April 3, 2019

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More than 100 Yezidis from the US and Canada, rallied in front of the White House on March 15, to ask the Government to take action to rescue their people. Most of the participants were survivors of ISIS’s 2014 genocidal attacks on the Yezidis, a persecuted non Muslim minority indigenous to Iraq, Syria and Turkey. More than 3,000, mostly women and children, are still held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq. They also begged for help for the Yezidi refugees in Turkey, Syria and Greece living in deplorable, life-threatening, conditions.

The protesters also asked the US government to support an autonomous region for the protection of Yezidis, Chaldo- Assyrians and Mandeans in Iraq and Syria.

An estimated 5,000 Yezidis were killed in Iraq. They were either shot, beheaded or burned alive. The estimated number kidnapped is 7,450. The entire Yezidi population in Sinjar was displaced in less than one day. Young women and girls have been subjected to sexual slavery, bought and sold in sex slave markets and the young boys are trained to be jihadis and suicide bombers. All Yezidis were targeted, but children were disproportionately affected.

“We also had met with Congress representatives,” said Mirza Ismail. He heads the Yezidi International Human Rights Organization, based in Toronto, which together with The International and United Yezidi Organization of Lincoln Nebraska, organized the demonstration.

According to Ismail, there are still over 3,000 slaves in Syria with ISIS; 6- 700 have been taken into Turkey with ISIS families. When asked by the State Department , he then described three locations where there were slaves. But till now nothing has been done, he said. No State operating in Iraq or Syria has acted to prevent the commission of genocide by ISIS.

One of the demonstrators, Jamal Ladakhis, lost his entire family to ISIS. “We have no one else to turn to except the Trump administration,” he said. “Thousands of Yezidi women are still in captivity and they are using them as human shields.”

Another participant, Salim Shingaly, told the Gatestone Institute about the recent beheading of 50 of the enslaved women. “Meanwhile, those people who raped and killed our women are free to go back to their countries and live normal lives…..It should be obvious to Western governments to see that Isis terrorists would be a huge risk to the countries that are letting them back in.”

Haji Ali Hameka, told of a Yezidi survivor who was horrified when she encountered her ISIS captor and rapist in Canada. “I don’t think there is an ISIS fighter who has not raped or killed. Punishment for their actions should be severe. How can Canada allow these terrorists to roam free.”

Canada has officially declared that the Yezidi people were the target of genocide by ISIS. According o international law, when a government has declared a genocide they have an obligation to ensure safety.

Yet while the Liberals have brought over 57,000 Syrians to Canada, only approximately 1200 Yezidis have been rescued.

Countless appeals to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen have all been ignored. Canada has people on the ground in Iraq who can easily expedite their rescue. Canadian soldiers are training and advising Iraqi soldiers.

Michelle Rempel, Conservative party immigration critic, is Canada’s foremost political advocate for the Yezidis. Their right to justice has become a calling for her. She has been unrelenting in her efforts to advocate for them. Till now, they are largely invisible in official Ottawa.

If the thousands of Yezidi women and girls still held as sex slaves in Syria are hoping to be saved, it appears right now unlikely that Canada will deliver them from their living hell. Canada, the UN, the EU, all are stunningly deaf and blind to the fate and future of the Yezidis, Christians, Shiites, Mandeans , Bahai and other religious minorities in Iraq.

Mirza Ismail stated, “I hope our Canadian government does not make the same mistake where the real victims are ignored while others benefit instead, just because of political interests.”



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