Navigator
Facebook
Search
Ads & Recent Photos
Recent Images
Welcome To Roj Bash Kurdistan 

Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

A place for discussion and exchanging ideas about Kurdistan issues here, also a place for sharing article & views and analysis about Kurdistan .

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:56 pm

Protests in Iraq over
control of Yazidi region


Protests have taken place in the Shengal region of northern Iraq amid growing anger over a deal struck between Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) over the future of its Yazidi community

It is understood that the agreement was signed on October 9, but the finer details remain unclear. According to media reports, the KRG will be responsible for administration of the contested region (also known as Sinjar), with Baghdad taking control of security.

The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi said in a statement that “the existence of uninvited guest groups will be ended” — thought to be a reference to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Negotiations took place under the auspices of the United Nations as part of efforts to resolve issues regarding areas of Iraq that are contested between Baghdad and the KRG under Article 140 of the constitution.

But Yazidi organisations in the region warned that the agreement, which was signed in the Iraqi capital, lacked legitimacy as those affected were excluded from the decision-making process.

The deal was made after pressure from the United States, with Turkey insisting that the area must not come under the influence of the PKK.

The party retains popular support in the region as its militia defeated Isis there after it was abandoned by the KRG peshmerga in 2014 when then leader Masoud Barzani withdrew forces from the area, prioritising defence of oil-rich Kirkuk.

At least 5,000 men and boys were massacred by the jihadists and thousands of women sold into sexual slavery. More than 3,200 women and girls are still believed to be in captivity. The killings were officially designated a genocide by the United Nations in 2016.

A statement signed by the Yazidis’ Central Association, the women’s association and other community representatives described the agreement as “a catastrophic development for Yazidi society” made under pressure from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which would see the elimination of the people of Shengal.

“It is more than astonishing to see that the Iraqi government, together with a power centre like the Kurdish regional government, makes decisions for the “protection of the Yazidis” without consulting the Yazidis and their representatives,” it said.

The groups called for the Iraqi government and international organisations including UN, the Council of Europe, the EU and others to “use their influence to preserve the existence of Yazidi society.”

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article ... in-content
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

Sponsor

Sponsor
 

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:02 pm

Music at the heart
of Yezidis’ lives


Efforts to preserve Yezidi music for future generations are making headway, says Baroness Emma Nicholson, a British politician and founder of charity that has spearheaded a cultural digitization project with the minority group

Image

“Like many people, music is the heart of the lives of the Yezidis, and indeed it is also the way they have worshiped the Almighty,” Nicholson told Rudaw on Monday in an online interview. “They are worshippers of God, just like the rest of us. And like many of us, they use music for much of their praying.”

She notes that much of the group’s music was “wiped out” after the Islamic State (ISIS) group attacked the Yezidi homeland of Shingal in 2014 and unleashed a genocide against the minority.

AMAR, founded in 1991 and brought to the Kurdistan Region around 1994, launched the Yezidi Music Programme last year in an effort to preserve the art. The project was approved by the Yezidi Supreme Council.

Led by British virtuoso violinist, Michael Bochmann, AMAR’s project records, notates and archives ancient Yezidi hymns, notes the organization.

“We recorded and taught it back to them by means of brilliant British musician art,” said Nicholson, who is also the chairman of the charity.

“Our patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, was absolutely delighted and had them at his own home,” she said, referring to Yezidi students in the UK taking part in the AMAR project.

Part of a British Council initiative to preserve the heritage of people who live in conflict zones, the initiative aims to provide a therapeutic outlet for participants as well.

“Scores have already been recorded, and will be archived in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the University of Duhok, and the Museum of Antiquities in Sulaimani,” according to a promo video by the charity.

Nicholson recounted to Rudaw her memories of the ISIS takeover of Shingal.

“I saw the horror they were being put to … [They were] rushing to cross the border desperately to save their lives. They had left everything behind.”

Out of 6,417 Yezidis kidnapped by ISIS in 2014, 2,880 remain missing, according to data from the office responsible for rescuing abducted Yezidis, overseen by the Kurdistan Region presidency.

The ethnoreligious minority lived mainly in the district of Shingal in Nineveh before it was attacked by ISIS on August 3, 2014, in what has been recognised by the United Nations as a genocide. Many Yezidi men and elderly people were killed, and young women and girls sold into sexual slavery.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/culture/12102020
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:24 pm

Shengal agreement

Protests against the agreement on the future of the Yazidi settlement area signed between the governments of Iraq and the autonomous region of Southern Kurdistan increase

The agreement was signed on 1 October by the Representative for the Kurdistan Regional Government, Rebar Ahmad Khalid, Minister of Interior and the Representative for the Federal Government, Hameed Raseed Faleeh, Deputy Head of National Security Apparatus.

The agreement says the following:

"In order to restore security and stability and normalize conditions in the province of Shengal, in accordance to the constitutional and judicial principles, to alleviate the suffering of Shengal’s residents, in preparation for the return of the displaced persons and to reorganize the administrative and security framework in the district, the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government have agreed, with the supervision of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, on the following:

1. Administrative Aspect:

    A) The selection of a new mayor for the district who possesses independence, skills, integrity, and admissibility within the constitutional and judicial mechanisms.

    B) The other administrative positions will be considered by the joint committee formed by the two sides after appointing the mayor, provided that the principles of skills, integrity and social structure of the district are taken into account.
2. The Security Aspect:

    A) No other entity, other than the Federal Police, the National Security and Intelligence agencies will be in charge of security inside the district. All other armed entities will be moved outside of the Shengal.

    B) Strengthening security in the district through the employment of 2500 members to the Internal Security Forces in Shengal, with the guarantee of fair inclusion of the displaced in the camps who are from Shengal.

    C) Ending the presence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) organization in Shengal district and its surrounding areas, and to prevent the organization and its offshoots from having any role in the region.
3. The Reconstruction Aspect:

    The formation of a joint committee between the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government for the purpose of reconstruction in the district, in coordination with the local Nineveh province administration. The scope of its authority and details of its tasks will be defined by the prime minister office of the Federal Government and the prime minister office of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
For the purpose of overseeing the administrative and security aspect sections above, a joint committee between the involving entities from both sides will be formed, to observe the implementation of the agreement content.
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:23 pm

Yazidi Female Survivors Law

The new “Yazidi Female Survivors Law”, while groundbreaking, is too narrow to address the needs of some of Iraq’s most vulnerable communities

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities in Iraq, further endangering vulnerable populations, including sexual violence victims and survivors. These survivors are particularly vulnerable with the reported resurgence of the Islamic State in Iraq, making reparations for victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence urgent to prevent their re-victimization and the recurrence of these crimes.

The armed conflict that spread across Iraq after the emergence of the Islamic State raised existing violence to an unprecedented level. Sexual violence was used as a tactic of war, oppression, and destruction during Islamic State’s reign of terror, particularly systematic sexual violence inflicted against minority groups, including Yazidi women and girls. Amnesty International reported that Islamic State fighters systematically targeted thousands of Yazidi women and girls, forcing them into sexual slavery.

The UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry for Syria found that the Islamic State demonstrated “intent to destroy the Yazidi in whole or in part,” and that these crimes were acts of genocide. Despite overwhelming documentation and evidence of atrocity crimes, victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Iraq have not been offered a formal path to justice or accountability to date.

In March 2019, Iraqi President Barham Salih submitted the “Yazidi Female Survivors Law” to Parliament for review. The draft law introduces a number of significant reparation measures for Yazidi women captured by the Islamic State, including compensation, rehabilitation, medical treatment, and economic opportunities. The draft law recognizes the crimes against the Yazidis as genocide and stipulates that perpetrators of “abduction and captivity” not be included in any “general or special amnesty.”

The draft bill, while groundbreaking, is too narrow to address the needs of some of Iraq’s most vulnerable communities. The bill appears to have been drafted with little input from affected communities, excluding a number of the victims’ primary demands. A new report by ABA Center for Human Rights proposes revisions to make the bill’s reparations more responsive to the unique needs of victims of one particular subset of atrocity crimes: sexual violence.

    Despite overwhelming documentation and evidence of atrocity crimes, victims and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Iraq have not been offered a formal path to justice or accountability to date
A primary critique of the draft bill is its narrow focus on kidnapping and on a limited group of victims, excluding many crimes committed against men and boys, as well as women and girls of other religious or ethnic groups. Broadening the draft bill’s focus to all victims and survivors of sexual violence would provide a start toward Iraq’s larger obligation to all victims of human rights violations by addressing the needs of a particularly vulnerable and targeted group and subset of crimes that are often under-reported and under-prosecuted.

Importantly, comprehensive reparations can also address the immediate needs of victims and survivors by providing medical and psychological care, restoring access to education and economic opportunities, resolving parental status, and locating missing family members. Furthermore, the reparation regime should provide the families of disappeared victims with access to available reparation measures and address their right to information about both reparations and the violations that occurred. Reparations that give victims and their families a role in creating social change can be transformative, countering structural inequalities in society.

The draft bill does not cover all the crimes that were allegedly committed, even though international human rights law requires that the right to a remedy be applied without discrimination. In response, the Center has recommended that the draft law be revised to include all victims and survivors of sexual violence. United Nations agencies in Iraq reported that Turkmen, Christian, and Shabak women were subject to sexual violence while in Islamic State captivity. Human Rights Watch also reported that Islamic State fighters arbitrarily detained, tortured, and forcibly married Sunni Arab women. Providing reparations to one ethnic or religious group while excluding others may exacerbate sectarian and inter-community tensions and deter reconciliation efforts under already sensitive security conditions.

One further recommendation to improve the draft bill would be the addition of privacy and confidentiality protections in all aspects of the reparations program. Without these protections, victims and survivors may be unwilling to participate, fearing for their safety or that of family members or social stigma. Past efforts at combatting violence against women, for example, have been unsuccessful in protecting victims and their families from these risks.
Reparations that give victims and their families a role in creating social change can be transformative, countering structural inequalities in society.

Iraq does not have domestic legislation criminalizing war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide. Instead, it has relied on counterterrorism laws to prosecute suspected members of the Islamic State. Though not frequently applied by courts, Islamic State members may be entitled to release under a 2016 general amnesty law under certain circumstances. The Center therefore recommends that Iraq include a provision within the draft bill clarifying that no statute of limitations should apply to atrocity crimes (including acts of sexual violence when they constitute genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes) and that amnesties should not be applied to perpetrators of sexual violence crimes.

For reparations to be truly effective, the Iraqi government must employ a holistic approach to protecting vulnerable populations, and the challenges of doing so have been made clear through past challenges in addressing domestic violence, which is on the rise globally as the result of the COVID-19 crisis. However, Iraqi law does not address domestic violence, and the criminal code provides defenses and mitigated sentences in domestic violence situations. The Center has provided key recommendations to the pending Protection from Domestic Violence Bill. Fear of increasing domestic violence during Iraq’s coronavirus lockdown has made it clear that the government must act to pass the bill.

Moreover, policy ambiguity makes it unclear as to whether Iraqi-registered NGOs can even provide shelter to victims, and the Iraqi government continues to criminalize shelters for those escaping gender-based and domestic violence. The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) has been accused by the General Secretariat of the Iraqi Council of Ministers of illegally sheltering women fleeing domestic violence. The ongoing criminalization of shelters that provide life-saving services puts women and girls at even greater risk of domestic violence, torture, or death amid the pandemic.

Adoption of both bills and undertaking a comprehensive review of sexual violence provisions in Iraq’s criminal code would help protect women and children from future violence, but more remains to be done. Accountability for past crimes is also needed to alter the prevailing climate of impunity. To do so, atrocity crimes should be expressly penalized in Iraq’s criminal code, along with other procedural changes to ensure accountability for atrocity crimes. Consultations with Yazidi victims for example show that for many, justice (including criminal accountability) is a top priority, but the lack of a legal framework and failure to prosecute sexual violence crimes as such demonstrates the need for significant structural changes.

The draft law, if approved by Parliament, would be a significant step in establishing a comprehensive record of the crimes committed during the conflict that can allow affected communities to heal and rehabilitate. Involving communities of victims and survivors in the process will help to ensure that the reparation program meets their unique and most urgent needs while also building toward larger goals of truth, reconciliation, justice, and accountability. Establishing a truly comprehensive and transformative reparations program will be difficult, but it is an important investment in the long-term stability of Iraq

https://www.openglobalrights.org/yazidi ... ot-enough/
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:11 pm

Sold, whipped and raped

A Yazidi woman remembers ISIS captivity

Image

A survivor describes how she kept a secret notebook in which she recorded the abuses committed against her and others

Layla Talu never imagined that her neighbours would betray her. But when former friends from the villages surrounding her home in the Sinjar district of northern Iraq gave away her location, her family was forced to flee.

At 7am on the morning of August 3, 2014, Layla, her husband, Marwan Khalil, and their two children, who were aged four and 18 months, left their home. Like tens of thousands of other Yazidis, they hoped to take shelter on Mount Sinjar.

But they never made it. Within a matter of hours, the Islamic State had encircled the city of Sinjar and its surrounding villages. Layla’s family was captured on the road and taken with dozens of other Yazidis who had tried to escape.

The men were separated from the women and children. That evening, Layla and her children were transported with others to Baaj district, southwest of Mosul, where they were held for four days.

From there, they moved to Tal Afar, where they were detained in a school before being transferred again a week later to Badush prison. When the prison was bombed by coalition aircraft, they were sent back to Tal Afar.

The women and children were beaten, insulted, threatened and starved, Layla says. Then, after eight months of this, when many were exhausted by illness, they were transferred to the Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS’s stronghold.

Layla recounts the day she was captured by ISIS

Three meals a day, served with beatings

“We were transported to Raqqa in large buses with hundreds of other Yazidi women,” Layla recalls. “The way they dealt with us was not different from the way you deal with sheep and animals; they did not even provide us with adequate food and drink. We slept on the floor, and we received three daily meals along with beatings by ISIS operatives.”

Layla spent 40 days with her two children in a prison, before being moved to an apartment in the Al-Nour neighbourhood of Raqqa. It was the home of a senior member of ISIS.

The man was a surgeon. He was in his 40s, and short, with green eyes, fair hair and a full face, Layla says.

“He was tying me and beating me hard with a whip because I refused to submit to his brutality, so he raped me,” she says.

He later sold her to another man. This man came from Mosul, she says, and was in his 30s with dark skin and “black eyes”.

“He raped me several times, and then he sold me for a profit.”

    I hope that telling my story will help me convey my suffering and the suffering of all Yazidis, especially women, to the world so that they may know the truth of the oppression, persecution, rape, murder and displacement that happened to us.
The man who “bought” her was from Baghdad, she says, and around 40 years old.

When Layla fell pregnant, she was forced to have an abortion.

“They used to call us ‘spaghetti’,” she says, “and tell us ‘you deserve nothing but death and being treated like slaves’.”

After this, Layla was raped by a Saudi man, who she says would beat and strike her with a whip. When she became pregnant again, her pregnancy was again forcibly aborted.

During this time, Layla was living in a small house with her two children, cut off from the outside world and with no knowledge of what had happened to her husband and the rest of her family.

She says the next person she was passed on to was a 33-year-old Lebanese man who would rape her with the help of his Dutch wife. While she was with him, she says many other men also raped her.

After two years in Raqqa, Layla was told she and her children would be freed following negotiations between her family and a Syrian smuggler, in exchange for more than $20,000.

Tell the world

Now aged 33, Layla shows the notebook she kept during her time in Raqqa. In it, she recorded some of the horrifying details of the experiences she and other Yazidi women and girls endured.

It was not without risk. She knew that if her captors found it, she would be in great danger.

But, for Layla, the need to show the next generation the oppression, persecution and displacement of those who came before them was even greater. She also hoped that by recording the atrocities committed against them, she might help secure justice for the victims.

Once she was freed, Layla’s thoughts turned to how she would be received by her community. Her fear of being rejected initially prevented her from talking about what had happened to her and the other Yazidi women and girls. But gradually, as she heard the stories of other survivors, she started to open up.

Now she hopes that by sharing her story, she can help to prevent this from happening to other women in the future. “I hope that telling my story will help me convey my suffering and the suffering of all Yazidis, especially women, to the world so that they may know the truth of the oppression, persecution, rape, murder and displacement that happened to us,” she says.
Layla with her mother

Plagued by fear

Layla considers herself one of the “lucky” ones because she and her children survived.

“A girl named Zairi committed suicide after she was raped,” she says. “She slashed her wrists with a sharp blade. Many Yazidi women did the same.”

But still, Layla is plagued by panic and fear whenever she remembers her time in captivity. The pain, emotion and shortness of breath that accompany these memories worsen when she shares them with other women from her community who were also taken captive, she says. Sometimes she wonders how she will be able to continue living like this, she reflects.

Layla hopes to one day be able to give evidence to the authorities about what happened to her and other women and girls.

But for now, she lives in the ​​Dohuk Governorate in northern Iraq, in a rented house paid for by one of her brothers. Her father died in January after losing hope that his oldest son would ever return, she explains.

https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2020 ... inful-than
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:24 pm

Yazidi women forced to leave children

As bombs crunched into the ground around them in February last year, three young Yazidi women cowered in holes dug in the eastern Syrian desert, cradling their terrified children

In the month that followed, hundreds of people hiding near them were killed by devastating barrages that destroyed what was left of Islamic State’s so-called caliphate and freed the former slaves and their toddlers from five years in the terror group’s clutches.

But the ordeal of their lives was yet to begin. The trio, then aged 19, 20 and 24, and their five toddlers were thrown onto the last lorry out of the town of Baghouz, the black banners of the extremists replaced by the white flags of surrender, and driven to al-Hawl refugee camp where tens of thousands of people from towns and cities seized from ISIS were being interned.

The women lay low in the camp, worried about being discovered by Kurdish guards who would identify them as former captives and separate them from other detainees. For a month they lived with a dilemma: being identified could deliver freedom, but it could bring a greater heartache than the horrors under ISIS – being separated from their children, maybe for ever.

For Yazidi women who gave birth to children of Isis fighters, those worst fears have now been realised. Their communities in Iraq have demanded they leave their children in Syria before they are accepted home. The forced separations have led to dozens of women being estranged from their children, some of whom they were told to hand over as soon as they gave birth.

Nearly two years after the collapse of Isis, what to do with the children born to extremists, and how to reunite families created and broken in such circumstances, remains far from being resolved among Yazidi communities and Iraqi officials. Even in Europe, where many Yazidis have been given asylum, those with the children of Isis have not found governments welcoming.

“I have 22 young mothers in my care,” said Dr Nemam Ghafouri, the founder of Joint Help for Kurdistan, a charity that supports Yazidi women. “There are 56 children in the orphanage in Rumaila in Syria. We believe there are many dozens more such women and children.”

When the three women were found in al-Hawl, officials arranged to send them home to their families in the ancestral Yazidi homelands of northern Iraq. All three had been seized from the town of Sinjar in mid-August 2014 as the terror group swept in from the south, unleashing its wrath on a community it had long targeted as “godless”.

Their ordeals traced almost the full arc of the Isis rule over western Iraq and eastern Syria, from their enslavement on 3 August 2014, weeks after the group had overrun Mosul and charged towards Erbil, until its capitulation on the banks of the Euphrates River.

Thousands like them were enslaved and passed around as trophies among the ranks of the jihadists. Thousands more men, including the three girls’ fathers and brothers, were killed in what has since been recognised as an attempted genocide and one of the most shocking events in the extremists’ five-year rampage.

The trio were repeatedly raped and sold before agreeing to marry. Two wed Saudis and the third an Iraqi. All the men were killed. Hundreds of women like them gave birth to children by men from all parts of the globe, nearly all of whom died.

After they were found in al-Hawl, the three women were taken to an orphanage in north-east Syria and told to leave their children with carers who would look after them while they got resettled at home in Iraq.

“I looked at them and I knew I couldn’t believe them,” said one of the women, now 20, speaking from the Iraqi town of Duhok where she lives in a rented flat with her mother and sister, both of whom were also enslaved. “When I came here, they told me I need to forget about them. They can never come to join me.”

Ever since, the young mother has had to beg for photographs from workers at the camp. She was allowed to cross the border to visit once for four hours but has been discouraged from doing so again. “Them, our clerics, my family and the Kurdish leadership on both sides all behave like that part of my life is over,” she said. “I would rather be back in the hell of Baghouz than endure this sort of pain.”

A second of the former hostages said she was eight months pregnant when she was in al-Hawl. “I gave birth at the orphanage in Rumaila,” she said. “I wasn’t allowed to look at my baby, let alone hold him. So much has happened to us, and now this.

The third young mother, who, like her friends, agreed to meet in a coffee shop in Duhok, said there appeared to be no hope of Yazidi leaders changing their mind on a ruling in April last year in which clerics said rape survivors were welcome back but not their children.

Yazidi elders were criticised for taking an inflexible stance on an issue that has caused shame among their community. “I don’t want to talk about this subject because it’s very complicated,” said a spokesman for the Yazidi cleric Baba Sheikh.

Ghafouri, the charity founder, said: “Why should the UN listen to a patriarchal culture where only men are deciding what is better for a family? These girls are saying that life after being rescued is worse than being under the bombing of the entire world. What is better for the children should be a consideration here.”

The third mother – all three feared retribution from their families if they were identified – said: “My only option is to go live abroad. I will go anywhere. All I need is a government that will accept me – and my children.”

The fallout from the chaos that Isis caused continues to preoccupy several Yazidi smugglers who are trying to rescue community members who slipped through the cracks as the caliphate collapsed.

“We know there are some in Idlib. There are some in Mosul too,” said one man who has rescued more than 30 survivors, including women and children, by paying ransoms in Syria. “Some have made it to the migrant route, including mothers with Isis children. That might be the best place for them, even on the high seas in sinking boats. At least they have their children.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... ren-behind
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:34 am

Shingal in limbo despite deal

The Yezidi homeland of Shingal remains in limbo despite a recent deal between Erbil and Baghdad to normalize the security and military situation in the area

Erbil and Baghdad announced a “historic” deal over the governance of Shingal on October 9.

Both sides agreed to end “the authority of intruding groups and pave the way for the reconstruction of the city and the full return of its people in coordination with the Kurdistan Regional Government,” said Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s spokesperson Ahmed Mullah Talal in a tweet.

The deal, which will also usher in a new local administration, has been welcomed by the United Nations, the United States, and France.

However, locals remain skeptical

“[The situation] remains the same. The same forces remain in the region. They [Erbil and Baghdad] were supposed to act after the deal but they have not taken any steps,” said teacher Hussein Hassan.

“I believe the region will be more secure if Peshmerga forces enter,” said farmer Ali Salih.

Shingal lies within areas disputed between the governments in Baghdad and Erbil. The Yezidi population fled when the Islamic State (ISIS) swept through northern Iraq in 2014, committing genocide against the minority group. Hundreds of thousands sought refuge in camps in the Kurdistan Region, more than 6,000 people were kidnapped by the group, and over 1,200 killed. Federal forces took control of the region in 2017 after the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum.

There are at least six armed groups in Shingal, affiliated to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) – an armed group struggling for increased cultural and political rights of Kurds in Turkey.

The district has been hit by multiple Turkish airstrikes in recent months, further preventing displaced Yezidis from returning to the area.

Riham Hasso is the co-chair of Shingal’s Autonomous Council , a civil administration formed by PKK-affiliated groups to govern the district. She told Rudaw that any deal on Shingal requires their consent.

“We are here to represent people. As the Autonomous Council, we know what we are talking about. Whoever comes here, needs the consent of us and people. If we do not approve, there will be no deals in Shingal,” she said.

The council has appointed Fahd Hamd as the de-facto mayor of Shingal. However, the elected mayor of the district is Mahma Khalil, who works in Duhok.

Qadir Qachakh, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) office in Shingal, told Rudaw on Thursday that Erbil and Baghdad have agreed on Khidir Rasho as the new mayor.

Qachakh said the new appointment will take effect “after the invaders leave Shingal. The security and then administrative vacuum will be dealt with.”

Khal Ali, commander of the PMF (Hashd al-Shaabi in Arabic) in Shingal, told Rudaw that he wondered how can Hamid Al-Shatri, Undersecretary of the Iraqi National Security Agency, sign on a deal against them while he helped form a PMF brigade.

“Firstly, this deal is a coup against Hashd. Secondly, this deal is dangerous for Mr Hamid Al-Shatri. He formed a brigade and has made sacrifices here. Now, he has signed to expel them,” Ali said.

Qasim Shasho, Commander of Peshmerga-affiliated Shingal Command, told Rudaw that the deal should have been made earlier.

“Baghdad and Erbil were even late to reach a deal. We wanted them to make such a decision earlier so that Peshmerga and Iraqi forces can jointly defend the region. I believe this will bring security and stability to the region and the displaced can return to Shingal.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/171020203
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:03 pm

Yazidis return plan is fraught with risk

The Yazidis of northern Iraq, an ancient religious minority brutally persecuted by Islamic State, want nothing more than peace, security and a better life in their home town of Sinjar - but they want it on their terms

Many there distrust a new security and reconstruction plan unveiled this week by the Baghdad government and Kurdish regional authorities which hailed it as a “historic” agreement.

“The deal could pacify Sinjar - but it might also make the situation even worse,” said Talal Saleh, a Yazidi in exile in nearby Kurdistan.

The Yazidis have suffered since ISIS marauded into Sinjar in 2014, one of the Sunni extremist group’s conquests that shocked the West into military action to stop it.

ISIS viewed the Yazidis as devil worshippers for their faith that combines Zoroastrian, Christian, Manichean, Jewish and Muslim beliefs.

It slaughtered more than 3,000 Yazidis, enslaved 7,000 women and girls and displaced most of its 550,000-strong community.

Since Islamic State was driven out of Sinjar by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in 2015, the town and its surrounding areas are controlled by a patchwork of armed groups including the Iraqi army, Shi’ite Muslim militia, and Yazidi and Kurdish militants with different loyalties.

The government plan would enforce security and allow the return of tens of thousands of Yazidis afraid to go back because of a lack of security and basic services, according to the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

But many Sinjar natives feel the plan is vague, dictated by Baghdad and the Kurdish capital of Erbil. They say it has not included them and entails security reforms that could mean more division and violence.

“The PKK and their Yazidi allies are not just going to leave Sinjar without a fight,” Saleh said.

The security arrangements include booting out the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group that has fought a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and bases itself in northern Iraq.

It would also drive out PKK “affiliates”, an apparent reference to a Yazidi force of hundreds of fighters.

ESCAPE

The PKK with Yazidi volunteers helped thousands of Yazidis escape the ISIS onslaught to Syria after the Iraqi army fled many areas of Nineveh province and Erbil’s peshmerga forces retreated.

The peshmerga returned to help recapture Sinjar‮ ‬with U.S. air support.

The PKK is under attack by Turkish forces in Iraq and exists uneasily alongside the peshmerga and the Iraqi army.

The army and the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), Iraq’s state paramilitary body dominated by Shi’ite militias, would oversee the ejection of the PKK, according to a copy the plan seen by Reuters.

Some locals fear this could split up families where siblings sometimes belong to different militias, forces and groups. The Yazidis also have their own force in the PMF, separate to the Yazidi PKK affiliate.

“There are about six political groups in Sinjar now. Brothers belonging to the same family each join different parties,” said Akram Rasho, another displaced Yazidi in Kurdistan.

Baghdad and Erbil defend the plan.

“This is a good step to solve problems,” said Kurdistan government spokesman Jotiar Adil.

Sinjar has also been caught up in a territorial dispute between Baghdad and Erbil since a failed Kurdish bid for full independence in 2017.

Under the plan for Sinjar, the Baghdad and Erbil governments would choose a new mayor and administrators and appoint 2,500 new local security personnel.

Supporters of the PKK suspect those would include returning Yazidis affiliated with the peshmerga.

At a demonstration against the deal in Sinjar on Sunday, Yazidi tribal leader Shamo Khadida shouted, “Sinjar belongs to its people and we are the people.”

Others distance themselves from the politics and simply want to see delivery of services on the ground.

“If actual efforts are made to improve our situation, the people of Sinjar will find agreement,” said Rasho.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iraq- ... 711RJ?il=0
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:08 pm

Taiwan donates 100,000 masks to Yazidis

Taiwan has donated 100,000 surgical masks to the Yazidi people in Sinjar, northern Iraq, through an international nonprofit organization, to help with the COVID-19 response there

The masks were sent to the Yazidi with the assistance of the organization Nadia's Initiative, which advocates for victims of sexual violence and aims to rebuild communities devastated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), MOFA said.

"COVID19 doesn't discriminate. All communities must be included in the global response to the pandemic," MOFA said on its official Twitter account, after Taiwan's representative office in the United States handed over the masks to Nadia's Initiative.

In response, Nadia's Initiative tweeted last Friday that "Over the course of the pandemic, NI has doubled its efforts to strengthen healthcare systems in Sinjar & provide families with critical resources. Thanks to the generous support of @TECRO_USA & @MOFA_Taiwan, NI distributed 100,000 masks to families and essential workers."

In 2014, ISIS militants launched an assault against the Yazidi community in Sinjar, kidnapping thousands of Yazidi women and holding them in sexual slavery, including Nadia Murad.

Four years later, Murad, a survivor, was awarded the 2018 Nobel peace prize, along with Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege for "efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict."

Last year, the Taiwan representative office in Washington donated US$500,000 to help displaced people in Iraq and Syria.

At the time, Murad presented a thank you certificate to Taiwan, which was received by then representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao (高碩泰) at an event at the United States Institute of Peace.

https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202010180012
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:45 am

Arak-making from dates

Saad Hussein, a 42-year-old Yazidi Iraqi, is one of the last in the northern region of Nineveh producing arak, the anise-flavored spirit typically produced from grapes and aniseed, from local dates instead

Forced to flee his home town of Bashiqa, close to Mosul, when it fell to Islamic State in 2014, he returned after the defeat and expulsion of the Islamic militants to reopen his small distillery.

"This is part of our heritage, but it's almost extinct. There is almost no one here in the area that does it," he said. "I have always loved the craft, and used to work in it previously. So I wanted to revive this craft."

He hopes to introduce the drink to a new generation, after most of the Christian and Yazidi Iraqis with whom it was popular fled the area.

The Yazidis are an ancient religious minority who combine Zoroastrian, Christian, Manichean, Jewish and Muslim beliefs. The group was brutally persecuted by Islamic State who viewed the Yazidis as devil worshippers.

It slaughtered more than 3,000 Yazidis, enslaved 7,000 women and girls and displaced most of the 550,000-strong community from its traditional home in northern Iraq.

Hussein fills vast blue vats with dates, adds water and pulps the sweet fruit. He then places the mixture in a sealed pot and heats it to distil the alcohol.

This is an old method that has been used exclusively in the city for decades, he explained.

"Our Christian brothers were our main clients for this product. But immigration is part of the reason [our business suffered]," he said.

Imported spirits also crushed the market, which was once so large it sustained numerous small local distilleries.

As he departed Hussein's workshop with a bottle, Ghazwan Khairi, a customer of Hussein's, said "I know that work is great, I know what materials he uses and where he gets them. Also the flavour is great."

https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-new ... -1.9248945
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:00 am

IDP compensation package

Sabri Badal, a Yezidi woman, has returned to her village of Shorka in Shingal six years after being displaced. She sits idly by watching her damaged house

Image

The Iraqi government is providing IDP households a mere 1.5 million Iraqi dinars ($1,258) each to restore their lives in their places of origin, according to Ali Omer, the Assistant Governor of Nineveh province.

This figure does not come close to covering the costs of home reparations for most.

“By God, 1,500,000 [dinars] does not suffice. We cannot even pay the workers with this amount of money. Our house is destroyed. Our men are gone. Nothing is left behind,” Badal told Rudaw on Tuesday.

After returning to Shingal, Shukri Jamil, built a new house from scratch.

He says he has spent 25,000,000 dinars on the building of the house, after having found his 60,000,000 dinar house destroyed following ISIS’s brutal takeover of Shingal.

“We lost our cars, our houses were destroyed, we lost our sheep. What can we do with 1,500,000? This is not a solution,” said Jamil.

Nineveh’s Assistant Governor says that he will protest the amount to the Minister of Displacement and Migration.

“This is a very little amount of money,” Omer claimed, adding that around 10,000 people from Shingal have so far applied for compensation from the Iraqi government.

Over the past six years, the Iraqi government has not paid Shingal's budget, with the de facto mayor describing it as a major issue hindering the reconstruction of the area.

Fahd Hamo, who was appointed mayor by Shingal’s Autonomous Council , a civil administration formed by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) affiliated groups to govern the district, after elected mayor Mahma Khalil fled the area, says the area not receiving its share of the federal budget has hindered reconstruction initiatives.

“We have not received the budgets of the years of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and up until now,” said Hamd, whose administration is not recognized by the federal government. “We are calling on the Iraqi government to pay us the past years' budgets, because Shingal, the city and its surroundings, have seen massive destruction and difficulties.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/201020202
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:10 pm

$500,000 for restoration of Yezidi temple

US Consul General Rob Waller announced a $500,000 grant for the "restoration and preservation" of the sacred Lalish temple during a visit with Yezidi leaders on Wednesday

"The United States has now provided more than one million dollars to ensure the longevity and preservation of this irreplaceable national treasure," the consul said in a speech at the site.

Located in the Lalish village in the district of Sheikhan in the Kurdistan Region, the temple is the holiest site in the Yezidi religion. It site also includes the tomb of Sheikh Uday bin Musafir al-Hakari and thousands of Yezidis visit the temple from around the world every year.

Waller toured the temple and reviewed ongoing restoration efforts during his visit, the US Consulate General in Erbil stated in a tweet.

The consul expressed gratitude on behalf of the US government to those involved in the restoration project and discussed his hopes for the future of the site. "I would be remiss if I did not recognize the extraordinary work done by Salim al-Menen, the project leader from the University of Pennsylvania, and his team for restoring what I trust will one day soon be a UNESCO world heritage site," he stated.

Waller discussed past US efforts to protect cultural heritage sites across Iraq and the steps that have been taken by US government agencies to assist the diverse population of northern Iraq in recovering from the brutal reign of ISIS.

"With the addition of this grant the United States, through the US Agency for International Development and other agencies, has provided more than 470 million dollars to help the religious and ethnic components of northern Iraq to recover from the barbarism of ISIS," he said.

The Islamic State (ISIS) group invaded the district of Shingal in 2014, destroying critical infrastructure and cultural sites while forcing more than 150,000 Yezidis to flee. Following the liberation of the area, efforts to rebuild and protect important sites have been reinvigorated. The last time the temple was renovated was in 1979.

"This is like Vatican City for the Yezidis... This wasn't impacted by the Islamic State, but the Yezidis [asked] that if we were going to do anything, we help them restore Lalish," said Richard L. Zettler, an archeologist from the University of Pennsylvania involved in the restoration.

The Consul reiterated US commitment to the restoration and preservation of important cultural sites throughout northern Iraq throughout the months and years to come.

"Their efforts have been instrumental in preserving this invaluable piece of Iraq's cultural legacy and complement similar efforts, also in partnership with the United States to preserve and restore the Erbil Citadel, the Amedy Gate, the Tomb of Nahom, Demar gorges in Mosul, as well as to support the Sulaimani museum and the Kurdish Heritage Institute," Waller said.

Waller expressed his condolences to the religious and ethnic minority for the passing of the Yezidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh Khurto Hajji Ismail.

"I'm sure he would be pleased to see us today united in friendship and our commitment to preserving the spiritual and cultural treasure which is so central to the lives of Yezidis everywhere,” he said.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/221020201

I wonder how many BILLIONS of DOLLARS the US spent destroying ISIS along with much of the land and many of the buildings

The US and the other member of the coalition are always willing to destroy but seldom willing to rebuild that which they have helped to destroy X(
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:41 am

ISIS child soldiers left without help

Hundreds of Iraqi boys, many of them Yazidis, were forced to become child soldiers by ISIS, but few are getting any support to help them move on from their experience

Before his rescue from the Islamic State group, Hani, a kidnapped Yazidi boy, had been sheltering for months in a tunnel in Mosul’s old city, hiding underground under constant aerial bombardment from the US-led coalition forces.

Water was so scarce, drops were given via a syringe and each person’s food allowance was just four dates per day. In the tunnel, he watched four other children die of thirst and multiple people wounded and killed in air strikes.

    All of us Yazidis with ISIS were close friends and always together, but they all died

    - Hani, former IS child soldier
Hani - not his real name - is now 13. He is one of the survivors among thousands of Yazidi and other children kidnapped by the militant group, now back with his family in northern Iraq after being rescued from Islamic State (ISIS) in 2017.

He lost the friends he had made in Mosul, saying sadly: “All of us Yazidis with ISIS were close friends and always together, but they all died.”

After taking control of extensive areas of northern Iraq in 2014, the Islamic State group abducted thousands of minority Yazidis, including young boys who were used as domestic slaves or trained as child soldiers. After indoctrinating them and training them with weapons, ISIS sent many to fight on the frontlines.

“ISIS took the young to brainwash them, and Hani had ISIS military training,” his father Mahmoud told MEE. “He can drive a car, he knows how to throw a grenade, he wore a suicide vest at all times.

"When the air strike hit the place where he was [in Mosul], he had only just taken it off to sleep. He was lucky. If he had been wearing it, it could have exploded."

Hani returned to his family with multiple traumas, physical as well as mental, being chronically malnourished, severely injured in an air strike, including bone breaks in both legs, and having partially forgotten his native Kurdish.

“We thought he needed psychological help when he came back, but I was the only one who helped him,” said Mahmoud, noting that the only external support received was an iPad donated by a Dutch NGO.

Lack of support

Although Hani has continued to exhibit some behavioural problems, especially outbursts of anger towards his mother, he physically healed and, now attending school near the internal displaced persons (IDP) camp where his family has lived for six years, lives as normal a life as possible.

Mahmoud said his son is gradually recovering, even without professional help, explaining: “He understands exactly what happened to him. He was forced to do it, and was not brainwashed. Thank God, he had a strong mind.”

Since the defeat of ISIS territorially in Iraq and Syria last year, almost 1,000 Yazidi boys, many of whom were former child soldiers, have returned to civilian life in Iraq, but most have received no de-radicalisation, psychological or reintegration support.

“It’s very dangerous - these boys have been brainwashed and their minds are still with ISIS,” said Yazidi negotiator Ali, who has spent the last four years working to rescue captive Yazidis from ISIS and other hardline groups.

“None of them want to go back to ISIS, but it’s still very dangerous. They’ve been brainwashed and trained to use all kinds of weapons, and I don’t know whether they may still blow themselves up.”

Ali said former ISIS child soldiers remained in urgent need of help.

“They need massive and sustained support - they need de-brainwashing and de-radicalising, and they also need help to forget about their experiences - but unfortunately no-one is providing this support,” he said.

“Even when we mention our religious things, it’s funny for them, because they’ve been brainwashed into Islam. There’s one child in a camp [in Dohuk] who still says: ‘When I grow up, I will kill you all.’”

Hani

Marwan, 15, escaped from Syria in March 2019 on the morning he said ISIS had ordered him to carry out a suicide car-bombing mission

Hani is one of the luckier children who have returned to relatively stable families who have helped him recover from multiple traumas suffered during captivity.

Like others in this article, the names of Hani and his relatives have been changed to protect their identities.

Former child soldier Sufian, 19, who has also relied on family support since returning home, described a gruelling training schedule under ISIS, including intensive Islamic tuition followed by a month of military training in the Syrian desert.

“From 5am to 9am was sports training. Then we’d eat breakfast, and then it was weapons training and shooting practice. We trained with AK47s, PKTs [machine guns] and grenades,” he said. “After lunch we had training in military strategy.”

Sent to the frontlines to fight, Sufian only escaped from ISIS after a leg injury turned gangrenous and he was taken to a Kurdish-run hospital in northern Syria. From there, he eventually managed to return to Iraq.

A prosthetic leg, made in Iraq’s Kurdish region by an international organisation, is the only help he has received.

He was actively involved in trying to de-radicalise other Yazidi boys still with ISIS after his release, but told MEE: “No-one has talked to me about psychological support since I came back, or any kind of de-radicalisation.”

Those survivors fortunate enough to have supportive families seem to stand a better chance of reintegration than those returning to find themselves orphaned.

'I'd like to go back to school'

In the rural northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar, formerly controlled by ISIS, an estimated 120 young Shia women and children were abducted by the militants. Around 20 boys have returned home so far, many showing obvious signs of trauma, including brothers Ali, nine, and Ammar, seven, who spent five years with ISIS and returned to Iraq last summer.

“We’ve had nothing from the government and nothing from the hospital. No-one has offered us any help at all,” said their cousin Abu Haydar who, with the boys’ parents still missing, has taken charge of the brothers.

    'We’ve had nothing from the government and nothing from the hospital. No-one has offered us any help at all'

    - Abu Hassan, cousin of former ISIS captives, Tal Afar
“At the beginning, Ali was very, very angry, but he’s getting better. He’s now only slightly angry. But there’s no psychological doctor here in Tal Afar anyway. If they had worse problems, to be honest, I don’t know what I would do.”

Ali, a shy, haunted-looking boy who avoids physical contact, is the complete opposite of hyperactive, smiley Ammar. Their youngest brother remains with an ISIS family, now living in Turkey, who the Iraqi government has been trying to repatriate, without success.

The brothers were treated as slaves, forced to wash and clean for ISIS fighters and given just one small meal a day.

“We couldn’t defend ourselves because they were big and strong and they beat us with a hosepipe,” Ali says quietly.

“Since we were taken by ISIS, we haven’t been to school. There was no proper school with ISIS, they only taught us about religion and fighting, how to use a knife and an AK [47]. I’d like to go back to school now but I should be in year five, not year two.”

Reintegration into family life is only one step, and the prospect of wider reintegration, such as returning to school, usually years behind other children their own age, is not enticing, especially for children who are traumatised from experiencing brutality.

“I have received letters and requests from Tal Afar people, asking for help with children who have returned from Syria and have behavioural issues - they are brutal, they try to attack other children, and watch violent films,” said Dr Ali AlBayati, a member of Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.

“I receive many complaints about the lack of government support, psychological support or de-radicalisation support.”

Yazidis left out in cold following Iraqi deal to remove armed groups from Sinjar

During a recent visit to Tal Afar, AlBayati met with two Shia former child solders, aged 12 and eight. Having lost their family and home, they live together alone in an abandoned ISIS family’s house, reliant on the local community and a small monthly stipend from an NGO to survive.

“Imagine their feelings, living in an IS home. They are still living through trauma to this day, but this is their only option,” he said.

“Such circumstances could push them to the wrong side in the future. Maybe they will be attracted to military groups or mafias, which is against the future stability and security of the country.”

With support so scarce and problems so profound, helping some of Tal Afar’s survivor children has proved beyond the scope of this impoverished rural backwater.

One young returnee was so severely traumatised that he was deemed insane and sent to an orphanage in Mosul, where the isolated Tal Afar community hoped better help could be provided.

“There is no de-radicalisation support and this is a tremendous problem,” explained Haji Khalil Abu Muntadar, who heads the Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilisation] forces’ local security section, citing the case of another returnee who was sent to an orphanage in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala.

“When I took him to Karbala, he told me: ‘I will return and kill you. You are Rafida' ["rejectors" - a pejorative term used by some Sunnis to describe Shias],” he said.

“In the Karbala orphanage he showed other children how to behead people, and kept looking at ISIS and al-Qaeda internet sites. Now he’s seeing a psychological doctor, but I don’t know how that’s going.”

Lack of programmes

Almost three years after Iraq declared ISIS defeated in the country, it still has no strategy for dealing with former child soldiers, according to AlBayati.

“We’ve talked a lot about Yazidi survivors, nationally and internationally, but, until now, Iraq has no national policy for this problem,” he said.

“This is now a new post-ISIS era, with different types of victims - ISIS survivors and former child soldiers - and we need to pass special laws, but it still hasn’t been decided which part of the government should be responsible for dealing with this.”

A proposed law supporting victims of ISIS, including reparation, efforts to locate survivors and offer financial support, has been awaiting parliamentary approval since spring last year but large-scale civilian protests, government changes and coronavirus have left the proposal on a back-burner. And, even if this law is passed, it is expected to be little more than a step in the right direction.

“We need special centres to help former child soldiers and we are working on this but, in general, psychiatry in Iraq is very weak,” AlBayati told MEE.

“At present, there is a total absence of programmes to deal with child soldiers, which is very dangerous for the future, as it’s possible they could have some future involvement with terrorism.”

Yazidi children and rape survivors 'abandoned' after Islamic State captivity

Although a new initiative is being started, with support from the International Organisation for Migration, to establish a telephone hotline for ISIS survivors in hard-to-reach rural areas, this is expected to be insufficient for the scale of the problem faced.

Iraq’s recent governments have also been criticised for exhibiting disparity in how they have treated young men who were trained or conscripted by ISIS, making unfair differentiations between former child soldiers of different faiths, especially Sunni boys recruited by ISIS on promises of money or power.

“All children recruited by ISIS should be seen primarily as victims, not criminals, but authorities are not treating Arab children as such, only Yazidi children,” said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“If you’re a Sunni Arab boy and were forcibly recruited, you’re prosecuted and sentenced for terrorism, but if you’re a Yazidi, you get to go home. It’s clearly a discriminatory approach.”

Wille also said the international definition of a child soldier - any under-18 year-old is not able to consent so is classed as a child soldier - was also not being followed in Iraq.

HRW estimated that, at the end of 2018, authorities in Iraq and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) were detaining approximately 1,500 children for alleged ISIS affiliation, with a 2019 report noting that hundreds of children, including at least 185 foreign children, had been convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to prison terms.

“These child soldiers are victims, of course, and we need programmes for them. They need special rehabilitation, as well as education and future job opportunities. Leaving them sitting at home is not good because livelihoods in their areas have been lost, the land still hasn’t been cleared of IEDs and there are still ISIS sleeper cells,” said AlBayati.

'Suddenly they have to be against ISIS'

The KRG is the only place in Iraq which, at present, has any kind of institution-led support for former child soldiers, but even the local health authority admits this remains inadequate.

“We do have a programme for children to combat brainwashing, but it’s not a sophisticated programme,” Dr Nezar Ismet Taib, director general of Dohuk’s Department of Health, told MEE.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, established in 2001 to treat traumatised Kurdish children, has expanded to treat Yazidi survivors, but capacity is limited by funding shortages and the overwhelming numbers needing help for ISIS-related trauma.

“If they’re brainwashed, a multidisciplinary approach is needed, with doctors, teachers, psychologists and families also involved. It’s not an easy job. It’s very, very difficult to treat, especially with older children. They were part of the military, forced to kill, rape, and witness killings and beheadings,” he said.

“Before, they had to think and believe like ISIS, and then suddenly they have to be against ISIS. It’s complex for them, to keep changing their mind and beliefs.”

Only around 30 percent of Yazidi returnees have been registered for treatment in Dohuk, with the centre aware of 300 boys, out of 951 that the Office of Kidnapped Yazidis told MEE have been recorded as returning home.

Survivors are often taken in by extended family and, with many of the Yazidi population in KRG areas still displaced and spread across 11 IDP camps, informal roadside settlements or borrowed homes, keeping track of their whereabouts is challenging.

“New children are still returning but the difficult thing is to find them and bring them in for treatment. There are many kids who are ‘lost’ and going without treatment,” Taib admitted.

“Some stay hidden, don’t say they were soldiers or even deny it, but sometimes we spot it in camps through symptoms,” said Professor Jan Ilham Kizilhan, the head of Dohuk’s recently established Institute of Psychotherapy and Psychotraumatology.

“[Former child soldiers] are aggressive, can exhibit bullying behaviour at school, and have no trust. Some still reject Yazidi culture or verbally attack family members. There are many psychological and social problems in families, if the child still has a family.”

Potential future threat

Not every former ISIS child soldier wants, or thinks he needs, psychological help. Yazidi survivor Marwan, 15, escaped from Syria’s Baghouz district in March 2019, on the morning he says ISIS had ordered him to carry out a suicide car-bomb mission.

“I haven’t had any psychological treatment. They offered it to me but I said no. I don’t need it. I’m fine,” he told MEE.

    'We have to win back the trust, hearts and minds of these children but the IS brainwashing was very, very effective'

    - Professor Jan Ilham Kizilhan, head of Dohuk’s Institute of Psychotherapy and Psychotraumatology
“The Yazidi community helped me with clothes but that was useless because they were too big. I was also sent to Yazidi religious school for four weeks. They talked about the Yazidi faith and how to pray and worship god, but I know this already and I don’t need to be taught.”

Now living in a remote rural village, 160km from Dohuk, in a house lent by another Yazidi family who fled to Europe, Marwan fills his days playing computer games.

“Since I came back, I do nothing. I don’t want to go back to school. I’m not ready.” he said. “There are no jobs here and most of us Yazidis have been left in an impoverished situation with no-one to care for us.”

With Iraq lacking capacity to adequately address the problem of returning child soldiers, some international NGOs have made efforts to help. But, with funding shortages for long-term projects in Iraq, the long-term nature of trauma problems suffered by survivors of IS and the remote locations where needs prevail, their scope is also limited.

“NGOs usually offer only very short-term help and it’s not that effective,” said Kizilhan.

“We need long-term projects for child-soldiers. They have lost trust in humans and in humanity and this needs long-term, interdisciplinary help. We have to win back the trust, hearts and minds of these children but the ISIS brainwashing was very, very effective. According to my observations, it needs at least three years to change behaviour and thinking.”

Although supportive families can make a real difference, experts believe that orphaned former child soldiers or deeply traumatised survivors - failed by Iraq’s faltering systems and mostly lacking any meaningful psychological support - if left untreated, have the potential to pose a future threat.

“ISIS’s aim was to break both personality and heritage. They turned [boys] against their parents and promised them a new life and perspective with ISIS, through torture and pressure.

"The aim now is to reintegrate children into a peaceful and normal society but integration is a great problem and Iraq has no facilities or capacity to deal with this problem,” Kizilhan said.

“But, if there is no help now, we may have the next generation of terrorists.”

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iraq ... bilitation
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:54 am

Iraq resumes exhuming Shingal
mass graves of ISIS victims


Karim Khan, head of the United Nations team investigating ISIS crimes in Iraq, thanked the Yezidi community that has been waiting to see justice for the atrocities committed against them.

“The soil of Iraq is littered with sites where civilians were massacred by Daesh [ISIS]”, he said in the ceremony ahead of exhumation of a mass grave in Solagh. These crimes must be “properly investigated and responsible parties brought to justice.”

Speaking to the Yezidi women present at the ceremony, he said, “Please remain patient, we are working intelligently to make sure all the necessary evidence is collected.”

Khan promised that the crimes of ISIS will not be forgotten.

    The remains of the mother of Nadia Murad, genocide survivor and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, lie in a mass grave where exhumation has begun today, she said.

    Murad’s mother was killed when ISIS militants took over their home village of Kocho in August 2014.

    “For 6 long years, I & other survivors were denied the right to bury our loved ones with dignity. Today, I am overwhelmed with emotion as the mass grave where she lays beside other Yazidi women is finally exhumed,” she tweeted
The process of exhuming mass graves in Solagh and Kocho is expected to take 17 days, Dhia Karim, head of the Iraqi team, told Rudaw. "If we need more than 17 days for the exhumation, we will request it."

"After Kocho, we will work on other villages in Shingal. We are determined to exhume all mass graves,” he said. The process was begun early last year, but work was slowed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Info - updates - photos:

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/24102020
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:02 pm

Relatives of victims want
final rest for loved ones


Iraqi and Kurdish teams have exhumed two mass graves in the Yezidi homeland of the Shingal region of Nineveh province. The victims that lie in the graves were killed by Islamic State (ISIS) militants six years ago

Image

"My cousins and relatives are all in the mass grave. Our brothers and fathers are in the mass grave too. We want to take all of them out of there. I want nothing else," Nuam Ilyas, a relative of some of the victims said on Saturday.

"Whenever a mass grave is exhumed, we feel as if it is the day of the Kocho mass murder. We want the remnants of our relatives uncovered and given to us. Because, as you know, each day [of exhumation] is full of sorrow for us," said Taliya Naif, another mourning relative.

Teams from Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have jointly exhumed two mass graves in 17 days, with United Nations supervision. The teams expect to exhume remnants of 80 victims in Solagh, and 50 in Kocho.

There are an estimated 82 mass graves around Shingal, where over 1,000 Yezidis are believed to be buried, according to lead of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) mass grave team Sirwan Jalal.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/251020202
Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
User avatar
Anthea
Shaswar
Shaswar
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 23582
Images: 588
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: Sitting in front of computer
Highscores: 3
Arcade winning challenges: 6
Has thanked: 6017 times
Been thanked: 726 times
Nationality: Kurd by heart

Previous

Return to Kurdistan Debates, Articles and Analysis

Who is online

Registered users: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot]

cron
x

#{title}

#{text}