Press Release, Erbil 22.09.2014
“Loyalty to Sinjar” is an Iraqi campaign aimed at the Iraqi government, regional authorities in Kurdistan, and the UN mission in Iraq to coordinate the opening of a central location where the grave human rights violations now being committed can be documented. The killings, kidnappings and displacement now occurring in Sinjar must be formally recorded for later use as evidence, if the case of Sinjar is to be presented to the International Criminal Court as crimes of genocide.
The people of Sinjar continue to suffer due to crimes committed against them by extremists and members of DAAES (Islamic State). The displacement and loss experienced by Iraqi families has not abated, and not enough is being done to record and keep track of the atrocities committed. Currently, victims lack a central registration system to document the missing people, those who have been killed, and those held captive. Without well-organized registration and documentation, we risk losing the concrete evidence needed to bring to light the tremendous suffering now occurring and the causes of it.
Press reports and government agencies have reported conflicting statistics about the number of deaths and missing people: some speak about hundreds of kidnapped people, especially Iraqi women and children from the Yazidi minorities, while others say that thousands have been lost in this tragedy. Most reports agree to the existence of abundant evidence that what happened in Sinjar reflects a process of systematic genocide against the Iraqi Yezidi population. A number of Iraqi and international politicians have already expressed support for describing the extremists’ activities in Sinjar as genocide crimes.
Given the enormous number of crimes already committed, much hard work is required in order to document them, while also ensuring the rights of victims and revealing the fate of missing persons. Thus our organizations request the following:
We call upon the Security Council of the United Nations to refer the case of extremists’ crimes in Sinjar to the International Criminal Court, as it is the only court with jurisdiction over crimes of genocide.
We call upon the Iraqi government, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the Office of Human Rights in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to help Iraq by establishing a center for the registration of missing persons and of others killed in Sinjar. Iraqi NGOs ask that concerted and coordinated effort be made to record this evidence so that facts are not lost.
Our organizations will follow up on these requests through various activities and through constructive work with all relevant agencies. We invite the official media in Iraq to support our cause and to join us in this call.
The undersigned organizations:
– Brotherhood and Solidarity Association of Yazidi
– Al-Masalah Organization for Human Resources Development
– Civil Alliance of Iraqi Minorities
– Iraqi Al-Amal Association
– Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI)
– Iraqi Social Forum
– Norwegian People Aid
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