A petition calling for recognition of the Yazidi genocide has been launched in Germany
The official petition calls on the German government to officially recognize the crimes of the terrorist group ISIL against the Yazidis since 2014 in the disputed region of Iraq, Shangal, as genocide.
At the moment, the petition has collected 9,148 signatures. According to a report by Deutsche Welle, such a measure should attract more than 50,000 signatures in order to receive public hearings in the German parliament.
"It is amazing that this petition, which is so important for the recognition of the genocide against the Yazidis, is almost unnoticed, and only a few have signed it," Rosa Burch, PhD, researcher at the Center for Research on Social Movements (COSMOS) at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, Italy, wrote on Twitter.
"The largest Yazidi diaspora lives in Germany — where is the support?" she added.
Pari Ibrahim, founder and executive director of the Free Yezidis Foundation (FSE), told IA K24 that the recognition of the genocide was the main and central goal for the Yezidi community.
"Of course, this is not enough, but this is the first step that is necessary if we want to accurately recognize what happened and seek justice, accountability, compensation for damage and restoration. Germany was a leader in the pursuit of justice after the Yazidi genocide, so recognition is natural and appropriate."
Murad Ismael, president and co-founder of the Sinjar Academy, also said that "recognition from Germany is especially important, since today it is the second homeland of the Yazidis, where more than 200,000 people live. For this reason, we want Germany to play a greater role in helping the Yazidis to protect themselves and their culture, whether in Germany or on the ancestral Yazidi lands. The Yazidi community sees the recognition of the genocide as recognition of what happened and respect for their collective suffering, it will also give them a sense that the world really cares about them, and when the next threat comes, most likely, the Yazidis will not be alone," he added.
Last summer, the governments of the Netherlands and Belgium recognized the crimes of ISIS committed against the Yazidi community as genocide.
The emergence of ISIS and its violent attack on the city of Shangal, where the majority of Yazidis live, in 2014 led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of members of the community. Most of them fled to the Kurdistan Region, while others resettled in neighboring countries of the region or in western states.
Others were less fortunate, and they remained in the war zone, where for many years they were subjected to atrocities and mass executions by an extremist group. ISIL militants forced women and girls into sexual slavery; abducted their children; forced them to convert to another religion; executed dozens of men; abused women and girls, trafficked them in areas they controlled in Iraq and Syria.
Thousands of members of the besieged community are still missing.
The Cultural Center of the Caucasus Yezidis joins this petition, and we hope that the German authorities will recognize the genocide of the Yazidi people, who have suffered for centuries because of their religious identity.
The Yazidi people were left without a homeland, there is no way back and all the bridges have been burned. For many Yazidis, Germany has become a second homeland.