Partnership Announcement: Yazda continues its documentation project with the support of USAID-ICRI

Yazda has the pleasure to announce the restarting of its Documentation Project entirely supported and funded by USAID-ICRI.

The Documentation Program was launched in October 2015 to gather as much evidence as possible on the crimes committed against the Yazidis. Since then, the Documentation team has been collecting evidence in the form of witness and survivor interviews, in addition to visual material on mass graves and kill sites in and around Sinjar, Nineveh Province, where the genocide took place.

The Documentation Project aims to:

Document, consolidate, and archive existing survivor and witness testimonies on the genocide against Yazidis as well as the destruction of Yazidi cultural heritage sites in Sinjar and other Yazidi areas prior to the genocide to inform future academic and public inquires;Allocate new mass graves, killing and enslave sites Support cultural documentation by building a historical record on the Yazidi traditions, faith and daily life;Support the legal work, including that of Amal Clooney, coun- sel to Yazda, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad, and other survivors of the Yazidi Genocide, to pursue accountability before international and domestic courts for the crimes committed against the Yazidis;Provide support and background information to further domestic and international advocacy efforts that work to improve the conditions of Yazidis.

The Documentation Project Team

The Documentation Project has two offices; one in Duhok and one in Sinjar. The team consists currently of 26 employees which received extensive training provided by experts deployed by Justice Rapid Response (JRR) and is leaded by Natia Navrouzov, a Yazidi from Georgia whose ancestors have survived the genocide committed against the Yazidis by the Ottoman Empire. Natia arrived in France as a refugee with her family when she was ten years old and tried never to forget about her Yazidi heritage. She obtained a dual bachelor degree in German and French Law from the Universität zu Köln in Germany and the Université of Panthéon-Sorbonne in France. She also holds a Master’s degree in International Law from the Université of Panthéon-Sorbonne. Natia is admitted before the Parisian bar as a lawyer since October 2017 and received extensive training from the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI)

Impacts of Documentation Team over the past 4 years:

  • Collection of 475 survivors' testimonies, over one thousand hours of video and audio testimonies.  

  • Localisation and documentation of 61 mass graves and killing sites and 24 destroyed cultural and religious sites.

  • Submission of a 80-pages report to the International Crimimal Court (ICC) requesting a preliminary examination of the crimes committed against the Yazidis in Sinjar and Nineveh Plains since August 2014. Requesting these attacks to be recognised as a genocide, as crimes against humanity and as war crimes.

  • Issue of a first report on mass graves in January 2016 identifying the location of 35 mass graves and kill sites in the Sinjar area.

  • Issue of a second report on mass graves in August 2018, following Kocho’s liberation, documenting further mass graves and kill and calling UNITAD and the responsible local authorities to accelerate their efforts to exhume the mass graves.

  • Support the prominent international human rights lawyer, Amal Clonney and her team in building cases against ISIS fighters all around the world.Identifying gaps in the Iraqi criminal system and advocating for changes.

  • Collect massive amount of information in the form of text, images, video on ISIS members and their crimes.

Support our efforts:

If you have any information that could help the Documentation team, please send us an email at and one of our team members will contact you shortly. The types of information we are interested in are:

  • Testimonies

  • Photos

  • Videos

  • Links

  • Documents Localization of mass graves

  • Any other information

Yazda agrees not to disclose the confidential information obtained from the discloser unless receiving informed consent from the discloser.