April 7, 2015

Iraqi Yezidi MP testifies before UN Security Council

New York, NY, USA (us.gov.krd) – Vian Dakhil, the only female Yezidi member of Iraqi Parliament, delivered testimony before the UN Security Council on March 27, 2015, describing the plight of religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq, and suggesting a course of action for the international community.

“No people was spared,” Ms. Dakhil told the Council, “Not the Christians, not the Yezidis, not the Shabaks, not the Kurds, not the Shi’a”. Since June 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has ravaged hundreds of communities throughout Iraq, targeting religious and ethnic minorities.

Ms. Dakhil presented the Council with statistics to illustrate the depth of the extraordinary suffering of the Yezidi religious minority. She said, “Some 5,680 people, including men, women, girls, children, and the elderly have been kidnapped,” adding that at least 3,000 Yezidi girls, “have been kidnapped and are being sold in slave markets inside and outside of Iraq.” She estimated that the number of Yezidis killed in massacres was greater than 2,000.

Of the 600,000 Yezidis in Iraq today, Ms. Dakhil told the Security Council, “420,000 are displaced persons living in camps in the Kurdistan Region, with another 8,000 confined to camps in Syria and Turkey.”

A week prior to Ms. Dakhil’s testimony, the UN Human Rights Council found that ISIS had committed a “possible genocide”. In her testimony, the MP asked that the UN “define the Yezidis’ suffering as a genocide and adopt a resolution in that regard.”

She also asked the Council to impose international protections for minorities, assist the eradication of ISIS with urgency, support and arm Iraqi military organizations including the Peshmerga, and assist in reconstructing cities that have been destroyed by terrorism.

Ms. Dakhil plans to return to the United States on April 16 to deliver these messages and further updates to US administration officials, members of Congress, and the academic community.

See a PDF of this press release here.
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