Via Rudaw — Vian Dakhil is an Erbil-based Kurdish Yezidi politician who survived a helicopter crash in August while delivering aid to Yezidis on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. Dakhil broke her leg in the crash, but the injury hasn’t hampered her continued campaign to save the Yezidi people who are trapped by the so-called Islamic State.
Addressing the UN Security Council
Earlier this week, Dakhil went before the UN Security Council calling for international support to aid the Kurdistan Regional Government in protecting minority religious groups and tackling Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq and Syria.
“We are slaughtered, we are killed, our women are being raped, our girls are being sold, our children are taken to places … we are bought and sold like goods in the market,” Dakhil told the UN’s top body last Friday.
Some 420,000 Yezidis have been forced to flee from the IS blitzkrieg advance into Iraq last year. Tens of thousands have fled to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, where they are living in camps alongside other ethnic and religious minorities as well Sunni Muslims who have been displaced by the so-called Islamic State, while thousands more are scattered across Syria and Turkey. An estimated 3,000 girls are being traded in ISIS slave markets for as little as $18 each.
Human Rights Abuses Considered “Genocide”
Dakhil asked the Security Council to adopt a resolution formally recognising the violence against Yazidis as genocide.
Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon echoed Dakhil’s sentiment stating, “There is strong evidence that members of a number of different minorities have been victims of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other very serious violations and abuses of human rights. This is especially true for women and girls.”
French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius agreed, “We are witnessing a true genocide. The Islamic State group in particular kills, enslaves or exiles people who don’t think like them. It’s not enough to raise awareness – we need to implement concrete solutions to protect these vulnerable populations.”[Read more at Rudaw]