NOVEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
Please find below FYF news and the latest developments in the Yezidi community for the month of November.
FYF presentation alongside UNITAD, ICC, and Iraqi officials at Iraq's Embassy in Netherlands
FYF conducted a series of high-level meetings in the USA and the Netherlands this month.
In early November, we met with the US State Department's Senior Official for Global Women's Issues, highlighting efforts to rescue missing Yezidi women and children, and the dangers posed to Yezidis by ongoing Turkish airstrikes on Sinjar and the threat of another Turkish incursion into northern Syria.
This was followed by a successful trip to the Netherlands, where FYF participated in a special event titled "Collective Action Towards Accountability for ISIL Crimes" co-hosted by UNITAD, the ICC, and the Iraqi Embassy in The Hague. FYF also met with a number of Dutch politicians and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss support for Yezidi civil society, women's rights, missing Yezidis, and the ongoing crisis on the Belarus-Poland border, where many Yezidis have been stuck while migrating to Europe.
It was important to reconnect with supporters of the Yezidi cause in the Netherlands, and we hope we will continue to work closely together to advance Yezidi rights.
FYF held a series of meetings with Netherlands Members of Parliament and government officials
On 30 November, ISIS member Taha A.J. was convicted of genocide and other charges for his role in the Yezidi Genocide. FYF issued a statement marking the conviction
"How many ISIS members guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, slavery, rape, and murder are yet to be prosecuted? We call upon law enforcement authorities, particularly in Europe, to accelerate investigation and indictment of their citizens who participated in these crimes. We also call upon Iraqi authorities to immediately pass legislation criminalizing international atrocities such as genocide and crimes against humanity, so that a specialized court or hybrid tribunal can be established to try the many thousands of ISIS members in Iraqi custody for their crimes against Yezidis. FYF is grateful to Germany for its efforts in prosecuting this case. We hope this will lead to further efforts, in Germany and elsewhere, toward justice and accountability in the aftermath of the Yezidi Genocide."
FYF statement and Taha A.J. in court (photos AFP)
Yezidis are among the many migrants stuck on the borders between Belarus, Poland, and Lithuania, where they have suffered the most horrific conditions and are stranded without shelter, food, or water. FYF has raised this issue with several senior officials and media outlets in recent weeks. With most Yezidis living in IDP camps, our community is particularly vulnerable. FYF calls on the relevant authorities to provide shelter and protection for migrants in Belarus or a safe, dignified, voluntary return for migrants repatriated to Iraq.
FYF staff members also participated in a training event on raising awareness of the Yezidi Survivors' Law, passed by the Iraqi government earlier this year. FYF will continue to work with survivors to ensure they are informed of their rights and can advocate for their needs.
FYF is delighted to see our cafe, Sugar is Sweet, is being used as a venue for celebrations in Khanke. A special congratulations to staff member Gulistan, who celebrated her wedding anniversary at Sugar is Sweet last week.
Thank you all, as always, for your steadfast support of the Yezidi community.Sincerely,
Free Yezidi FoundationCONTRIBUTE
In the News
Middle East Eye
| Distraught Yazidi Survivors Return From Belarus to Kurdistan
| FYF is quoted in this article on Yezidis returning to Iraq from Belarus after a harrowing experience stuck on the border with Poland. Amnesty International - Germany
| Weltweit Erstes Urteil Wegen Volkermordes an Jesid_Innen
| FYF is quoted in this piece by Amnesty International - Germany regarding the genocide conviction of Taha A.J. LSE
| Increasing Calls To Find Missing Yazidis
| Knox Thames, former State Department advisor for religious minorities in the Near East and South and Central Asia, highlights ongoing efforts to find missing Yezidis, including the work of FYF.Inkstick
| Finding Missing Yezidis
| In this op-ed, FYF discusses the challenges behind finding missing Yezidis, and the need for international support.