Over 2,000 kidnapped Yezidi women remain in ISIS custody
ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – More than 2,000 kidnapped Yezidi women are believed to be in ISIS custody even though the militant group no longer holds territory, a KRG official told Kurdistan24 on Monday.
Remarks by Parez Omer, the head of the gender department at Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Culture and Youth, to Kurdistan24 came on the sidelines of a conference the ministry held in Erbil on the Yezidi genocide.
“Although Daesh [ISIS] no longer rules territories, 2,640 Yezidi women are still in their custody,” Ms Omer said.
Kurdistan Region’s rescue office for Yezidi women has so far been able to free 3,575 girls and women.
The survivors and rescued are going through a “distressed mental state”, she said, urging all sides to help support the community.
The Kurdish officials in late September freed another girl.
In Aug. 2014, ISIS militants attacked the Yezidi-majority town of Sinjar and nearby villages, killing at least 5,000 Yezidis as well as enslaving about 6,000 women and minors. Around 400,000 others were displaced by the offensive.
In a conference this August, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani stated that 1,244 kidnapped Yezidi girls, and women, and 1,402 men, and youth are still missing.
Moreover, he said that strong efforts by the Kidnapped Yezidi Rescue Office resulted in the rescue of at least 1,208 women, 339 men, and 2,023 children.
“As long as there is one Yezidi kidnapped left, this section of my office will remain and will continue to find and rescue the kidnapped," the Kurdish president said.
Additional reporting by Kurdistan 24 Erbil reporter Hero Mawloodi