A plea for help: over 3,000 Yazidi women, children and men in sexual slavery and ISIL captivity still need rescue.

 We, the Yazidi community in Iraq and abroad, implore you to act immediately to free Yazidi hostages and grant the Yazidi people sanctuary in Europe, North America and Australia.

We, the Yazidi people, appeal to the free world to take immediate action to free over  3,000 Yazidis, mostly women and children, held captive by the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS) in Northern Iraq. We urge you, individuals and organizations, to help us liberate our innocent people; our friends, sisters, mothers, and cousins who are enduring brutal conditions in captivity.

According to reports confirmed by human rights groups such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in London, The Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR), Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch among others, IS has sold hundreds of Yazidi girls as sexual slaves in Syria and Iraq. IS is reported to offer Yazidi girls for prices up to 1000 USD. While in their initial IS captivity or at their final destinations, Yazidi girls are constantly subjected to rape and sexual violence as well as other forms of physical and mental abuse.

Witnesses and family members have reported group rape against our innocent girls in Mosul, Baaj, Tal Afar and other locations. Minor girls under the age of twelve have been subject to rape and forced marriage, and Yazidi girls have been killed in captivity. Additionally, more than 40 Yazidi girls are known to have committed suicide.

The terrorist group has committed other atrocities in Yazidi towns, including the forced separation of Yazidi families between men, boys, women, and unmarried girls and has forced each group to practice Islamic traditions or die. To date, IS has killed hundreds of Yazidi men in mass killings, including at least 412 from the village of Kojo, located about 15 miles southwest of the city of Sinjar. IS has also separated and indoctrinated young Yazidi boys taken from their families and brought them to Syria and distant areas of Iraq to radicalize them as future members of Jihadist cells.

A young Yazidi female held captive by IS managed to make a phone call to a Yazidi activist in the U.S. stating, “We have no choice. We have to accept what they tell us to do or we will die.” Another one pleaded, “Bomb us. We prefer death over being abused by the hands of these cold-blooded murderers.”

Yazidis are not the only ethnic minority that continues to be attacked by ISIL. Other non-Sunni Muslim groups are persecuted for their religious identities as well. This is due to the failure of Iraqi and Kurdish authorities to protect minorities across Iraq. When the Islamic State assaulted the Sinjar area on August 3, 2014, the Kurdish forces (Peshmarga), abruptly withdrew and abandoned Sinjar, leaving it defenceless against ISIL atrocities. The Iraqi government and security forces also failed to protect its citizens from this imminent genocide. Consequently, Yazidis have lost trust in the political system and security forces in both Kurdistan and Iraq and therefore, we urge the world to organize mass immigration of Yazidis as “contingent refugees” and grant our people a safe third country where they will never be subject to another genocide.

Any support you can offer to help alleviate the suffering of our people in these desperate times is sincerely appreciated.

Important reports:

1- Mortality and kidnapping estimates for the Yazidi population in the area of Mount Sinjar, Iraq, in August 2014: A retrospective household survey

2- “They came to destroy”: ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis*