The Yazidi Genocide

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It is a genocide which occured in the past decade, yet few know what happened to the Yazidis.

  • What happened? In 2014, 10,000 Yazidi people were killed or kidnapped by the Islamic State in a matter of days. It was recorded that 3,100 were killed, with half shot, beaded or burned alive.
  • These were the concluding findings of a study carried out by a group of researchers in the UK, who a few years ago were assessing the grounds to officially trial what happened as a genocide.
  • In August 2014, the attack was launched in Sinjar, the heartland of the Yazidis, where more than 400,000 of the members of the Kurdish speaking community call home.
  • Many women and children were also kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery. They were subject to physical and sexual violence, including systemic rape.
  • Who are the Yazidis? The Yazidis are a minority group, living across Iraq, Syria, Armenia and Georgia. They practice an ancient monotheistic religion, in which they worship a benevolent peacock angel.
  • This angel is often perceived by IS as satanic and in Iraq members of the group attempted to force the Yazidi people to convert to Islam, when people disobeyed they often ended up being killed.
  • What is being done? A trial in November 2021 found a IS man guilty in Germany of genocide, after hearing that he chained a 5 year old girl to a window and left her to die of thirst.
  • Prosecuting members of IS for the genocide is complex, with the location of many unknown, it is almost impossible to single out all those responsible. Yet, international teams are working on this.
The New York Times
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