Peace in Kurdistan Press Release:
Peace in Kurdistan Women Alliance for Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria together with Roj Women Assembly and Jean Lambert MEP are delivering an open letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, today, Wednesday 3rd August, 2pm, the second anniversary of the beginning of the Genocide of the Yezidi people in Shingal.
We are calling on the Prime Minister to ensure that a resolution is put to the Security Council that a Commission of Enquiry be established with a view to referring the matter to the International Criminal Court, as a matter of urgency.
We understand the present government position is to not make pronouncements about whether or not a situation amounts to a genocide, and that it considers that a judicial body must decide such matters. We believe however that in the circumstances of the continuing tragedy in Iraq and Syria it would be immoral for there to be further delay. The Commission of Enquiry route is a way of advancing this matter without offending against this long held Government position and should be pursued now as a matter of urgency.
Unimaginable atrocities have been committed against the Yezidi people and continue to be committed. Thousands have been brutally murdered. Over 3 200 Yazidi women and girls remain in captivity with ISIS . They continue to be sexually enslaved, abused and subjected to multiple rape or to witness the murder of their children if they attempt to escape but are recaptured. Many have committed suicide by cutting their wrists or throats or by hanging. Yazidi boys are also being held, indoctrinated, trained and used in hostilities and thousands of Yazidi men and boys are missing, as documented by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, amongst others. Many more would have died in the initial ISIS incursions into Shingal had it not been for the mobilisations of the Syrian Kurdish forces of the YPG to defend them and to open up an humanitarian corridor to allow people to get to safety.
The survivors of these atrocities are in desperate need of specialist support services and will be for years to come whether reunited with their families, or destined to remain indefinitely in refugee and IDP camps. They desperately need the process of restorative justice to begin now and for perpetrators to be held to account.
Peace in Kurdistan make this call in answer to the Shingal Yazidi Women’s Council’s declaration of an international day of action to show international action and solidarity with the women victims of the ongoing genocide.