15-year-old Yezidi genocide survivor killed in Germany
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Yezidi (Ezidi) genocide survivor Arkan Hussein Kjo, 15, from Borek village in Shingal (Sinjar) died from his injuries in a hospital after he was stabbed by a German citizen on Tuesday evening in the northern German city of Celle.
“There was a young man not directly from Kojo but from Sinjar who was attacked by a German citizen near the train station,” Kamal Sido, a Middle East expert at the Germany-based human rights group Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV), confirmed to Kurdistan 24.
It was unclear why Kjo was stabbed, Sido added, noting that “the young Yezidi man was on his bicycle and wanted to go home.”
“There was a fight, no conflict, and he was going peacefully home. The suspicion is that it was a racist attack, but it’s also possible that the German perpetrator was mentally ill.”
German police in Celle said a 29-year-old suspect was quickly arrested after the murder.
“So far, there was no concrete indication of the suspect’s motive. The 29-year-old looked confused when he was arrested,” the police said in a public statement.
“The suspect, who is represented by a lawyer, has not given any information on the matter.”
In August 2014, thousands from the Ezidi minority group suffered a genocide at the hands of the so-called Islamic State. Women and girls were forced into sexual slavery, children kidnapped, and men executed across areas the terror group had controlled in Iraq and Syria.
Kjo’s family, in particular, moved to Germany in 2015 after surviving the genocide.
The Ezidi Magazine Lalis Dialog wrote on Facebook that the “young boy from Shingal had survived the genocide when he was only 10 years old.”
Helime Hussein Khalaf, Kjo’s older sister, told the Yeni Ozgur Politika newspaper that her brother did not harm anyone.
“Why did they kill my brother in the middle of the road? We are harmless [Ezidi] people, they took everything away from us, we came here over the waters [sea] and drowned in blood.”
Pari Ibrahim, Founder and Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation, told Kurdistan 24 the Ezidi community is heartbroken about the news of the murder.
“Although the specific motives behind the attack are not yet known, it is nevertheless a sad event to see a Yezidi survivor suffer,” she said. “Our thoughts are with the family of the victim and we hope that justice will be served.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany