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İHD calls for recognition of Yazidi massacre as genocide on atrocity’s 9th anniversary

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Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD) has issued a statement calling on countries that have not yet recognized the mass killings of Yazidis by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Iraq as genocide to do so on the ninth anniversary of the massacre and to designate Aug. 3 as a day of remembrance for the atrocity.

In the statement the İHD emphasized that it has been nine years since ISIL carried out “a heinous genocide” against the Yazidi community in the Shingal region of Iraq on Aug. 3, 2014. The association firmly condemned and deplored the horrific attack on the Yazidi people once again.

According to the İHD, during the August 2014 massacre in Shingal and its surroundings, ISIL abducted 6,417 Yazidis. Currently, only 3,562 have been rescued, leaving 2,693 still missing. The İHD also reminded that Yazidis had been subjected to attacks in the past, with this last attack resulting in the deaths of thousands of Yazidis.

The statement further underscored that after the 2014 ISIL attacks in Shingal and Mosul, Yazidi communities sought refuge in other countries, but their plight persists. The İHD called for the implementation of measures to ensure the safe return of Yazidis to their homeland.

Highlighting a significant development, the İHD noted that in June 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council recognized and declared the 2014 ISIL attack against the Yazidi people as genocide. The İHD commended this decision and urged all countries, particularly Turkey, that have not yet recognized the massacre of Yazidi people as genocide to do so. They also called for trials to be conducted under the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The İHD’s statement concluded with an appeal to the United Nations and all nations and international organizations to respect the Yazidi community’s “right to self-determination.”

Due to ISIL’s actions against the Yazidi population, approximately 500,000 Yazidis became refugees in a number of countries.

Several UN bodies and national and international organizations recognize the Yazidi genocide.

The Yazidis are a Kurdish people who follow an old religion related to Zoroastrianism but which has remnants of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Their origins are in Iran, Iraq and Turkey. In Iraq they have been persecuted so many times in the last couple of decades that some have fled to Turkey in the hope of finding safety and the possibility of moving to the West.

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