Embargoed to July 29 th , 2016
Yazda, the organisation representing members of the Yazidi community threatened with
genocide by ISIS, has called on the Irish government to include Yazidi victims of
psychological, physical and sexual torture among the quota of Syrian refugees to be
accepted into Ireland.
On June 16 th last the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry into Syria found that
‘genocide has occurred and is ongoing’ against the Yazidi community.
August 3 rd marks the second anniversary of the capture of Sinjar city by ISIS, the
slaughter of over 5,000 people and the enslavement of a further 5,000 women and girls.
Ahmed Khudida, Director of Yazda in the UK , said that “two years later, over 3,000 of
these women and girls remain trapped in sex slavery and torture. This is effectively the
emergence of feminicide through the kidnapping of Yazidi women as spoils of war, their
enslavement, torture, systematic rape and forced religious conversion.
“In addition tens of thousands of our people remain homeless or displaced and subject to
ongoing risk of continued attack. Thousands of Yazidis are refugees in the EU with over
3,000 in Greece alone.”
Mr Khudida said that the Irish government can respond proactively to the UN Report in
including members of the Yazidi community in its Syrian refugee quota
granting temporary permits to escaped Yazidi victims of rape and sex slavery to
obtain therapy and counselling services in Ireland, as has been done by Germany
raising and supporting measures at the UN to bring ISIS perpetrators of torture to the
International Criminal Court or to a Tribunal.
“Ireland could accept Yazidi victims of torture under existing government policy,
specifically through the commitment of the current Ministers for Foreign Affairs and
Justice and Equality in August 2014 that ‘Ireland will provide refuge to a number of
families fleeing the violence being perpetrated by ISIS.’
“Yazda has just completed a visit to Canada, to discuss with government officials,
Parliament and NGOs there how best to support measures for the protection of vulnerable
groups. We would welcome an opportunity to work similarly with the Irish government
and relevant organisations,” he said.
Note to Editors: In June 2016, international human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney,
confirmed she will represent a number of Yazidi women victims of torture at International
Criminal Court proceedings. The Yazidi are an ethnic and religious minority with a 6,000
year old culture, based mainly in northern parts of Syria and Iraq, with emigrant
communities in Europe and North America. Yazda is a non-profit organization,
established to support the Yazidi internationally and in their homeland in northern Iraq
and northeastern Syria. Yazda’s mission is to support the Yazidi community in the
aftermath of the August 2014 genocide and the displacement of 400,000 people in Sinjar,
the Nineveh Plains, and Syria.
Ahmed Khudida is the United Kingdom Office Director of Yazda UK. Ahmed completed
his Masters of Science in Immunology at the University of Nottingham, UK. He
previously served as Executive Director for the Al-Smoqi Charity, a local Yazidi
organization which supported the community for over four years.
For further information on this media release please contact:
John Gallagher Consulting
Tel. 087 9369888