Almost a decade after the Yazidi genocide, thousands of women still in captivity
Nine years after the Islamic State (ISIS) launched a genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq's Shengal region on August 3, 2014, around 2,700 Yazidi women remain in ISIS captivity.
Yazidis refer to the genocide as the 74th Ferman (edict), which aimed to eradicate their community. On the 9th anniversary, HDP and Yazidi activists called for the rescue of captive women, some believed to be in Turkey.
HDP co-chair Feleknas Uca stressed that the genocide remains a deep wound for Yazidis. Thousands of captured women were "sold" in Mosul markets, each one dozens of times. Many have turned up in Germany, Turkey, and cities like Ankara and Kırşehir.
Uca questioned how women are trafficked to Ankara when searches are conducted on the Amed-Elih route. She said the struggle continues to rescue and liberate missing captive women, including some in Urfa. A "market" has been established over Yazidi women's bodies and faith.
Uca reminded ISIS leaders of sheltering in Turkey and ongoing attacks on Shengal. She said Turkey sees Shengal's evacuation as Kurdistan's destruction and Yazidism's end. Those who abandoned Shengal's people must be prosecuted, she argued.
Nine years post-massacre, thousands of Yazidi families still live in tents. Uca said all bear responsibility to return them to Shengal. She stressed that Yazidis must rebuild lives there, emphasizing the continued struggle to free captive women.
Yazidi activist Azzat Alsaleem said wounds remain open amid regional conflicts of interest. Sinjar needs justice and genocide forces tried. Peshmerga who disarmed and abandoned Yazidis were rewarded, Alsaleem noted.
Without Yazidi forces and autonomy, another genocide is inevitable in years, Alsaleem warned. Yazidis trust neither KDP nor Iraq's government, which fails to protect them.