August 3 Should Be Observed as the Genocide Remembrance Day!

 

It has been 4 years since August 3, 2014 when the jihadist mob ISIS comitted a genocide attack against the Yazidis, one of the most ancient peoples of the Middle East, in Iraq’s Sinjar’s region and the Yazidi homeland. As the Human Rights Association (İHD), we strongly condemn the genocide attack against Yazidis once again.

 

It is known that Yazidis had been subjected to 72 genocide attacks (72 Ferman) in the past. As a result of the latest attack tens of thousands of Yazidis were killed while thousands of Yazidi women were sold into slavery. All these attacks that have brought about gross human rights violations have been perpetrated before our eyes in the 21st century. The fact that the relevant mechanisms, notably the UN, did/could not undertake their preventive and reparative tasks is a major cause for embarrassment more than a failure to do so for such organs.

 

In the face of the genocide attacks Yazidi people defended themselves, led and supported by the Kurdish Political Movement, and succeeded in repulsing the attacks. Yazidis, like all other peoples, have the right to self-defense and self-determination. The UN Human Rights System requires that all peoples and states should respect these rights. Within this scope, we would like to state that the powers that did not protect Yazidis and acted as bystanders while Yazidis were subjected to genocide in Iraq’s Sinjar region have to respect their right to self-government.

 

Moreover, the Yazidi people still face problems in the countries they sought asylum in after becoming refugees following ISIS/DAESH attacks in Sinjar and Mosul in 2014. Tens of thousands of Yazidis who sought asylum in Turkey were not extended the same rights as those from Syria who sought asylum in Turkey.[1]  This discriminatory practice against Yazidis, some part of whom are currently in Turkey, should immediately be put to an end.

 

Doubtless, the fact that the UN Human Rights Council recognized and declared the 2014 ISIS attack against the Yazidi people as genocide in June 2016 is a significant development. We, hereby, would like to invite all countries, particularly Turkey, to recognize the ISIS attack against Yazidis as genocide and to respect the Yazidi people’s right to self-defense.

 

Human Rights Association

 

[1] Please see the review report on the matter prepared by İHD in 2015: http://www.ihd.org.tr/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/EZ%C4%B0D%C4%B0-M%C3%9CLTEC%C4%B0-KAMP-RAPORU.pdf

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