Demanding restoration of 'lost rights'

Yazidi women protest on anniversary of ISIS atrocity

NINEVEH — Women from the Sinjar district held a protest on Mosul’ Al-Manasa Street on Monday at a site reportedly used by the Islamic State to burn 19 Yazidi women alive on this day in 2016.

The attendees marked the tragic anniversary by demanding the Iraqi government expedite efforts to determine the fate of kidnapped women and compensate the survivors.

“We stood today in the heart of Mosul to express our sorrow for the 19 Yazidi women burned by ISIS criminals at this site,” Sina Ahmed, a protester, told 964media.

“We urge the Iraqi government to address the issue of the abducted women, as we know nothing about them, and most mass graves remain unopened,” she stated.

“We also demand solutions for Sinjar. The affected people have received nothing, and their homes have been destroyed since 2014,” Ahmed concluded.

Another protester who identified herself as Umm Saman, said, “We arrived today from Sinjar and its villages to stand and remember the girls who were burned by ISIS here after being tortured and raped.”

“We demand rights for Sinjar and Yazidi women because their rights have been lost, and we have not received any compensation.”

“Turkish planes are still bombing us in Sinjar. Is it reasonable for Iraqi lands to be bombed and our children to be victims of this?” she added.

In recent years, Turkey has frequently targeted YBS fighters, claiming their association with the PKK, a Kurdish organization that has been in conflict with Turkey for decades.

The protesters chanted “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” (Women, Life, Freedom), a key slogan within the Kurdish feminist movement.

Amidst the aftermath of ISIS’s brutal attacks, the Yazidi community grapples with the enduring repercussions of genocide, displacement, and myriad hardships into 2024. Over 5,000 Yazidis lost their lives at the hands of ISIS, with approximately 360,000 displaced within Iraq, and over 100,000 forced to flee the country altogether.

According to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration, ISIS destoryed up to 80 percent of public infrastructure and 70 percent of civilian homes in Sinjar and its environs.

Despite Yazidis beginning to return to their ancestral lands post-ISIS, the recovery process is stymied by the volatile situation in Sinjar, compounded by local and regional disputes over the territory. These disputes raise concerns among residents about potential conflicts, hindering the full return of the Yazidi population and the complete reconstruction of their devastated communities.