For immediate release.
3 August 2016, London
Peace in Kurdistan Women Alliance for Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria together with Roj Women Assembly and Jean Lambert MEP are delivering an open letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, today, Wednesday 3rd August, 2pm, the second anniversary of the beginning of the Genocide of the Yezidi people in Shingal.
We are calling on the Prime Minister to ensure that a resolution is put to the Security Council that a Commission of Enquiry be established with a view to referring the matter to the International Criminal Court, as a matter of urgency.
We understand the present government position is to not make pronouncements about whether or not a situation amounts to a genocide, and that it considers that a judicial body must decide such matters. We believe however that in the circumstances of the continuing tragedy in Iraq and Syria it would be immoral for there to be further delay. The Commission of Enquiry route is a way of advancing this matter without offending against this long held Government position and should be pursued now as a matter of urgency.
Unimaginable atrocities have been committed against the Yezidi people and continue to be committed. Thousands have been brutally murdered. Over 3 200 Yazidi women and girls remain in captivity with ISIS . They continue to be sexually enslaved, abused and subjected to multiple rape or to witness the murder of their children if they attempt to escape but are recaptured. Many have committed suicide by cutting their wrists or throats or by hanging. Yazidi boys are also being held, indoctrinated, trained and used in hostilities and thousands of Yazidi men and boys are missing, as documented by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, amongst others. Many more would have died in the initial ISIS incursions into Shingal had it not been for the
mobilisations of the Syrian Kurdish forces of the YPG to defend them and to open up an humanitarian corridor to allow people to get to safety.
The survivors of these atrocities are in desperate need of specialist support services and will be for years to come whether reunited with their families, or destined to remain indefinitely in refugee and IDP camps. They desperately need the process of restorative justice to begin now and for perpetrators to be held to account.
Peace in Kurdistan make this call in answer to the Shingal Yazidi Women’s Council’s declaration of an international day of action to show international action and solidarity with the women victims of the ongoing genocide.
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign Women Alliance for Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria.
For more information contact
Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892
Melanie Gingell 07572430903
Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
44 Ainger Road, London NW3 3AT
Email: estella24[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>
Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890
Fax: 020 7263 0596
Patrons: Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Jill Evans MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Hywel Williams MP, Kate Osamor MP, Elfyn Llwyd, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Simon Dubbins. UNITE International Director, Bruce Kent, Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, John Berger, Edward Albee, Margaret Owen OBE, Prof Mary Davis, Mark Thomas, Nick Hildyard, Stephen Smellie, Derek Wall, Melanie Gingell