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Call to help the Yazidi return home safely

Join ROSE in the call to help the Yazidi returning to Sinjar. Please adapt the letter below to send to your Member of Parliament in Canada or officials elsewhere in the world. Take action today by emailing your Member of Parliament and the representatives below.

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada:
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Find your member of parliament

On August 3, 2014, ISIS extremists began a campaign of genocide against the Yazidi, a religious minority in Northern Iraq. They murdered the men, forced the boys into ISIS military training camps, and enslaved the women and girls subjecting them to torture and rape in a fate that survivor Nadia Murad describes as “worse than death.” 

Re: Situation of thousands of Yazidi in refugee camps, described as ‘death row’

Dear Sirs and Madams, 

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the Yazidi genocide.

We are writing on behalf of the Women Refugees Advocacy Project to urge the Canadian government to launch a peacekeeping mission in Northern Iraq to aid the Yazidi refugees who are returning to Sinjar. Sinjar region became treacherous when ISIS planted hundreds of thousands of landmines and other explosives there before they were pushed out in 2017.

Our women's group advocated for Yazidi survivors to be brought to Canada and provided with comprehensive trauma care. While working with Yazidi women living in Canada we learned from them about the condition of the refugee camps, and the hundreds of thousands of Yazidi now trapped in the camps, partly for political reasons.

Under the cover of the pandemic, terrible atrocities are taking place. Please see the news articles below about the Yazidis' desperate efforts to return to their homeland. The Yazidi describe the struggle to survive in refugee camps as death row, especially given the pandemic: “we were like prisoners who were waiting for execution.” They are spontaneously starting to leave the camps and are ready and motivated to return to Sinjar despite the dangers.

Will Canada work with the United Nations and Iraqi government to protect them? The Yazidi must receive security and support if they are to return to Sinjar successfully.

As the Canadian journalist Sally Armstrong proposed in 2018:

"[The Yazidi] have lived on this patch of land all their lives. They don’t expect anyone else to rebuild their wrecked homes or fix their ruined roads. What they want is assurance that someone will protect them so that it’s safe to go home. Canada could send 500 of our well-trained soldiers to guard Shingal Mountain. No one is going to attack them. This is peace building writ large."

We urgently request that you take action on behalf of the Yazidi returning to Sinjar.


Remember Our Sisters Everywhere

Yazidis returning to Sinjar, despite fresh conflict and Covid-19
efe-epa By Marta Rullán, Madrid Desk, 30 Jun 2020  -  Despite Turkish bombings, the continued threat of the Islamic State terror organization and the global Covid-19 pandemic, Yazidi refugees
are returning home to Sinjar six years after they were forced to flee genocide.

Six years on: Yazidi survivors see ‘only empty promises’ in aftermath of massacre
Reuters, The Globe and Mail, August 4, 2020

Yazidi children and rape victims ‘left abandoned’ after Isis captivity – report
By Kaamil Ahmed, The Guardian, July 30, 2020
Amnesty calls for action to help victims overcome trauma, as families return home to landscape littered with landmines

Urgent Action: Turkey bombing villages in Kurdistan
CPT (Christina Peacemaker Teams), June 14, 2020
Nadia Murad: “Mount Sinjar is a war zone right now. Turkish fighter jets are bombing multiple locations. Over 150 Yazidi families had just returned to their homes.
When will @IraqiGovt & the international community apply some courage & political will to resolving security challenges in Sinjar?

‘Yazidi women are strong’: Iraq’s female landmine clearance teams
Isis planted mines across Sinjar and displaced the Yazidi community. Now a group of women are clearing the way for the return of their people
By Kate Denereaz, The Guardian, 7 Jul 2020

Will The Yazidis Survive In The Middle East?
… On May 29, 2020, Nadia Murad [said]… “Turkish-backed militias are silently carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Yazidis in Afrin, Syria. They are kidnapping women, killing civilians, and destroying houses and shrines.”
By Ewelina U. Ochab, Forbes, June 1, 2020

We can help the Yazidis return home safely
By Sally Armstrong, The Globe and Mail, July 3, 2018


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