In Yazda Press

Ireland urged to include Yazidi victims of torture among Syrian refugee quota


Ireland urged to include Yazidi victims of torture among Syrian refugee quota

Call comes as UN inquiry finds that genocide attempts ‘ongoing’


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

three ways:

 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

John Gallagher Consulting

Tel. 087 9369888