FEBRUARY 2023 - NEWS AND UPDATES
Please read below for our news and updates for the month of February.
NETHERLANDS ISSUES FIRST INDICTMENT FOR YEZIDI ENSLAVEMENT
This month the Netherlands prosecution office issued its first ever indictment of a Dutch citizen, Hasna A., for crimes committed against a Yezidi in the context of the Yezidi Genocide perpetrated by ISIS.
FYF has been working closely with Dutch police and prosecution authorities to scale up support for investigations and community outreach, with the view of advancing prosecutions. In its statement, FYF explained: "This is the first case in the Netherlands to judge atrocities committed by an ISIS member against a member of the Yezidi community, following several high-profile cases in Germany. Although there has been considerable delay, we nonetheless thank the Dutch prosecutors for opening this first case and helping to ensure that justice is done." Prominent Dutch Member of Parliament Pieter Omtzigt contributed to the FYF statement, writing, "A state under the rule of law can only be seen as such if it punishes the most horrific crimes, such as crimes against humanity and genocide...the Netherlands will have to face the fact that Dutch nationals participated [in such crimes]."
DUTCH DELEGATION MEETS YEZIDI ORGANIZATIONS AT FYF CENTER
The Dutch Human Rights Ambassador Bahia Tahzib-Lie visited FYF's Enterprise & Training Center for a private meeting with Yezidi organizations and to see the living conditions of displaced Yezidi IDPs. FYF and other Yezidi organizations highlighted challenges facing Yezidis who seek to return to Sinjar as well as those who remain displaced. The Ambassador focused on the importance of Yezidi land rights and the progress of the Yezidi Survivors' Law implementation. The delegation expressed solidarity with the Yezidi community and thanked civil society for its work and sharing perspectives.
Meeting participants (in alphabetical order) were: the Eyzidi Organization for Documentation, Free Yezidi Foundation, Sinjar Academy, and Yazda.
FYF REMARKS AT INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM EVENT IN WASHINGTON
FYF Executive Director Pari Ibrahim speaks at opening event of IRF Summit in Washington
FYF again participated in the Washington-based international religious freedom (IRF) summit this year. FYF Executive Director Pari Ibrahim represented the Yezidi community at the opening event, held at the US Congress, where a number of other persecuted groups, such as Rohingya and Uygher, explained the human rights violations their communities have suffered. Ms. Ibrahim also joined a panel discussion, where she focused on the critical role of justice and accountability in the aftermath of religious-based mass atrocities.
BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, ACTIVISTS VISIT FYF
FYF hosted British Member of Parliament Brendan O'Hara at its centers in Khanke and Sheikhan. Mr. O'Hara leads the UK Parliament's all-party group on Yezidis. Human rights lawyer Dr. Ewelina Ochab, Bellwether International Executive Director Rachel Miner, and Yezidi Emergency Services President Anne Norona also visited. The FYF team reviewed a number of topics, including efforts to combat gender-based violence, impact of prolonged displacement, the FYF Enterprise & Training Center model for business development and skill-building, and other topics.
TWO YEZIDI CHILDREN DIE IN TRAGIC FIRE AT IDP CAMP
Aftermath of fire in Yezidi IDP camp
This month a fire in the Chamishko IDP camp took the lives of two Yezidi children. FYF and other Yezidi organizations and activists have been outspoken about the need for better housing options and at least better accessibility to fire extinguishers for those living in IDP camps. Thousands of displaced Yezidis are suffering from prolonged and protracted displacement, and fires in IDP camps regularly decimate families and lead to painful deaths. We continue to work with UNHCR and camp managers to urge improvements of IDP living conditions.
DID YOU KNOW?
FYF's team was busy with meetings all month. Some examples below, from top:
- UNITAD training for FYF staff on self-care and combating vicarious trauma
- FYF meeting with Dutch Consul General in Erbil
- FYF meeting with US human rights officer in Erbil
- FYF meeting with Japanese Ambassador to Iraq on Japan National Day
- UN meeting with FYF and other women-led organizations in Duhok
- FYF meeting with South Korean Consul General in Erbil
- FYF meeting with American activist Nadine Maenza
Thank you all, as always, for your steadfast support of FYF and the Yezidi community.
Free Yezidi Foundation
IN THE NEWS
| The Newswashing of ISIS Bride Shamima Begum
| This article includes FYF's analysis of female ISIS members.
Ezidi24 | A Victory for the Yezidi Cause: A Dutch Trial Opens the Door for Calls for Internationalization
| The article (in Arabic) reviews the court case of Hasna A. in the Netherlands, quoting the FYF statement.
Kurdistan24 | Dutch to Prosecute First ISIS Female Suspect for Enslaving Yezidis
| This article quotes FYF's statement on the first such case in the Netherlands.