Yazda’s Statement on the occasion of 5th anniversary of Kocho Massacres

Houston, Texas, August 15, 2018 | With great sadness, we join survivors of Kocho and the entire Yazidi community today to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Kocho massacres. Kocho remains the deepest wound of the Yazidi Genocide.

On August 15, 2014, and after holding under siege more than 1,700 people inside the village for the period between August 3rd and 15th, ISIS gathered all people in the building of village’s high school, then segregated men and younger boys and summarily executed them at multiple locations. ISIS then isolated 86 women and massacred them near Solag Institute and summarily killed them too. Young women, girls, and children were taken as hostages at various locations in Iraq and Syria.

Five year later, nearly 2900 Yazidi women and children remain missing, including hundreds from the village of Kocho. 

Kocho was not only the deepest wound of Yazidi genocide, it was also a beacon of hope and inspiration for the Yazidis. The survivors became the voice of the community and bravely spoke about the plight of Yazidi people and thanks to their courage, today more people recognize the tragedy and stand with Yazidis.

Yazda will remain committed to Kocho and to all towns and villages affected by the genocide. We will not spare an ounce of energy in defending the rights of all survivors to access justice until full healing and recovery is achieved. We will continue to demand that the Iraqi Government, the regional government of Kurdistan, and the international community rise up to the challenge and bring justice to survivors, free remaining captives, hold accountable all perpetrators, provide security, compensate families, establish adequate humanitarian programs and psychological support for all survivors, and rebuild Kocho and other destroyed towns.

On this occasion, we acknowledge support of all countries and nonprofit organizations that provide a safe space for victims, trauma therapy, or any other form of support.