ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Yezidi (Ezidi) woman committed suicide in one of the camps for internally displaced persons (IDP) in the autonomous Kurdistan Region, according to a local security source.
The source told Kurdistan 24 that the 20-year-old woman, named Ayshan Ali Salih, deliberately ended her life by shooting herself with a firearm.
The incident took place on Saturday at 7:00 pm in the Kabarto II IDP camp, located in the province of Duhok. According to the most recent numbers publicly released by the UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, the camp is at full capacity with over 13,000 residents.
The source mentioned that she is from the village of Bara, located in the north of the predominantly Ezidi town of Sinjar (Shingal) in Nineveh Province, and that she fled to the Kurdistan Region in Aug. 2014 along with her family after the Islamic State overran the area.
“Her suicide was the result of a family issue,” security and relatives both told Kurdistan 24. The term "family issue" is also commonly used to describe reasons behind so-called honor killings in the region.
Over the past few years, several Ezidis in IDP camps in the Kurdistan Region were reported to have committed suicide.
The emergence of the Islamic State and its violent assault on Shingal in 2014 led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Ezidis. Most of them fled to the Kurdistan Region, while others resettled to neighboring countries in the region or in Western states.
Others were not as lucky and remained stranded in the war zone, where they experienced atrocities and mass executions at the hands of the extremist group for years. Militants subjected women and girls to sexual slavery, kidnapped children, forced religious conversions, executed scores of men, and abused, sold, and trafficked females across areas they controlled in Iraq and Syria.
Prior to the 2014 attack, there were roughly 550,000 Ezidis in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. As the jihadist group took over large swaths of territory in Nineveh Province, 360,000 Ezidis escaped and found refuge elsewhere, according to the Ezidi Rescue Office.
So far, 69 mass graves which contain the remains of Ezidis have been excavated along with untold numbers of individual graves.
Editing by John J. Catherine
(Additional reporting by Mahir Ilyas)