Yazidis tragedy not over yet, and who is rescuing them behind the scene?

By Bahdin Sevo Sindi. Kurdistan, May 27. The New Mail When  Yazidis Kurds turn toward the sun for their daily prayer, the first thing they say is “God, please protect all 72 nations first and then us.” Their prayers are always framed around the sacredness of life, sun, soil and mankind. They wish a peaceful life for all ethnicities and religious groups first.

Hussein Qaidi, an office director for rescuing yazadi women.
Hussein Qaidi, an office director for rescuing yazadi women. Photo By Bahdin Sevo Sindi. The New Mail, License photo

The zealots of the so-called Islamic State do not recognize their Yazidi religion, and took the girls to be slaves. … Think on that a moment: “slaves.” It’s not a figurative term, it is literal bondage: humans as chattel to be bought and sold, forced to work, and raped at will. Most of them were taken from in and around the town of Sinjar, Kurdistan of Iraq, which fell to ISIS in August 2014. Often beaten, often starved, and utterly defenseless, many refused to bathe, hoping  that would keep men away from them. Others pretended to be mothers. But many were raped no matter what rules they employed, or how much they pleaded. Eventually, they were taken to Raqqa, the de facto capital in Syria of the putative caliphate, to a makeshift slave market. And, usually when they managed to get a hold of a cell phone, these few were able, one by one, to arrange to escape.

To know more about this tragic story, I had to travel to Kurdistan and managed to meet with Mr. Hussein Qaidi, an office director for rescuing yazadi women from Isis.

When did this office establish? After the tragic disaster that befell on Sinjar and its suburbs on 3rd August 2014, more than 400.000 of our people were displaced, more than 6000 Yazidi were captured by this terror group so-called Islamic State(Isis). As a result of this disaster his excellency Nechirvan Barzani personally has opened a special file to save the Yazidis from Isis, on his own expense, it was his idea to establish the office. Then he handed this file to our representative Mr. Khayri Bozani the Yazidi representative in Ministry of Religious Endowments of Kurdistan region. As a result, we opened two offices one in Erbil and another one in Duhok in October 2010, and the main priority that to rescue our women from Daash.

Who is funding you, And did you request an assistance? Since this office found no one is funding or helping us except his excellency Nechirvan Barzani’s office he is the main and the only funder to our office. And yes we did call for help and assistance from Iraqi government and parliament, UN, Arab countries, Islam countries, Europe and the USA but none of those responded.

Do you have relationships with civic and charitable organizations such as NGO? Yes, we get a daily visit by either NGO, UN, and some other civic organizations. We share with them our needs and whatever happened to our people, then they listen to our request and what should they offer. And there are many charity organizations in Kurdistan who visit to support us.

What is your message to the international community? Our message was very clear to the international community , as we have announced on national media many times that we are in need and urgent support to help us in order to rescue our women from Daash, but nobody listens to our appeal. My message to them’’ We need support urgently because  until now there are more than 3,800 people are still in the grip of Daash , women daily get tortured, raped, and humiliated . Therefore, it is an international community’s responsibility to rescue them.

How many Kurdish Yazidi still out there to be rescued, and who rescued them? For a start we deployed 8 teams who went to make general census in all area, it shows were more than 6255 people captured by Isis, since we started to work up to now we have managed to rescue 2579 people some of them managed to escape from Isis by themselves, and we rescued others with help of some friends, and there are still 3800 people still in Isis’s grip.

Yazidi woman, rescued from Isis
Yazidi woman, rescued from Isis.The New Mail. Photo by Hussein Qadi. License photo

Certainly they subjected to various kinds of physical and psychological torture, after rescuing them how they get treated? After rescue operation, we providing them an accommodation and their psychological not assured also they got tortured physically abused and humiliated in various ways, therefore, they need a long-term treatment. We have two medical units to examine them and send some of them to a rehabilitation center in Erbil, according to an agreement between Kurdistan Regional Government and Germany in 2015 to send 1000 who desperate for help to Germany for treatment , they already accepted 1900 people nearly 450 women are among them .

Are there any Yazidi women who wish to migrate to Europe after 2014? Of course, most of them like to migrate to live somewhere more secure and feel safe , especially after the catastrophe that has befallen us by Isis, they were disappointed .

Sinjar has been liberated by Peshmarga force, what is your message to the Peshmarga? I would like to thank Peshmarga and their effort we are proud of them they saved our people, and we would like them to liberate rest of area, so our people can return to their home and continue a normal life. Unfortunately, 90% of Sinjar City were devastated and it’s not liveable, no services or government departments and I don’t think anyone will return Sinjar.  We need help from KRG and all international community to rebuild Sinjar and other areas.

Is there still fear on those women in Kurdistan after rescuing them? Up to now we have rescued 931 women all of them are happy to live in Kurdistan because Kurdistan is safe, and we never recorded a single threat whether no formal or informal , everybody is willing to help and support those women by relatives, our office, KRG government, charity organizations and our Kurdish community. According to the advisory opinion of Yazidi Council spiritual, they announced that those women were taken by force got assault and faced roughest conditions, therefore, we all need to take care of them so that they can start a new life.

There is some information that the PKK are teaching Yazidi kids to follow their way and fight in future, is that true? Yes, many cases been reported to us that PKK is influencing on our people who lives in a camp by taking their kids away training them, brainwash them according to their idea and ideology, to make them the future fighter in their ranks and most of them are under age. Have you tried to stop this? Yes, we made a report and reported to KRG and those who are responsible for our people’s safety we just waiting for the outcomes.

What other activities do you have? Our main target is to rescue them, but as I mentioned earlier we opened two medical units and rehabilitation center. Most of them lost their Identity or ID card we are helping them with the co-operate with the Ministry of Interior of KRG to recognize anyone after we give them a reference, in addition, we offer a various help and support.

Can you tell me the war scenario on behalf of them? All of those girls and women have different and real story all are tragedy and painful. This  disaster that befell them in  the twenty-first century was worse , and this happened to Yazidi people even before 1400 years ago, but after this civilization and peaceful coexistence, it’s a shame on what happened. In the beginning of the attack, everyone was gathered in one place and they dispersed  men, women, married women with kids and girls each separately according to their age, this is regarding Sinjar . Then they transferred them to Tilahfar( Town Near Mosul) to keep them in a very dirty filthy place such as an animal barn, from there girls were picked up one by one to spend a night with a member or Isis, they had been tortured first then raped in front of others or separately. According to one girl story she said,’’ they took us to Mosul to a place called Galaxy hall, where more than 1000 people there. In this hall, they did same procedures, that to dispersed men, women, married women, and girls. Isis members were attending to that Galaxy hall to choose the preferred  girl according to their age, girls been sold cheaply to spend time with and taken to their home offices and other places .

A married woman with a Six-month-old child has been sold to a member of Daash, she said’’ he tried to sleep with me but I refused many time, one day he picked up my child and pointed a gun at his head saying; I will kill him or rape you so choose one of two’’ I sacrificed my body to save the child’’ she said.

Another girl 17 years old bought by Isis who was in charge and over 50 years old. This old Isis was raping an underage girl. One of this old Isis’s guard felt in love with the girl and said’’ I will help you to kill him if you marry me’’ said the guard. The girl had no other choice than to kill an old Isis, then she ran away ended up in a house where all Isis fighters there. They caught her after a few days sent her to Syria in a house full of Isis, as she said everyone raped and tortured her. One day they came back from combat, told her to make a tea, she went to their room and checked their pockets found a drug in each pocket , took some of these drugs and put it all in the kettle , after they had tea about 15 minutes all went to sleep, then she escaped’’ She said . Now that girl lives in Germany.

We rescued more than 931 women each one has a tragic story worse than the other, such as rape and gang rape, some of them were given as a gift to other members of Isis.

The most shocking story I’ve heard from Hussein that, a Ten years old girl has been raped by three Isis each one kept her Two to Three months. Heartbreakingly Hussein was talking to me and I’ve noticed his deep sadness and eyes full of tears said’’ when we have rescued this girl she even didn’t know what does RAPE mean, or what is sex, what do men and women mean!!?’’ I was speechless for a moment, and without any comment or expressions, I will let these couple of real story to speak to the conscience of humanity to wake it up and tell it is a time to defend our innocence entity.

By Bahdin Sevo Sindi

The New Mail News