France condemns hate speech against Yezidi community
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The French embassy in Iraq on Wednesday strongly condemned recent hate speech targeting the Yezidi community.
Press release from the French Embassy in Iraq with regards the campaign of hatred and accusations targeting the Yazidi community. pic.twitter.com/LBiFSNyKCj— La France en Irak (@FranceBagdad) May 2, 2023
“It called for the right of Yazidis (Yezidi’s) to live in peace, security and dignity, in the same way as the other components of Iraqi society,” the statement said.
“It reaffirms France's concrete commitment to the Yazidis in Iraq, whether it be their right to decent living conditions in the region where they have been the target of Daesh's extermination, or in camps where they have sought refuge.”
Moreover, France called on federal authorities and those of the autonomous region of Kurdistan to continue their efforts to improve security, governance and reconstruction in Sinjar.
The French Embassy in Iraq emphasized its “commitment to creating an understanding and a peaceful dialogue between the different components of the Iraqi population and to preserving the country's diversity, one of its main assets.”
Yezidi activists on social media welcomed the statement. “Thanks to the Embassy of France,” Yezidi activist Saad Baber told Kurdistan 24.
“We need such solidarity and statements from the UN in Iraq, the US Embassy, the UK Embassy, and other International missions to stand with Yazidi survivors who are living in fear because of hate speech by religious leaders in Iraq and the Kurdistan region,” he added.
Hunar Kakayi, an activist, documented the hate speech against the Yezidi community on social media and welcomed the French statement in his Twitter page.
“I think the statement by France is good because it should alert security intelligence actors in the KRG about the existence of the Daesh (ISIS) ideology.”
“I believe the KRG government should do more to arrest those who directly threaten national security and disturb the social fabric.”
France has supported the Yezidi community since the beginning of ISIS attacks on the religious minority. Moreover, France supports a project to build a hospital in Sinjar.
Social media was abuzz with unverified claims on Friday that Yezidi protestors had attacked and set fire to a mosque.
Following the incident, hate speech and threats against Yezidis escalated on social media, even some applauding ISIS's past atrocities against Yezidi women.
The Iraqi Sunni Endowment visited the Rahman Mosque in Sinjar to investigate the incident, and determined that the mosque was not attacked and there was no evidence of any material damage to the mosque.
The return of 25 Sunni Arab families to Sinjar lead to protests by Yezidi’s who claimed the families helped ISIS, during the ISIS genocide of Yezidi’s in August 2014.
The return of displaced Sunni Muslims native to Sinjar has been a concern among the Yezidi community, who accuse them of having facilitated ISIS crimes against them.