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Solidarity with the call for an International Action Day Against Feminicide of Yazidi Women
Belgrade, 3/8/2016 - With today’s action at the Republic Square, Women against Violence Network joined the call of the Free Women’s Congress from Kurdistan to declare August 3 as the International Action Day Against Feminicide of Yazidi Women. We, thus, called on United Nations to, in addition to the recognised genocide, recognise systemic feminicide that is being committed against Yazidi women in Sinjar by Islamic State.
Following is the statement of the Shingal Yazidi Women’s Council from Kurdistan
3 August 2016 marks the 2nd anniversary of the Feminicide and Genocide by Islamic State (IS) against Yazidi people in Sinjar/Shengal. On 3 August 2014 IS attacked and captured Sinjar, which is the historical homeland of Yazidis, a Kurdish religious minority whose ancient religion is linked to Zoroastrianism. IS destroyed Yazidi shrines, executed resisters and demanded the residents to swear allegiance or be killed. During the IS-massacre in Sinjar up to 5.000 Yazidis were executed. Almost 200.000 people managed to flee. 50.000 Yazidis fled into the Sinjar Montains, where they were trapped without food, water or medical care, facing starvation and dehydration.
At the same time approximately 5.000 Yazidi women and children were captured. They were appropriated as spoils of war and sold as sex slaves to Muslim men or given to IS commanders. Those who refuse to convert were tortured, raped and eventually murdered. Babies born in the prison where the women are held were taken from their mothers to an unknown fate. Women allegedly raped by IS fighters have committed suicide by jumping to their death from Mount Sinjar. While a high number of women managed to flee or could be liberated, approximately some 3.000 women are still in IS captivity.
While the campaign of ISIS against Yazidi people often is described as a massacre, it shows all characteristics of genocide. But additionally IS is carrying out acts of feminicide. Kidnapping of Yazidi women as spoils of war, enslavement, systematically rape, forced conversion are not only parts of a systematic war against women, but feminicide.
Yazidi people, especially women in Sinjar answered the acts of genocide and feminicide by IS through self-organisation and self-defence. Today Mount Sinjar marks the centre of Yazidi self-organisation through self-defence units, people’s and women’s councils as expression of their collective will.
But the IS-threat on the Yazidi people in Sinjar is continuing. And still countless women remain in the hands of IS. For their liberation national and international action and solidarity is needed.
Also the UN Special Commission declared in its report released on 16 June 2016 that the incidents that happened in Sinjar amount to genocide and a crime against humanity. We will continue our struggle until those responsible are tried and pay for their crimes.
Therefore we call for an International Action Day against Feminicide and Genocide on the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of the IS-campaign against the Yazidi people in Sinjar on 3rd August 2016 on public spaces and especially in front of UN representations. Because we call on the UN to recognise the Feminicide carried out by IS in Sinjar. Member of the Kurdish women’s movement will organise minutes of silence and protest actions in the different parts of Kurdistan and Europe on that day. We call you to join us and raise the voice of the freedom seeking Yazidi women with your various actions.