The association Voice of Ezidis, co-founded in Paris in 2019 by survivors of the 2014 genocide perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State, is committed to the support of the Ezidi community, both in France, where some refugee families have fled since the beginning of the genocide, and in Iraq, where a lot of Ezidis still reside. Voice of Ezidis defends the rights of the Ezidi people and advocates for the awareness and recognition of the genocide it endured in 2014.
NowItsTime : Together for the Recognition of the 2014 Genocide Against Ezidis
‘NowItsTime: Together for the Recognition of the 2014 Genocide Against Ezidis’ is an international campaign for the recognition of the genocide perpetrated against the Ezidi people in the year 2014. Initiated by the Voice Of Ezidis organisation, in partnership with several associations and organisations from all over the world, the campaign aims at gaining the official recognition of the 2014 genocide from all governments and international organizations around the world.
What happened in 2014 ?
On August 3rd 2014, the Islamic State group entered the Shingal region to carry out its genocidal plan. In the terrorist group’s quest for ethno-religious purity, indeed, the Ezidis and other religious minorities in the country were an obstacle to be eliminated.
To this end, the genocide was thought out, discussed and reflected upon by the leaders of the terrorist organisation to be as destructive as possible. Ezidi men were systematically massacred, while young boys were kidnapped to become lobotomised child soldiers. Women were kidnapped and enslaved, with older women becoming domestic servants, and others (as young as 9 years old) reduced to sexual slavery for the terrorist group's fighters.
Between 2,000 and 5,000 men were killed, with figures changing as more mass graves are being discovered in the Sinjar region. More than 6,000 women and children were kidnapped and enslaved and about 2,800 remain in the hands of the organization. About 300,000 people were forced to flee the area, and are now living in camps for the displaced in northern Iraq.
The association Voice of Ezidis has undertaken the effort to regroup several categories of victims, such as enslaved women, boys who escaped from training camps or survivors that flee to the mountains. All these testimonies have as an object not only to emphasize the atrocity of the actions committed by ISIS, but most of all to reinforce the idea that the attacks and atrocities suffered by the Ezidis in 2014 can only be referred to as genocide.
So far, Voice of Ezidis has focused on the countries from the European Union and established promising contact with some countries. We aim to go further: Voice of Ezidis plans to contact as many Parliaments and International Organization representatives in the world as possible, until the genocide is universally and widely recognised.
Was this a genocide ?
Article 2 of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as:
“[...] genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
Based on international investigations in Iraq, notably led by the Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL (UNITAD) and survivors’ testimonies collected by both researchers, investigators and human rights organizations, ISIS’ attack on the Ezidi community in 2014 has been evidenced and so far recognized by 15 parliaments, governments or international institutions as a genocide.