Press Release: Arrest Warrant against ISIS militant in Germany recognises crimes committed against Yazidis as genocide

In December 2016, the Supreme Court of Germany authorised the issuance of an arrest warrant against an ISIS commander who is allegedly responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Yazidi minority in Syria and Iraq. The ISIS commander – whose name will not be disclosed for the time being – was identified for prosecution by the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office. He is said to be high-ranking and responsible for the abduction and sexual enslavement of Yazidi women. [wysija_form id=”2″]

In August 2014, ISIS attacked the Sinjar region in Northern Iraq, homeland to the Yazidis, a peaceful minority targeted by ISIS because of their ancient religion. Thousands of men and older women were executed on the spot, while girls were captured to become “sex slaves” and young boys kidnapped and trained to be child soldiers. Over 360,000 Yazidis were displaced in a matter of days.

Over two and a half years later, more than 3,000 Yazidis remain in ISIS captivity. The United Nations has recognised that the crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis amount to genocide. But to date, no member of ISIS has been indicted or tried anywhere in the world for these atrocities.

 

This arrest warrant is an opportunity to change that. Amal Clooney, counsel to Yazda, Nadia Murad and other Yazidi ISIS survivors, congratulates the German Federal Prosecutor Christian Ritscher and his team for this achievement. It is hoped that the perpetrator can now be arrested and brought to trial. And that prosecutors in other countries show a similar commitment to holding members of ISIS accountable through their courts, where there is jurisdiction to do so.


 

Press Release: French Parliament urges the French Government to recognize the Yazidi genocide and to seize the International Criminal Court through the United Nations Security Council.

The French Parliament adopted this morning a resolution urging the French Government to:

  • Recognize the genocide perpetrated by Daesh against Yazidi, Christians and other minorities in Irak and Syria
  • Refer this situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) through the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

During the parliamentary discussion, most of the Members of Parliament have made reference to the UN report They Came to Destroy: ISIS Crimes against the Yazidis which urged the International Community to recognize the “ongoing genocide against Yazidis” and to fight impunity for perpetrators.

Yazda welcomes the adoption of this resolution and takes this opportunity to reiterate its main recommendations for the French Government:

  • Formally recognize the Yazidi genocide separate from collective recognition of Genocide.
  • Support establishing a safe zone for Yazidis and other minorities under international protection.
  • Relocate in France Yazidi vulnerable victims of continuing genocidal attacks, especially Yazidi women and girls who managed to escape captivity.
  • Provide financial and technical support for forensic expertise of the 42 mass graves already identified by Yazda in Sinjar. Support financially rebuild of liberated Yazidi Areas.

 

In February 2016, CAP international facilitated the advocacy tour of Nadia Murad Basee Taha and Yazda to Paris. On this occasion, Yazda and Nadia Murad met with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Presidential office (Elysée). They also met with Ministers Laurence Rossignol and Najat Vallaud Belkacem, the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, and two delegations of Senators and member of the Assemblée nationale.

Yazda websitewww.yazda.org

The Yazidis are a People and an ethno-religious group based mainly in northern Iraq, Kurdistan, Germany, Russia, Armenia, and Georgia. Yazidis have a 6,000-year-old distinctive culture. ISIS launched a genocidal attack on the Yazidi People 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.

Press Release in English

Press Release in Arabic

U.S. Consul General Visits Yazda

Yazda was honored today by a visit from the U.S. Consul General in Erbil, Matthias Mitman, who traveled to Dohuk and had a meeting in the Yazda office.

The Consul General was accompanied by Nakashia Dunner, a Political Officer in the U.S. Consulate, and met with Yazda Iraq Executive Director Matthew Barber, Manager of Operations Jameel Chomer, and researcher and documentation specialist Andrew Slater.

The Consul General inquired about the status of our work and about the needs of the Yazidi people we serve: the IDPs in the camps, the returnees in Shingal, and the refugee population outside of Iraq. We discussed some of the important issues facing the Yazidi community today.

We are grateful for the involvement of the Consul General and we will continue to work with all officials who share our concern for the well-being of the Yazidi people and who want to help guarantee their future in their homeland.

 

carousel
images not found

 

 

 

 

Endangered Religious Minorities in the Middle East and Their Struggle for Survival Fordham University

ReligiousMinorities_175
On May 10, 2016 Haider Elias Yazda President, participated in a conference hosted by Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture. The purpose of the conference was to make awareness about the struggles of religious minorities in the Middle East.
Haider Elias made a brief introduction to the Yazidi religious minority that has nourished in the region for millennia and rooted in the beliefs of ancient Mesopotamia, and how it is now on the verge of extinction.
He also outlined some of Yazda goals in few years from now, such as: the liberation of the entire Sinjar area and provide security with the participation of all security forces including the Coalition forces.
To form a joint command force out of all the local forces that also includes international forces.
To form a local administration from among the Yazidi people that is acceptable to everyone.
To support the Yazidis in their ancestral homelands in Northern Iraq, through the liberation of their areas, through the provision of security and international protection, and through the formation of local governance drawn from the Yazidi people, under the supervision of UN.
To find a safe path for those Yazidis who choose to leave the Middle East; considering that the Yazidis are a minority that has been repeatedly targeted with annihilation for their religious identity.
To work on creating more humanitarian projects for the internally displaced and refugees from the Yazidi community To work on building strong relations with international institutions and to create a Yazidi lobby that is able to legitimately serve as a Yazidi voice, in order to achieve the will of the Yazidis in building their future.

 

carousel
images not found

(photos by Fordham University/ Leo Sorel)

 

NRT writes on Yazda work in Dohuk

NRT DUHOK – A non-profit organization has recently set up a center in the northern Kurdish city of Duhok to help Yazidi women and girls, who have survived sex enslavement at the hands of the Islamic State (IS) militants, lead a normal life again.

Yazda, the U.S.-based non-profit organization, was established in the aftermath of the IS capture of Sinjar in August 2014, hometown to the Yazidi community in northern Iraq. The aim of the organization is to help the Yazidis a minority sect in northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.

According to Executive Director in Iraq Matthew Barber, the group has so far helped over 800 Yazidi women and girls, offering them the psychological support they need to overcome ordeals of rape, torture and enslavement.

Besides trauma and medical support, the group is also providing humanitarian aid including food and clothing for displaced Yazidis living in a refugee camp on the outskirts of the city.

“Yazda has done a number of projects to support people in different way, men and women both. One form of this is through aid, giving clothing, giving food, giving different types of support to camps and locations where people that are displaced are living,” said Barber, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State which is also known as IS or ISIS.

“Yazda has received over eight hundred women and girls that have escaped from Daesh. They’ve come to Yazda, talked about their story, given their information. Yazda does a detailed intake interview with them to understand what their experience was and what their needs are now, what the situation is now,” Barber added.

IS has hounded ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq since seizing the city of Mosul in June last 2014, killing and displacing thousands of Christians, Shabaks and Turkmen who lived for centuries in one of the most diverse parts of the Middle East.

Hundreds of Yazidi women and girls have been captured, raped and tortured, and forced to convert to Islam and marry IS followers, according to rights groups.

Barber said that one of his group’s goal is to counter IS’ attempts to eliminate the Yazidis’ tradition and finish their religion and his group’s goal is to make sure that this religion and traditions continue to exist and be respected.

For this end and as part of its rehabilitation program, the group organizes trips for Yazidi women to Lalesh Temple for spiritual and psychological comfort. The temple is considered to be the most sacred place for the minority sect.

IS militants consider the Yazidis “devil worshippers” because of their faith, and believe Islamic law entitles IS fighters to rape, abuse and forcibly convert members of the minority sect.

Together with its humanitarian projects, Yazda also aims to document crimes committed by IS militants against the Yazidi sect including rape of hundreds of Yazidi women and killing of thousands of Yazidi men.

“Yazda is involved, hopefully soon, in starting educational projects for women who have escaped from Daesh, from IS. Yazda is also doing documentation work to record the history of what has happened in this place, so Yazda is doing a quite number of different projects all of which are to support the Yazidi community,” said Barber.

Yazidi women said the group’s activities have helped greatly in healing their psychological wounds.

Among them is 22-year old Sara Ahmed Mahmoud, a mother of two children who escaped the IS after 11 months in captivity and who is still haunted by painful memories of the abuse she experienced while in captivity.

“When I arrived here I was suffering from psychological problems and was advised by a number of my friends who have managed to escape Daesh captivity and who were enrolled in the group’s activities to come and participate,” she said.

“My friends told me that they have started to feel much when they attended activities organized by the organization, therefore, I decided to come. This organization helps all the women who have escaped Daesh, especially women like me who have no relatives and who have lost their husband and who have no money or salary, through registering our names and giving us a monthly payment,” she continued.

Mahmoud did not wish to talk about her experiences in captivity.

Others urge the group to work to help free their fellow Yazidis who are still in captivity.

“We call on the group to organize more courses to help fill our time and distract our attention from indulging in our past experience. We also want them to help our fellow Yazidi people who are still at the hands of Daesh. This is our main call and we hope that the world will hear our appeal,” said 24-year-old Diyana Jerdo Ibrahim whose 44 male relatives are still held by the IS militants.

“I saw the benefits that my friends got after attending courses organized by the group. They’ve become much better as these courses help keep them preoccupied and all the women are in need of such courses because our scars have not been healed yet,” she added.

(Reuters

Report: 16,000 Yazidi Refugees in Turkey and Syria Seek Legal Admission to Third Countries via Refugees Resettlement Programs

Over the past 15 months, Yazidis faced the most devastating attacks of the 21st century on the hands of terrorists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ISIL targeted Yazidis last year with the intent of extermination.

Campaign on Yazidis, one of the most ancient people of the region, resulted in enslavement of 5 to 7 thousands Yazidis, mostly women and children, killing of more than three thousands civilians and displacement of more than 85 percent of Yazidi population from their homeland in Sinjar and Nineveh Plain.

While moos of the displaced Yazidis settled in refugee camps in Kurdistan Region, northern Iraq who considered as IDPs- or Internally displaced people,   thousands of them fled to Turkey and Syria and settled in seven major camps in Turkey and one major camp in Syria.

In Turkey and Syria, more than 16,000 Yazidi refugees are currently living under horrific conditions in the areas of conflict between the Turkish military and PKK fighters, Yazidi refugees find themselves often caught in the  fight between the two sides or sieged in their camps. Last week, the Turkish army established a military base inside the Nusaybin Refugee camp, a camp that shelters  4,000 Yazidi refugees.

Yazda submits this report on behalf of Yazidi refugees currently displaced to Turkey and Syria, to be submitted to countries which have agreed to resettle refugees from Syria and Turkey.  We request that a quota be granted to Yazidi refugees and their petition through UNHCR resettlement program are expedited. Yazda urges European Union Nations, United States, Canada, and Australian governments to grant Yazidi refugees priority in their immigration programs and  expedited  UNHCR interviews for Yazidi Refugees.

Click here to download the report

 

Yazidis urge ICC to investigate IS atrocities

.yourmiddleeast.com | AFP

 

Banner Icon HUMAN RIGHTS Iraq’s Yazidi minority — the target of brutal attacks from the Islamic State group — urged the International Criminal Court Thursday to launch probes into the militants for genocide and sexual slavery.

Two Yazidi groups handed over documents to the court which show “that ISIS has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael from the Yazda group.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda earlier this year said IS has committed crimes of “unspeakable cruelty” including mass executions, rape and torture.

But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are signatories to the court and her “jurisdictional basis… is too narrow.”

The new report however specifically names some 20 foreign fighters from countries who have signed the ICC’s founding Rome Statute.

A Kurdish-speaking minority mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, the Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which Islamic State militants consider to be heretical and polytheistic.

In August 2014, the jihadists made an unexpected push into areas of northern Iraq that had been under Kurdish control and were home to many of the country’s minorities.

Read More>>

Hague: Daesh pursue genocidal agenda, argue Yazidis to court

thenational.scot

ICC lawyer Fatou Bensouda

ICC lawyer Fatou Bensouda

 

ADVOCATES for the Yazidi people of northern Iraq, who have been targeted by Daesh because they are not Muslims, urged the International Criminal Court yesterday to investigate their persecution as a potential case of genocide.

In a meeting with ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, two Yazidi groups submitted a report detailing atrocities they allege Daesh fighters in northern Iraq have perpetrated since August last year.

They include the summary executions of more than 700 Yazidi men, the killing of the sick and elderly, the rape and enslavement of thousands of women and the abduction of their children, who are forced to convert to Islam and fight for Daesh.

More than 400,000 Yazidis have fled Iraq’s Sinjar and Nineveh plains districts, at times with the help of US and Iraqi strikes against Daesh forces.

They are now living in camps in areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq.

Daesh has openly said it wants to eliminate the Yazidi religion, which it regards as heathen.

Yazidis believe in one god and their theology mostly derives from ancient Iranian religious traditions, rather than canonical Jewish, Christian or Islamic texts.

Read More>>

Yazidis urge ICC to open probe into ISIL atrocities

hurriyetdailynews.com | THE HAGUE – Agence France-Presse

Yazidi Kurdish women hold posters during a protest against the ISIL's invasion on Sinjar city one year ago, in Dohuk, northern Iraq, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. AP Photo

Yazidi Kurdish women hold posters during a protest against the ISIL’s invasion on Sinjar city one year ago, in Dohuk, northern Iraq, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. AP Photo
Iraq’s Yazidi minority — the target of brutal attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) — on Sept.24 urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the militants for allegations of genocide and sexual slavery.

Two Yazidi groups handed the court a new report and documents which show “that ISIS [ISIL] has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael of the Yazidi rights organisation Yazda.

Earlier this year, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said ISIL had committed crimes of “unspeakable cruelty” including mass executions, rape and torture.

But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are signatories to the court and her “jurisdictional basis… is too narrow.”

The report, however, specifically names some 20 foreign fighters from countries who have signed the ICC’s founding Rome Statute.

A Kurdish-speaking minority mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, the Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which ISIL militants consider to be heretical and polytheistic.

In August 2014, the jihadists made an unexpected push into areas of northern Iraq that had been under Kurdish control and were home to many of the country’s minorities.

Worst-hit were the Yazidis, who were massacred and abducted in large numbers when ISIL entered the Sinjar area.

Yazidis urge ICC to open probe into ISIS atrocities

dailystar.com

 THE HAGUE: Iraq’s Yazidi minority — the target of brutal attacks from ISIS — urged the International Criminal Court Thursday to launch probes into the militants for genocide and sexual slavery.

Two Yazidi groups handed over documents to the court which show “that ISIS has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael from the Yazda group.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda earlier this year said ISIS has committed crimes of “unspeakable cruelty” including mass executions, rape and torture.

But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are signatories to the court and her “jurisdictional basis… is too narrow.”

The new report however specifically names some 20 foreign fighters from countries who have signed the ICC’s founding Rome Statute.

A Kurdish-speaking minority mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, the Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which ISIS militants consider to be heretical and polytheistic.

In August 2014, the extremists made an unexpected push into areas of northern Iraq that had been under Kurdish control and were home to many of the country’s minorities.

Read More >>

Persecuted by Daesh, Yazidis turn to ICC for justice

gulfnews.com

The Hague: Advocates for the Yazidi people of northern Iraq, who have been targeted by Daesh because they are not Muslims, urged the International Criminal Court on Thursday to investigate their persecution as a potential case of genocide.

In a meeting with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, two Yazidi groups submitted a report detailing atrocities they allege Daesh terrorists in northern Iraq have perpetrated since August 2014.

They include the summary executions of more than 700 Yazidi men, the killing of the sick and elderly, the rape and enslavement of thousands of women and the abduction of their children, who are forced to convert to Islam and fight for Daesh.

More than 400,000 Yazidi have fled Iraq’s Sinjar and Nineveh Plains districts, at times with the help of US and Iraqi strikes against Daesh. They are now living in camps in areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq.

Daesh has openly said it wants to eliminate the Yazidi religion, which it regards as heathen. Yazidi believe in one god and their theology mostly derives from ancient Iranian religious traditions, rather than canonical Jewish, Christian, or Islamic texts.

A spokeswoman for Bensouda confirmed she has received the report but could not comment further.

The court’s previous prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, who helped put together the Yazidi submission, told Reuters in an interview this month he believed the treatment of the Yazidi was a clear case of genocide.

Bensouda has previously acknowledged that Daesh fighters appeared to be committing grave crimes in Iraq and Syria. She has called on the international community to act as she has no jurisdiction because Iraq and Syria are not ICC members.

Read More>>

Iraq’s Yazidis Tell Hague Court Islamic State Committed Genocide

rferl.org

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, flee violence from Islamic State (IS) militants in the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq in August 2014.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, flee violence from Islamic State (IS) militants in the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq in August 2014.

 

Iraq’s Yazidis, a minority targeted for particularly brutal treatment by the Islamic State (IS) group, have urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the militants for committing crimes of genocide and sexual slavery.

Two Yazidi groups, with the support of Iraq’s Kurdish regional government, submitted a report to The Hague-based court  documenting their claim that IS “systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael of the Yazidi rights organization Yazda.

The allegations include summary executions of more than 700 Yazidi men, the killing of the sick and elderly, the rape and enslavement of thousands of women, and the abduction of their children, who are forced to convert to Islam and fight for IS.

IS has openly said it wants to eliminate the Yazidi religion, which it regards as heathen. Yazidis believe in one god and their theology mostly derives from ancient Iranian religious traditions, rather than canonical Jewish, Christian, or Islamic texts.

Earlier this year, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said IS had committed “unspeakable cruelty,” including mass executions, rape, and torture. But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are ICC members.

 

Read More>>

Yazidis seek ICC probe into IS atrocities

timesofisrael.com

Iraq’s Yazidi minority — the target of brutal attacks from the Islamic State group — urges the International Criminal Court Thursday to launch probes into the militants for genocide and sexual slavery.

Two Yazidi groups hand over documents to the court which show “that ISIS has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael from the Yazda group.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda earlier this year said IS has committed crimes of “unspeakable cruelty” including mass executions, rape and torture.

But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are signatories to the court and her “jurisdictional basis… is too narrow.”

The new report however specifically names some 20 foreign fighters from countries who have signed the ICC’s founding Rome Statute.

AFP

 

Read More >>

Targeted by Islamic State, Iraq’s Yazidis turn to ICC for justice

theglobeandmail.com | TOBY STERLING, THE HAGUE — Reuters

Advocates for the Yazidi people of northern Iraq, who have been targeted by Islamic State because they are not Muslims, urged the International Criminal Court on Thursday to investigate their persecution as a potential case of genocide.

In a meeting with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, two Yazidi groups submitted a report detailing atrocities they allege IS fighters in northern Iraq have perpetrated since August 2014.

They include the summary executions of more than 700 Yazidi men, the killing of the sick and elderly, the rape and enslavement of thousands of women and the abduction of their children, who are forced to convert to Islam and fight for IS.

More than 400,000 Yazidi have fled Iraq’s Sinjar and Nineveh Plains districts, at times with the help of U.S. and Iraqi strikes against IS forces. They are now living in camps in areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq.

Islamic State has openly said it wants to eliminate the Yazidi religion, which it regards as heathen. Yazidi believe in one god and their theology mostly derives from ancient Iranian religious traditions, rather than canonical Jewish, Christian, or Islamic texts.

A spokeswoman for Bensouda confirmed she has received the report but could not comment further.

The court’s previous prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, who helped put together the Yazidi submission, told Reuters in an interview this month he believed the treatment of the Yazidi was a clear case of genocide.

Bensouda has previously acknowledged that Islamic State fighters appeared to be committing grave crimes in Iraq and Syria. She has called on the international community to act as she has no jurisdiction because Iraq and Syria are not ICC members.

FOREIGN FIGHTERS

The report submitted by the Free Yezidi Foundation and Yazda, with the support of the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq, argues the court has jurisdiction over some 5,000-7,500 foreign fighters within IS who come from ICC member states, including around 2,000 from France, Britain, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Read More >>

Yazidis urge ICC to open probe into IS atrocities

uk.news.yahoo.com | By AFP | AFP – Thu, Sep 24, 2015

A Kurdish-speaking minority mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, the Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which Islamic State militants consider to be heretical and polytheistic

View Photo

AFP/AFP/File – A Kurdish-speaking minority mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, the Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which Islamic State militants consider to be …more 

Iraq‘s Yazidi minority — the target of brutal attacks by the Islamic State group — on Thursday urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the militants for allegations of genocide and sexual slavery.

Two Yazidi groups handed the court a new report and documents which show “that ISIS has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael of the Yazidi rights organisation Yazda.

Earlier this year, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the IS group, which is sometimes referred to as ISIS or ISIL, had committed crimes of “unspeakable cruelty” including mass executions, rape and torture.

But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are signatories to the court and her “jurisdictional basis… is too narrow.”

The report, however, specifically names some 20 foreign fighters from countries who have signed the ICC’s founding Rome Statute.

A Kurdish-speaking minority mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, the Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which Islamic State militants consider to be heretical and polytheistic.

In August 2014, the jihadists made an unexpected push into areas of northern Iraq that had been under Kurdish control and were home to many of the country’s minorities.

Worst-hit were the Yazidis, who were massacred and abducted in large numbers when IS entered the Sinjar area.

Tens of thousands scrambled up Mount Sinjar in a panic and remained stranded there for days with no food nor water.

– ‘Despicable crimes’ –

“It is abhorrent that such despicable crimes should be inflicted upon innocent civilians anywhere on Earth,” said Ismael in a statement.

 

Read More >>

Yazidi Groups Plead With International Criminal Court to Prosecute ‘Genocide’ by Islamic State

news.vice.com | By Rachel Browne

Activists with Yazidi rights groups are urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the atrocities committed by Islamic State militants against the religious minority in Iraq as acts of genocide.

Members of Yazda International and Free Yazidi Foundation, backed by the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq (KRG), met with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda today to present their new report outlining how IS fighters have slaughtered, enslaved, and raped thousands of Yazidis since it invaded their communities in the Nineveh province in northern Iraq last August. Thousands of Yazidi women and girls remain captive as sex slaves among IS militants.

These acts of violence committed by IS fighters against the Yazidis and other non-Muslim minorities in the region have been documented before. But Murad Ismael, co-founder of Yazda, told VICE News his group’s report provides further evidence of abuses against Yazidis at the hands of foreign fighters. According to the report, there’s an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 people from Australia, Jordan, Europe, and beyond fighting for IS.

Ismael says he and his colleagues spoke to Yazidi women and girls who fled IS captivity who described how they were cruelly treated by foreigners — although their testimonies are redacted in the public version of the report.

“Foreign fighters have been heavily involved in the sex trade of Yazidi women and girls. And that means that the ICC and the rest of the international community should not ignore the ways they are subjecting the Yazidis to very inhuman and barbaric acts,” Ismael said from The Hague. “This report provides new information and context for the role of foreign fighters, who hold high ranking positions within IS, and shows that the court should hold them accountable for their crimes.”

Read More >>

Yazidis urge ICC to open probe into IS atrocities

Dailytimes

THE HAGUE – Iraq’s Yazidi minority – the target of brutal attacks from the Islamic State (IS) militant group – urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday to launch probes into the militants for genocide and slavery.

 

Two Yazidi groups handed over documents to the court which show “that IS has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael from the Yazda group. Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda earlier this year said that IS has committed crimes of “unspeakable cruelty” including mass executions, rape and torture.

 

But she said that she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are signatories to the court and her “jurisdictional basis is too narrow.” The new report, however, specifically names some 20 foreign fighters from countries who have signed the ICC’s founding Rome Statute. A Kurdish-speaking minority mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, the Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which IS militants consider to be heretical and polytheistic.

 

In August 2014, the militants made an unexpected push into areas of northern Iraq that had been under Kurdish control and were home to many of the country’s minorities. The worst-hit were the Yazidis, who were massacred and abducted in large numbers when IS entered the Sinjar area. Tens of thousands scrambled up Mount Sinjar in a panic and remained stranded there for days with no food nor water.

Read More >>

ISIL AT THE ICC – STILL A LONG WAY TO GO?

justicehub.orgBy Niklas Jakobsson

 

Are we witnessing the first step towards holding commanders of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) accountable for crimes committed in the Middle East? Today representatives of the Yazidi and the minister of foreign affairs of the Kurdish Regional Government, Falah Mustafa Bakir, handed over a report documenting crimes committed against the Yazidi population to the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.
The report, entitled “ISIL: Nationals of ICC states parties committing genocide and other crimes against the Yazidis”, is a harrowing read, filled with details of crimes committed. An ICC probe into crimes committed by ISIS has been regularly promoted by human rights organisations and international justice commentators. But it is unclear whether this move will lead to anything more than once again shining the limelight on the atrocities being committed.
Speaking outside the Court, Minister Bakir explained why they have submitted this report. “This is a follow-up for the efforts of the Kurdistan Regional Government”, he said. “Last year, we came and submitted a report to the ICC in order to start an investigation. But this is a more thorough report.”
The delegation submitting the 49-page report was joined by two Yazidis who have fallen victim to the crimes committed by ISIL. The report, created by Yazda and the Free Yezidi Foundation, suggests a narrow focus for the ICC, looking at the specific geographical area of Sinjar District and Nineveh Plains, Iraq, from August 2014.

So what’s new?

So how is this report different from previous communications received by the Office of the Prosecutor? According to the report, there’s additional information about the “significant presence of foreign fighters including nationals of states parties”. Some of these fighters are allegedly mid- to high-level commanders.

Yazidis Urge International Criminal Court to Open Probe Into Islamic State Atrocities

NDTV |

Yazidis Urge International Criminal Court to Open Probe Into Islamic State Atrocities

File Photo: Members of the Islamic State militant group. (Associated Press)

THE HAGUE:  Iraq’s Yazidi minority — the target of brutal attacks from the Islamic State group — urged the International Criminal Court today to launch probes into the militants for genocide and sexual slavery.

Two Yazidi groups handed over documents to the court which show “that ISIS has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael from the Yazda group.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda earlier this year said IS has committed crimes of “unspeakable cruelty” including mass executions, rape and torture.

But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are signatories to the court and her “jurisdictional basis… is too narrow.”

The new report however specifically names some 20 foreign fighters from countries who have signed the ICC’s founding Rome Statute.

A Kurdish-speaking minority mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, the Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which Islamic State militants consider to be heretical and polytheistic.

In August 2014, the jihadists made an unexpected push into areas of northern Iraq that had been under Kurdish control and were home to many of the country’s minorities.

The worst-hit were the Yazidis, who were massacred and abducted in large numbers when IS entered the Sinjar area.

Read More>>

Persecuted by Islamic State, Yazidis turn to ICC for justice

Reuters|

Advocates for the Yazidi people of northern Iraq, who have been targeted by Islamic State because they are not Muslims, urged the International Criminal Court on Thursday to investigate their persecution as a potential case of genocide.

In a meeting with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, two Yazidi groups submitted a report detailing atrocities they allege IS fighters in northern Iraq have perpetrated since August 2014.

They include the summary executions of more than 700 Yazidi men, the killing of the sick and elderly, the rape and enslavement of thousands of women and the abduction of their children, who are forced to convert to Islam and fight for IS.

More than 400,000 Yazidi have fled Iraq’s Sinjar and Nineveh Plains districts, at times with the help of U.S. and Iraqi strikes against IS forces. They are now living in camps in areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq.

 

Read more>>

Isis escape: One Yazidi woman’s horrific ordeal and miraculous rescue from the hands of one of the caliphate’s most-feared leaders

Jalila was the personal property of Abu Sayyaf. Now she lives in hiding, but James Harkin tracked her down in a remote part of northern Iraq to find out about her life of slavery and beatings that only ended when the Black Hawk helicopters swooped

Standing alone at the end of a dirt track on top of a mountain, the 18-year-old Yazidi woman is wearing a broad smile. It’s because it took us so long to get here. For a whole week my phone calls and entreaties to her relatives were batted back with the reply that “the Americans don’t want her to say anything”; the American Consulate in Irbil, in turn, wouldn’t even confirm or deny her existence.

Then came a two-hour drive to an area of northern Iraq so remote that even my local driver got lost, and after that came the thunder and lightning and heavy rain; if it hadn’t been for directions from half a dozen friendly villagers, and her guiding us in with her mobile phone, we would never have made it. “Isis will never find you here,” I joke, getting out of the car to shake her hand. “That is the point,” she says.

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community, who fled violence between Islamic State (IS) group jihadists and Peshmerga fighters (AFP)Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community, who fled violence between Islamic State (IS) group jihadists and Peshmerga fighters (AFP)

Jalila is one of the luckiest Yazidi women alive. When the men from Isis (like many of Isis’s enemies, she prefers to call them Da’esh, an irreverent play on their Arabic acronym) swooped into her village in Sinjar last August, she was one of the Read More>>

Worldview: A shocking silence on ISIS’s sex slavery

philly.com | Trudy Rubin

Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker, was captured in Syria in 2013 and reportedly subjected to months of rape before her death.

Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker, was captured in Syria in 2013 and reportedly subjected to months of rape before her death. JO. L. KEENER / Daily Courier

One of the most heinous of the endless war crimes of the Islamic State has been the systematic rape of thousands of young girls and women – who are sold as sex slaves.

Most of the victims come from the Yazidi religious minority, labeled nonbelievers by ISIS. They were captured when ISIS invaded northern Iraq last year and wiped out their communities.

But one of the sex slaves was a fresh-faced blond American, a 25-year-old aid worker who was captured in Syria in August 2013. Kayla Mueller was chained in a room and raped for months by the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, before being killed in February (supposedly by a Jordanian air strike, but the true cause is uncertain).

What astonishes me is the paucity of global outrage at the buying and selling of sex slaves – not to mention U.S. outrage at the enslavement of Mueller. American women organized to protest the Taliban’s repression of women but not ISIS atrocities that make the Taliban’s war crimes look mild in comparison. How can this be?

It’s not because ISIS’s slave trade isn’t heinous or heartbreaking. The New York Times’ Rukmini Callimachi recently documented ISIS’s revival of slavery as an institution, with a bureaucracy of warehouses and viewing rooms where Yazidi girls are auctioned as chattel.
Read more at www.philly.com