EU’s Resolution on Yazidis: Read Between the Lines

By Amy L. Beam, Ed.D:

As reported by Nov. 20, the European Parliament held a special conference to address the Yazidi refugees (also spelled Ezidi) who suffered a genocidal attack on Aug. 3, 2014, by the Islamic State (also referred to as Daesh, ISIS, and ISID).  The European Parliament passed the following Resolution:

  • Urgent assistance is needed for all displaced Yazidis, first and foremost those stranded on Mount Sinjar.
  • Mobilization to ensure the rescue and liberation of abducted Yazidis.
  • For the massacre to be recognized as a genocide and for the perpetrators to be tried in an international criminal court.
  • For all efforts to be made for the liberation of Mount Sinjar and for support to be provided to the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ).
  • For an international fund to be set up in order for the Yazidis to return to their lands and for the infrastructure to be restored.
  • For an autonomous Yazidi region to be established in order for a just and lasting political solution to be secured in the Kurdistan region.
  • For support to be given to the demands of the Assyrian-Syriac people for autonomy in order to live in a democratic and secure way.
  • For aid provided by the European Union to be conveyed to refugees in North Kurdistan through the Union of GAP Municipalities (GABB).

Aug 3-4 2014, Yazidis flee from their villages

Aug 3-4 2014, Yazidis flee from their villages

This all sounds very good at first, but there are some serious issues to consider.

Yazidi refugees in Sirnak Yazidi camp in southeast Turkey discussed the EU Resolution.  The brother of one Yazidi is currently fighting on Shingal Mountain (also known as Sinjar Mountain).   He states they do not have enough food or arms.

A Yazidi in the United States who had all 40 members of his family killed or kidnapped by ISIS is in daily communication with some of the 1300 families on Shingal Mountain.  They state the recent air drops of humanitarian aid and arms and ammunition went to the Peshmerga, not to the Yazidi resistance fighters or 1300 families of civilians.  The situation for Yazidis remains critical on the mountain.

Aid and ammunition is getting to only a small fraction of the Yazidi civilians or defense forces on Shingal Mountain.  The EU Resolutions do not make clear who will finance and send aid to support the defense of Shingal Mountain.

Another Yazidi in the Kurdish-run Sirnak refugee camp questioned whether the EU conference was attended by any refugees who had actually been attacked and fled, because the Resolution for him and his family to return to Iraq to live is unacceptable.

Ali Sedo, President of the Yazidi Academy in Germany, points out there was no representative from Yazidis from Sinjar, Bashiqa and Bahzani in this meeting, therefore the Resolution is not legally acceptable.

Sedo further states that the decision that people may go back to Shingal must be made by the Yazidi people who were evicted as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees from Shingal and not by the European and Kurdish institutes which sponsored the conference.

According to hundreds of Yazidi refugees in Turkey, interviewed by this writer, all refuse to return to Shingal for reasons previously reported by Amy Beam at

Sedo states, “For us it is obvious that the EU Parliament is not serious about accepting Yazidis and other religious minorities as refugees.  Rather it wants our people to stay under these unstable situations and the massacre be repeated every ten years.”

While many Yazidi refugees in Turkey believe President Erdogan’s promise to Yazidis in a private meeting last week to send them to Europe for resettlement, the EU Parliament’s Resolution makes no reference about granting asylum to Yazidis.  The Resolution’s clear intent is to return them to Iraq.

The decision to return Yazidis to Iraq, grant them permanent residency in Turkey (contrary to Turkey’s law on refugees), or resettle them in third countries has yet to be politically decided.

There are large populations of Yazidis in Europe, the United States, and India who are gathering their collective voice to pressure the international community for asylum and resettlement financing.

As for the Kurds in Turkey who have been providing them food, clothing, and shelter without the help of the Turkish government, they are committed to continue their support of the Yazidis, and they welcome them to stay in Turkey.  Yazidi refugee camps run by Kurdish volunteers and local municipalities in Sirnak province will be consolidated in Sirnak city with an expected population between 4,000 and 5,000 people.

 More Information about Yazidi Refugees:

For Amy Beam’s other reporting about the Yazidis read the following links:

Dr. Amy L. Beam promotes tourism in eastern Turkey (North Kurdistan) and writes in support of Kurdish and Ezidi human rights.  Read her stories at  She is writing a book, “Love and Betrayal in Kurdistan.”   Follow her on Twitter @amybeam or contact her at

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