International organizations condemn Iraqi government’s Yazidi Survivors Law
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Thirteen international organizations announced in a joint statement that they condemn Iraq's recent decision to require applicants for compensation under the Yazidi Survivors Law to make a judicial complaint. They described it as an alarming development that ignores survivors' best interests.
The organizations include Amnesty International, Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights, The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), Coalition for Just Reparations, Fédération International pour les droits de Humains (FIDH), Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P), Global Survivors Fund (GSF), Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), Mukwege Foundation, Nadia’s Initiative, REDRESS, Elizabeth Bohart, Strategic Adviser and Board Member of Nadia’s Initiative and Dr. Norbert Wühler, Co-Chair of the Board of the Global Survivors Fund.
In filing criminal complaints with the judiciary, survivors report harassment and stigmatization.
Survivors are at risk of re-traumatization if the judge requires them to describe their abuse in court. This does not respect their agency in making decisions about whether to bring a case to court.
In 2021 the Yazidi Survivors Law was approved by the Iraqi House of Representatives.
There are approximately 500,000 Yazidis living in Iraq. More than 70%, or 360,000, of them are still residing in camps in the Kurdistan region, according to figures released by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Another 100,000 Yezidis live outside Iraq.
Thousands of Yezidi women were sexually enslaved by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which was defeated in 2017 by Kurdish and Iraqi forces, with the support of the US-led coalition.
The Kurdish-Kurmanji-speaking community has suffered at least 72 genocides.
European countries, including Germany, have hosted a significant number of Yezidis fleeing violence. Nearly 10,000 Yezidis were killed or kidnapped by ISIS.
The United Nations later recognized the atrocities against the Yazidi people as genocide.
More than 3,500 Yezidis have been rescued so far, according to the KRG.