Ezidi official rejects report 350 Ezidis freed in Fallujah
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – On Monday, Hadi Dubani, the Ezidi Director for Yezidi (Ezidi) affairs in Duhok Province, rejected any statements given to media about Kurdish Ezidis freed in Fallujah.
In August 2014, the so-called Islamic State (IS) occupied the Kurdish Ezidi city of Sinjar (Shingal) in the southwest of the Kurdistan Region.
The insurgents abducted and enslaved Ezidi women and children as well as conducting massacres against the Ezidi people.
Recently, some news outlets stated that following the liberation of Fallujah, a key city under IS control in the west of Baghdad, Iraqi security forces and Shia militia have freed over 350 Ezidi people.
In an interview with Kurdistan24, Dubani stated that there was no reliability in the news published by several media.
“The rumor that has been published in news outlets regarding freeing 354 Ezidis is baseless,” he said.
He mentioned that the news was published by Iraqi Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi on social media through Facebook.
Dubani revealed that they would follow up the information while asking certain media “to consider the pain of Ezidi people and not to publish rumors without confirming them first.”
“Some media published information with no reliable sources,” he said. “They often mention that several Ezidi people have been freed, burnt and executed without any credible source.”
Hadi Dubani, Ezidi Director for Yezidi (Ezidi) affairs in Duhok Province, during an interview with Kurdistan24. June 20, 2016. (Photo: Kurdistan24)
The Ezidi Director explained that the names of the allegedly freed persons does not match the data they have on record of those abducted by IS.
“We compared the names with our data, and they did not match,” Dubani added.
He asked that if the rumors are true, why the militia did not reveal where the freed Ezidis are or why their relatives have not been informed about their release.
Dubani hoped that if the militia releases any Ezidis now or later, they will not be used as a political pressure card by Hashd al-Shaabi.
He pointed out that the office of the Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani supervises the freeing and finding of abducted Ezidis.
The Ezidi Director revealed that since August 2014, IS has abducted 6,386 Ezidi women and children.
So far 2,593 of them have been freed with the support of Barzani’s office, and 3,793 Ezidis remain in IS custody.
“We have asked the federal government of Iraq, foreign Arab countries, and international organizations to help us rescue Ezidis from [IS],” Dubani concluded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany