Yezidi Lead­ers to Meet with UN

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

A del­e­ga­tion of Yezidi lead­ers will dis­cuss the plight of their com­mu­nity with United Na­tions of­fi­cials in Geneva on Mon­day.

The con­fer­ence was set after Yezidi leader Prince Tah­seen Said Bek called on the United Na­tions to do more to pro­tect Yezidis who are fac­ing con­tin­ued threats by Is­lamic State (IS, for­merly ISIS) mil­i­tants.

The ex­trem­ists, who con­sider Yezidis devil wor­shipers, are sys­tem­at­i­cally tar­get­ing Yezidis and other mi­nori­ties, com­mu­nity lead­ers and in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights watch­dogs say. IS be­sieged the Yezidi town of Shin­gal and ex­pelled tens of thou­sands of Yezidis who are now in refugee camps in Syria.

The threat against the Yezidis was one fac­tor prompt­ing US mil­i­tary strikes against IS in Iraq.

Begg is de­mand­ing in­ter­na­tional support for the im­me­di­ate re­lease of Yezidis who were kid­napped by IS, in­clud­ing women and girls who were taken as “spoils of war.” He is also call­ing for a “safe zone” for dis­placed mi­nori­ties, vic­tim com­pen­sa­tion from the Iraqi gov­ern­ment and re­set­tle­ment of Yezidis in western coun­tries.

Yezidi lead­ers es­ti­mate 5,000 peo­ple have been kid­napped by IS. The UN es­ti­mates the fig­ure to be around 2,500.

The United Na­tions is­sued a state­ment last week stat­ing that Yezidis were among Iraqi mi­nori­ties who were vic­tims of “tar­geted killings, forced con­ver­sions, ab­duc­tions, trafficking, slav­ery, sex­ual abuse, de­struc­tion of places of re­li­gious and cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance and the be­sieg­ing of en­tire com­mu­ni­ties be­cause of eth­nic, re­li­gious or sec­tar­ian af­fil­i­a­tion.”

The UN’s Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on Mi­nor­ity Is­sues, Rita Izsak, has ex­pressed grave con­cern over the mas­sacre of thou­sands of Yezidis. Echo­ing sim­i­lar con­cerns, Tashida Man­joo, Spe­cial UN Rap­por­teur on Vi­o­lence Against Women, said, “We have re­ports of women be­ing ex­e­cuted and un­ver­i­fied re­ports that strongly sug­gest that hun­dreds of women and chil­dren have been kid­napped – many of the teenagers have been sex­u­ally as­saulted, and women have been as­signed or sold to IS fight­ers as ‘malak yamiin’ or slaves.”

Yezidi leader Prince Tah­seen Said Bek

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