Nobel Peace Prize for Nadia Murad – Yazidis in Iraq need guarantees
Non-Muslim religious communities must be given a perspective in the Middle East! (Press release)
On Monday, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demanded the political leadership of Iraq and Syria to grant the Yazidi people security guarantees – referring to the more than 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were abducted in northern Iraq and who are still in the hands of Islamic State (IS). "The fact that Nadia Murad, a Yazidi activist, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is a call to action for the governments and the opposition in both countries to effectively protect the Yazidis and other non-Muslim religious communities from attacks," stated Kamal Sido, the STP's Middle East Correspondent, in Göttingen on Monday. "This includes punishing those who are responsible for the crimes against humanity against the Yezidis in the Sinjar region in northern Iraq."
"As long as Sunni extremists and IS-followers remain undisturbed in Iraq and neighboring Syria, there is no future for the Yazidis in the Middle East," Sido warned. Islam must not be installed as a political program or used as an excuse to harass and expel people of different faiths.
Following the serious crimes against humanity in the Sinjar region, many Yazidis had lost all confidence in the security forces of the Iraqi central government and the government of the autonomous region of Kurdistan. They were afraid to return to their villages, the human rights advocate reported. At least 280,000 of the 430,000 Yazidi who fled from attacks by IS are still living in makeshift camps in Iraqi Kurdistan. In order to give them a future in Iraq, they should be granted self-government in their main settlement area – allowing the religious community to determine its own future and to rebuild the region under the protection of the Iraqi central government or the government of Kurdistan.
In mid-summer of 2014, IS had attacked several Yazidi villages in the Sinjar region. 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. The Sinjar region was completely destroyed in the battle against IS.
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