankful to the Commission  for the permission of this publication here

 

 

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Decades long persecution of Kurds – An Overview

kurdistanBy Aso Fotoohi

  Kurdistan refers to a geographical area in Middle-East of which the residents are predominantly Kurdish people. The land of Kurdistan- has been divided between four countries Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

In Iran, the majority of the population are Persian, In Iraq and Syria Arab, and in Turkey Turks. This makes Kurdish people fall into the category of ethnic minorities in all these countries. As an ethnic minority, Kurdish people have been completely marginalised and excluded from any sort of social and political power. Furthermore, for centuries, the central governments of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria have put a great effort to ethnically cleanse out Kurdish people. Not only the central governments, but also the other socio-political dominant powers within these countries have been institutionally discriminated Kurds.

All the social and cultural institutions and powers including education, media, military and political forces have been recruited to ethnically cleanse Kurdish people in Middle-East. Let us not forget that we are talking about a population of 40 million Kurdish people which is a fact that makes it more and more difficult for the oppressors to deny their human rights as an ethnic minority. However, during the history of Middle-East, the central governments have shown no hesitation in using all sorts of actions, although against the very fundamental principles of human rights, to oppress and marginalise Kurdish people. These include military attacks on unarmed people and massively executing innocent people in different historical periods. To name a few, the Anfal campaign which was led by Saddam Hussein in Iraq was particularly aimed to cleanse out Kurdish ethnicity. The Anfal campaign began in 1986 and lasted until 1989; it included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing systematic destruction of settlement mass deportation, firing squads and chemical warfare  which earned al-Majid the nickname of “Chemical Ali”. Thousands of civilians were killed during the anti-insurgent campaigns stretching from the spring of 1987 through the fall of 1988. The attacks were part of a long-standing campaign that destroyed approximately 4,500 Kurdish and at least 31 Assyrian villages in areas of northern Iraq and displaced at least a million of the country’s estimated 3.5 million Kurdish population.

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