ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani congratulated Yezidis (Ezidis) in the Region celebrating Red Wednesday, stating no one other than Ezidis has a right to determine their future.
Charshama Sor, the Kurdish phrase for “Red Wednesday,” is the Ezidi New Year which takes place in April, usually on the Wednesday following April 14.
Ezidis practice what is believed to be one of the oldest religions in the world, evidenced by their calendar. According to the Ezidi Calendar, they are now in the year 6767 (April 2017).
“On the eve of the Ezidi New Year, we emphasize that the people of the Kurdistan Region support Ezidis and will not allow anyone to impose themselves on them,” Barzani declared in a statement on Tuesday. “Their future and destiny shall rest only in the hands of the Ezidis.”
“Throughout history, our Ezidi brothers and sisters have faced persecution and suffered many atrocities due to their religious and ethnic identity,” he added. “But their faith and Kurdish identity have always given them strength to fight back.”
He also mentioned how dedicated Peshmerga forces defeated the Islamic State (IS) in the Ezidi-populated areas in the northwest of the Kurdistan Region, and made the jihadist group pay the ultimate price for their crimes.
The President reaffirmed everyone's role in ensuring Ezidis be protected from any further tragedy or atrocities committed against them.
Moreover, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers released a statement on Tuesday, expressing the government’s vow to continue supporting rescue attempts for all the remaining abducted Ezidi women in the jihadist's hands. The KRG asserted it would persevere in its efforts to liberate Ezidi areas that remain under IS control.
The statement also mentioned the government would continue its work for the Ezidi genocide to receive international recognition.
In August 2014, IS occupied the city of Sinjar (Shingal) and carried out mass executions and enslaved thousands of Ezidi women. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced, and unfortunately, thousands remain prisoners in the hands of the extremist group.
Peshmerga forces, with the support of the US-led coalition airstrikes, liberated Shingal in November 2015.
Editing by Gabrielle Renaud