Yezidi Task Force reports dramatic situation in refugee camps

PRESS RELEASE

Leader of the Central Council of Yezidis in Germany, Telim Tolan formed a task force with a delegation of doctors from the association “Kurdish Doctors in Germany” and a ZDF (German public TV station) camera team, travelling through the refugee camps in South Kurdistan since 18th August 2014. On behalf of the leading commission of Yezidi organizations, Tolan collects information on the current status in Northern Iraq.

YezidiAfter having seen touching but somewhat reassuring images in the Turkish part of Kurdistan, the task force moved on to South Kurdistan where they observed a dramatic change in the situation. Contrary to what is reported by some bigger media representatives or relief agencies, the situation in Northern Iraq is a disaster. Refugees with just enough food to stay alive and some form of shelter are considered lucky.
Telim Tolan continued his journey together with Kovan Khanki, Yezidi lectuerer at the University of Dohuk. On 20thAugust they arrived in Derebun, a village 10kms to the east of Zakho, currently accomodating 45,000 refugees. 40,000 of those are living in a camp that has already exhausted all its capacities. The other 5,000 are living on the streets. Deeply concerned about these suffering human beings, the task force moved on to Xanik where they saw another 65,000 refugees camping on the streets, in schools, and abandoned buildings or construction sights. The journey on the next day to Shariya, a small place with about 25,000 refugees could only yield a repetition of these images. Meetings with the refugees were intense and the stories they heard in every place were gruesome. Surely, Tolan and Khanki would have seen similar images in many other places of South Kurdistan.

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GMA demands humanitarian protection for Sikh group found in Container at Port of Tilbury

PRESS STATEMENT

Glasgow: The Glasgow based human rights organisation Global Minorities Alliance (GMA) demands absolute support for the Sikhs who were found in a container at Tilbury port, Essex on Saturday.

The group who is believed to be from Afghanistan consists of 13 children, including a baby and adults up to the age of 72.

One Sikh man identified as Meet Singh Kapoor was found dead in the container.

GMA’s Director for Interfaith and Dialogue, Shahzad Khan, expressed his condolences over the death of Mr. Kapoor.

Mr. Khan said “We are saddened to learn about the death of Meet Singh Kapoor. Our thoughts are with the bereaved family.”

“It is unimaginable to fathom the plight these people must have gone through in their home country which forced them to take the risk to board on a container with their children.”

“We believe that the hostile climate for minorities in Afghanistan and to the Sikhs in particular provides any ground to these people absolute and immediate support here in the UK.”

“Sikhs have long been persecuted because of their faith in Afghanistan. Persecution reached to its acme since Taliban took over in 1992. Since then the Sikh population has shrunk from 75.000 to just 4.000”

“GMA strongly opposes the thought of the traumatised stowaways being sent back to their home country where they face terror and violence on basis of their faith”

“It is the UK Government responsibility to show gratitude to these people and grant sanctuary in the UK on humanitarian ground in a quick and non-bureaucratic manner.”

Pakistan Independence: Prisoners of Persecution

Report: Violence Towards Religious Communities in Pakistan

By United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

http://goo.gl/yHjH0gThe Religious Violence Project, an undertaking of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, has tracked publicly-reported attacks against religious communities in Pakistan over the past 30 months. The latest report covers the period from July 2013 to June 2014, during which 122 incidents of sectarian violence resulted in more than 1,200 casualties, including 430 deaths. While the number of attacks are slightly down from the previous year, they remain alarmingly high. The violence impacted both Muslim and non-Muslim religious communities, threatening Pakistan’s stability.

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