Press Release

Afrin: The continuation of the Ezidi genocide

12th of September 2019 – Paris

The 3rd of August 2014, ISIS forces entered Sinjar and started systematic killings of Ezidi men and boys and enslavement of women and girls. These atrocities recognized officially as genocide by the UN was a peak in a larger pattern of violence and discrimination in the Middle Est started centuries ago. Ezidis have always been discriminated throughout the history of the Middle East for various reasons such as their own religion, their unique identity etc… And today, despite of the genocide they suffered, Ezidis are still facing discrimination and threat to their life in the areas ridden by the Syrian’s crisis. In particular, in Afrin (Syria) where since march 2018, the Turkish army and its allies have taken over the region and only limited information has been released about the situation, the Ezidi presence is in real danger due to the crimes and abuses committed by the militants of the Syrian armed factions that control the area. Historically, the Ezidis are a major and original component in the Afrin region and it is considered as one of their original homelands. The Ezidis population in the region was around 60,000, including 25,000 in Afrin city. Before the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, the Ezidis were distributed in 22 villages: 3 villages, all inhabitants of the Ezidis, such as Basofan and Fakira, in addition to the areas of Shakak, Lilon and Gumy, with 5 villages in Shakak, 11 villages in Lilon and 6 villages in Gumy. Since the attack of the 18th March 2018, led by the Turkish forces and their Syrian armed factions on the Afrin region, 80% were forcibly displaced from their homes because they are facing real threats to their existence. In fact, the ones who remain in the area face murder and kidnapping, are forced to convert to Islam and forces to attend religious school while their religious believe and practices are mocked. These crimes and violations against human rights target Ezidi and other community groups such as Assyrians, Alawites, Kurds, Armenians. To stop this violent pattern, we call the attention of the international community to ask them to act promptly. To the international civil society, we ask to not look away and to raise their voice for the abused and persecuted, the tortured and massacred, the hanged and imprisoned and the hidden and forgotten.

Farhad Shamo Roto – President of Voice of Ezidis

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We have been published on Radio France Internationale. 

RFI made a report on the 5th commemoration of the Ezidi genocide in Sarcelles, France, organized by VOE. You can listen to the coverage here

" On 3rd August 2019, around 100 people including 12 Yazidi families gathered to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the beginning of the Yazidi genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State armed group in Sinjar in North-Eastern Iraq.
Thousands were killed while women and girls were raped and enslaved.
The boys were trained as child soldiers.
The Yazidis are an ancient minority with their own language, culture and centuries-old monotheist religion.
The jihadists considered them to be heretics, and thus, justified the indiscriminate killings and violence against them.
RFI's Zeenat Hansrod (Twitter @zxnt) covered the commemoration which took place in the north of Paris, in the town of Sarcelles

She spoke to Samson Husein, Farhad Shamo Roto –president of Voice of Ezidis – Diler Alhamad and a 24-year-old female refugee living in France.

Photograph by VOE, Voice of Ezidis "