Nobel Peace Prize is an obligation: 3,000 kidnapped Yazidis must be set free!
3,000 kidnapped Yazidis must be rescued from IS, and Iraq must grant the religious community their rights! (Press release)
On the occasion of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize (December 10) to Yazidi activist Nadia Murad next Monday in Oslo, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) calls for serious efforts to rescue around 3,000 Yazidis who are held captive by Islamic State (IS) in Iraq. "Nadia Murad bears witness to the outrageous torture these abducted women and girls have suffered through for more than four years. There must finally be credible initiatives to find and rescue these victims of crimes against humanity. Germany and the international community must provide active support for all efforts to save these women," stated Kamal Sido, the STP's Middle East Consultant, in Göttingen on Friday.
Sido demanded a realistic perspective for the about 280,000 of the 430,000 Yazidis who fled from IS in August 2014 and who are still living in makeshift camps in Iraqi Kurdistan – otherwise, most of them will sooner or later leave Iraq and try to find shelter in Europe. Then, the radical Sunnis of IS would have reached their goal to expel all members of the Yazidi religious community from Iraq. Thus, the security forces of the Iraqi central government or the government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan must protect the Yazidis in their traditional settlement area, the Sinjar region. In order to keep the Yazidis in the country in the long term, they should be granted self-government.
The question to which country Sinjar region belongs has been a conflict issue between Arab Iraq and Kurdistan for years. "It would be a good thing if the German government, the EU, the United States, and other Western governments were to take initiative for the survivors of these terrible crimes, and to help Nadia Murad and the Yazidi people to protect their religious community," Sido emphasized. The STP has been advocating for regional autonomy for the Yazidis in the Sinjar region, in the far north-west of Iraq, for many years.
In the summer of 2014, IS fighters had attacked the Yazidis in Sinjar. According to the United Nations, around 5,000 of them were killed immediately, and many more were abducted – including more than 5,000 women and girls. The women were raped, forcibly married, or sold on slave markets. Only 40,000 Yazidis have so far returned to the Sinjar. The region was completely destroyed in the clashes with IS.
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