Statement by Survivors, Families of Victims, Local and International Organizations on the Seventh Anniversary of the Ezidi Genocide.
Today, with sadness and sorrow, we remember the Ezidi genocide on its seventh anniversary, which was perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) against the Ezidis on August 3, 2014. The genocide led to the killing of 1293 civilians in the first two days, the displacement of more than 300,000 Ezidis, the kidnapping of more than 6000 people, mostly women and children, in addition to the demolition of homes and Ezidi religious shrines. Many indicators point to the continuity of the Ezidi genocide, such as the prolonged displacement of approximately 75% of the community, the unknown fate of approximately 2,800 people, and 82 mass graves, of which only 17 were exhumed. The genocide of 2014 is the most recent of 74 genocides that the peaceful Ezidi people have suffered through the centuries because of their unique religious identity.
With all of our strength and emotion, we work to defend the rights of the Ezidi community and to support those still missing and the families of the victims. We seek to ensure that the ongoing Ezidi genocide is not forgotten, and to prevent the issue from stagnation or neglect by holding meetings, issuing statements, and organizing campaigns.
We reiterate our demands made previously regarding the issue of missing persons, and add recommendations to improve the situation of the Ezidi people after the genocide and seven years of displacement:
Recommendations to the concerned authorities about Ezidi missing persons:
- Activate the committee agreed upon between the governments of Iraq and Kurdistan to search for missing Ezidis, with the involvement of representatives of the Ezidi community and families of the victims. Exert utmost efforts to search and rescue missing Ezidis, who were taken into prisons without evidence of crimes, but they were kidnapped by ISIS and were taken alongside ISIS fighters, from prisons in Syria and Iraq through local and international governmental coordination.
- Expedite the exhumation of the remaining mass graves in Sinjar region, which contain the remains of many missing persons, by supporting the work of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD), the Mass Graves Directorate (MGD), the Medico-Legal Directorate (MLD), and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).
- Amend Iraqi domestic law to incorporate grave violations of international law including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, human trafficking; and bring to justice, in fair trials that preclude the death penalty, all those against whom there is sufficient admissible evidence of responsibility for crimes under international law against the Ezidi community.
- Create an online database, shared between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi government, of information about the missing persons and martyrs of the Ezidi genocide. This matter can also be at the disposal of the Special Committee for Research for the missing persons.
- Open a special office in Sinjar for the parties concerned with the work of the missing and the opening of cemeteries in Sinjar, such as the ICMP with an Ezidi staff, in order to improve efficiency and speed in the documentation and opening of cemeteries and knowledge of the identities of the missing and the victims of mass graves.
- Adoption of a special law in Iraqi law that guarantees the rights of the missing and Ezidi martyrs who were victims of the ISIS attack in 2014. From the legal side in Kurdistan Region, the demand to amend the law of the missing and the law of the rights of the families of martyrs in the Kurdistan Region to include the missing persons and the Ezidi martyrs as well.
Demands of the Ezidi community after seven years of displacement and genocide:
Prolonged displacement results in repercussions dangerous to the future of societies in many respects demographically, socially, economically, and educationally. The psychological effects are profound and can include loss of self-confidence and trust in those who protect them. We must all, as a moral duty and obligation, search for solutions that prevent the prolongation of displacement. For seven years, Ezidi survivors, Ezidi entities, organizations and community leaders have been trying to raise the
demands of this community to local and international governments, hoping that they will be heard and respond to implement even some of them to stop the suffering of this community and obtain their due rights. We are here as a group of organizations, bodies and people of interest and as a humanitarian duty, we would like to raise a set of demands that we find necessary to achieve for the benefit of the Ezidi community:
- Work more seriously on the missing Ezidi file and intensify local, regional and international efforts to search and rescue the missing Ezidis.
- Provide international protection for the Ezidi areas in Sinjar region and in the Nineveh Plains to ensure that genocide against them is not repeated in the future.
- Allocate a budget for the reconstruction of Sinjar region and for activating and facilitating compensations for those affected by the genocide on August 3, 2014.
- Involve the Ezidis and make them a part to Implement and apply the terms of the Sinjar Agreement.
- Achieve justice by holding ISIS fighters and their affiliates accountable, opening investigation files against them in international courts, and not including them in general amnesty decisions.
- Fully recognize the crime of genocide against the Ezidi people by ISIS in order to guarantee the rights of the victims and compensate them for their losses.
- Intensify international efforts to support the work of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD), in order to expedite the opening of graves and identification of the victims.
- Sinjar to be made its own province and allocating funds for the reconstruction and restoration of the deducted areas that were dispersed due to the decisions of the Baath regime. This will improve security and stability and enable return of those still displacement.
- Establish administrative councils and formation of a permanent administration in Sinjar district with the participation of community members in making decisions and consulting them on such matters.
- Enable the right of ownership of house, land, and property (HLP) to the Ezidis in Sinjar and commit to stop or prevent demographic changes in the region.
- Include Ezidi holy temples and religious shrines in various regions within the UNESCO protected world heritage lists.
- Speed up the implementation of the Ezidi Survivors Law and direct the work of the office in Sinjar to ensure the survivors rights to compensation and rehabilitation
• Masarat Foundation
• Murad Ismael, co-founder and president of Sinjar academy
• Nabu for Human Rights
• Nadia’s Initiative
• Naser Kret/ Adviser in KRG parliament
• Nu Pel organization
• Old Tel Qasab Youth Center
• Opportunity for Bright Future
• Power Insights (PI)
• Rainbow organization
• Shingal AlGhad Organization
• Sunrise organization
• Tel Azer Youth Center
• Tel Banat Youth Center
• Tulay organization
• Voice of Ezidis in France
• Wadi Organization
• Yazda Global Organization
• Yazidi News
• Yazidi Organization for Documentation
• Yofa For Children rights
• Youth bridge Organization
• Hawar Help
• Air Bridge Iraq for peace and development
• Al- Ata’a for Human Rights
• Coexistence House in Sinjar
• Dak organization
• Dr. Mirza Dinnay
• Dr. Saad Sallum
• Emma Organization for Human Development
• Ezidi 24 Media foundation
• Ezidi council in Sinjar
• Families of victims
• Farida Global Organization
• Free Yazidi foundation
• Future Charity Association for Supporting Students
• Hammurabi Organization for Human Rights
• Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
• Jeven organization for Society Development
• Jilan organization
• Kani Press
• Kinyat organization.
• Kocho Youth Center
• Layla Talo/ Ezidi activist and ISIS