Women’s Conference in Baghdad demands recognition of Yazidi genocide

A conference is being held in Baghdad with the partnership of Iraqi women and the Yazidi Women’s Freedom Movement on the 8th anniversary of the Yazidi genocide in Shengal.

Various activities are organised in Iraq and South Kurdistan (North Iraq) to mark the anniversary of the 3 August 2014 genocide committed by ISIS against Yazidi Kurds in the town of Shengal (Sinjar).

In this scope, an important conference is being held in the capital Baghdad today with the partnership of Iraqi women and the Yazidi Women’s Freedom Movement (TAJÊ).

The conference about the Yazidi genocide in Shengal is held in the Hotel Baghdad under the motto “With the will of free women, we stand against the genocide in Shengal”. Over a hundred women from Iraq, the Middle East and the rest of the world are participating in the conference.

The first speeches at the conference demanded the recognition of the mass slaughter of Yazidis in Shengal as a genocide at national and international level.

Preparatory Committee member Büşra Ebu Eys recalled that three thousand Yazidis were massacred, five thousand abducted, 400 thousand forcibly displaced to Hewlêr (Erbil), Duhok and Zakho and over 1500 women were raped and sold as slaves in the markets of Syria.

“This is a crime against humanity and the crimes of all forms of abuse and violence against Yazidi women are well documented by international institutions. The conclusions presented by relevant authorities, institutions, doctors and several other parties prove all forms of attacks suffered by the Yazidis. Our purpose with the conference is to treat the situation in Iraq and Syria with regard to Yazidis and to demand the prosecution and sentencing of ISIS criminals and all those involved in the genocide,” Ebu Eys said.

Speaking after, Shengal Women’s Union member Zinda Êzidxan stated that the massacre of Yazidis continues to date, “The resisting Yazidi people are faced with hostilities. Our leader showed us the path and we will continue our struggle on this path.”

Pointing to the responsibility of the Iraqi and KDP forces in the genocide, Zinda Êzidxan added, “We trusted the KDP and Iraq’s forces but they left us alone during the onslaught and abandoned the Yazidi people to suffer a mass slaughter. We defended ourselves with our will and strength to the end.”

Hiba Hedadin of the Democratic Union of North African and Middle Eastern Women sent a video message to the conference and expressed her solidarity with the women’s struggle.

A message from the Kurdish women’s movement in Russia said, “The enemy wanted to wipe out our people who were, however, protected and saved by the HPG, YPG/YPJ guerrillas. We have once again witnessed the betrayal against our people. It was a gravely severe experience to witness Yazidi women sold in markets and enslaved. We have achieved remarkable gains in our national struggle and we know that we can achieve our goals through unity, organisation and self-consciousness.”