Originally published: https://kck-info.com/statement-aug0221/
Seven years ago, on August 3, 2014, the Islamic State (IS) committed a genocide in Sinjar, the Ezidis’ center of life. Thousands of Ezidi Kurds were murdered and thousands of Ezidi women and girls kidnapped. The fate of thousands of girls and young women is still unknown. We commemorate the thousands of Ezidis who were murdered during the genocide that the Ezidi community calls `Ferman`. At the same time, we emphasize our promise to free the thousands of kidnapped Ezidi women and girls.
The Ezidi Genocide of August 3, 2014 was perpetrated by IS. But the forces responsible for protecting the Ezidis neglected their task. They abandoned the Ezidis to genocide. Rêber Apo [Abdullah Ocalan] warned shortly before the IS attack that there could be attacks against the Ezidis and called for them to be protected. As a result, a group of twelve guerrilla fighters went to Sinjar. Some of them were arrested by the KDP in Sinjar a short time later. The remaining guerrilla fighters occupied strategic locations in Sinjar shortly after the IS attack began and thus prevented a complete genocide of the Ezidis. Not only that; they simultaneously saved the honor of Iraq and the KDP, who were present in Sinjar at the time, and prevented them from having to live with an overwhelming guilt in the future. If twelve guerrilla fighters were able to prevent this genocidal attack, thousands of Ezidi youth – filled with the spirit of Derweşe Avdis – could have repelled the attack and saved the Ezidis from genocide. This leads to the conclusion that this genocide could only happen because the Ezidis did not have their own self-administration and self-defense forces at that time. Therefore, the `74th Ferman` has made it more than clear that the most fundamental right of the Ezidis is to have their own self-administratio and self-defense forces. To speak out against this right of the Ezidis is unjust and above all immoral. This genocidal attack and the fact that thousands of Ezidi women were sold on slave markets has made all of humanity indebted to the Ezidis. Humanity must pay its debt by recognizing the self-administration and self-defense forces of the Ezidis.
The parliaments of Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Iraq have recognized the August 3 IS attack and related massacre as a genocide. These decisions are important. But at the same time, we must emphasize that this is not enough. What needs to be done to prevent another genocide? That is the crucial question that must be answered. Therefore, those who have recognized the genocide must now work for the recognition of Ezidi autonomy. This autonomy must mean the self-administration for all Ezidis – without making distinctions between political beliefs or tribal associations. Representatives of other faith groups and peoples can also participate in the self-administration. It is crucial that it is a democratic system that guarantees the freedom of belief of the Ezidis and their self-administration. There still exists the attitude of not recognizing the will of the Ezidis and of wanting to dominate them. This is immoral and unjust. There must be no political power struggles over the fate of the Ezidis, nor attempts to impose one’s authority on them. The Ezidis do not want a state. They do not want power. They want a system of self-administration with a democratic leadership. Such an Êzidîxan will also increase the respect for Iraq and South Kurdistan.
No one has the right to criticize that the Ezidis feel love for Rêber Apo and sympathy for the guerrilla. Ever since the beginning of his political struggle, Rêber Apo has always demanded freedom for the Ezidis’ faith and identity. He has thereby rendered a great service to them. Rêber Apo has made great efforts to break the prejudices against the Ezidis. Before the 73rd and 74th `Ferman`, he warned the PKK and called on them to protect the Ezidis. Therefore, both the HPG and YJA-Star guerrilla from the Medya Defense Areas and the YPG and YPJ from Rojava rushed to Sinjar to confront IS there. Of course, the Ezidis will love for and feel connected to Rêber Apo because of his mentality and attitude. Human conscience and sense of justice requires that. The Ezidis today live up to Rêber Apo because they are a moral community.
Numerous members of the guerrilla have become martyrs during the fight against IS. Thus, the guerrilla has protected the Ezidis and hundreds of thousands were saved by them from the IS genocide. To feel sympathy for the guerrilla is a consequence of human sense of justice. So no one can criticize the Ezidis for feeling sympathy for the guerrilla. On the contrary, it would be wrong if they did not feel sympathy.
After saving Sinjar and providing military training to Ezidi youth, the guerrilla withdrew from Sinjar. Today, Ezidi youth defend Sinjar, and with the help of people`s councils, the population governs itself. Everyone should be happy about this. Therefore, not accepting the Ezidi self-administration due to the pressure of the Turkish state constitutes a historical injustice and lack of conscience.
On the anniversary of the `Ferman` of August 3, we promise that we will always defend the Ezidis. We firmly believe that the revenge for the Ezidi women will be done by achieving the Democratic Autonomy of Sinjar according to the line of women`s freedom. We call upon all humanity to stand up for the Ezidi people and recognize their self-administration and self-defense forces.
02 August 2021
KCK Executive Council