Yazda Press Release: Sunday 23 October 2016
For immediate release
Canadian MPs urged to work together to help Yazidi victims of genocide and sexual slavery by ISIS
Call comes as House of Commons is set to vote on a Motion on 25 October
Yazda, the Yazidi non-governmental organisation, today called on Canadian Members of Parliament to vote in favour of the motion proposed on the Yazidi Genocide and approve granting special status to most vulnerable Yazidi victims of continuing genocidal attacks in Iraq.
Murad Ismael, Yazda Executive Director said “Yazda thanks MPs of all parties for their interest in the Yazidi genocide. It urges that the forthcoming House of Commons debate and vote on Tuesday 25 October conclude with an all-party resolution:
“Nadia Murad and I were both struck by the overwhelming desire of so many MPs at the House of Commons debate in July 2016 to help our people and urge that Canada’s parliamentarians channel this collective goodwill into an all-party motion that will help our people.
“Such a motion backed up by action will defy ISIS and underpin Canada’s reputation for supporting the human rights of the most vulnerable because Yazidi women and girls have been particular targets of psychological, physical and sexual torture by ISIS” concluded Mr Ismael.
For further information on this media release please contact:
Murad Ismael, Executive Director, Yazda
Telephone (832) 638-4348
Note to Editors:
Yazda is an international not-for-profit organisation established to support the Yazidi community in the aftermath of the August 2014 genocide. It runs projects to help Yazidis in Iraq and has documented 35 mass graves in territory liberated from ISIS.
Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a 23 year old Iraqi Yazidi escapee from ISIS captivity recently appointed United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, is working with international human rights lawyer Ms Amal Clooney on Yazda’s campaign to persuade the International Criminal Court to open an investigation regarding ISIS crimes.
Yazda met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 19 September 2016 at the United Nations in New York and on 19 July 2016 gave testimony to Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.
The Yazidis are a religious minority based mainly in northern Iraq and have a 6,000 year old culture. ISIS launched a genocidal attack on the Yazidi community in August 2014, justified by falsely declaring Yazidis to be ‘devil worshippers’.
In the ISIS campaign of genocide captured Yazidi men and male teenagers were immediately murdered, younger boys sent for indoctrination as future ISIS fighters, young women and girls kidnapped as sex slaves while the middle aged and older women were subsequently murdered.
In summary approximately 5000 Yazidis were massacred, 7000 abducted and 90% of the Yazidi community displaced to refugee camps, mostly in Kurdistan, Iraq. Some 3,400 women and children remain in ISIS captivity either as sex slaves or undergoing brainwashing as future ISIS fighters. An estimated 2,576 Yazidi women and children have escaped or been rescued from ISIS captivity, of whom 1,100 have been brought to Germany for counselling and therapy. Some 42 Yazidi religious sites have been destroyed, numerous graveyards desecrated and Yazidi property plundered.
The above has been documented in the June 2016 report of the UN Commission of Inquiry into Syria, ‘They Came to Destroy: ISIS Crimes against the Yazidis’ which concluded that “genocide has occurred and is ongoing” against the Yazidi community.