Call to action

Yazidi leader appeals to West to prevent “extinction” of her people

Vian Dakheel Saeed at The 2015 Women In The World Summit in New York City. Women in the World

Vian Dakhil, one of just two Yazidi representatives in the Iraqi parliament, has written an article for Politico calling for greater assistance for and awareness of the Yazidi people’s plight. She accuses the Iraqi and Kurdish Regional governments of treating Yazidi as “second-class citizens,” noting that in the 90 percent Muslim country, the Yazidi were a persecuted minority even before the arrival of ISIS, with “no access to land ownership, quotas in education and other basic resources.”

Half a million Yazidi, 90 percent of the indigenous Yazidi population, live in refugee camps, and aid from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other groups has stopped. She says the Iraqi government has made no effort to help rescue the thousands of Yazidi held in captivity by ISIS, but that independently the Yazidi have been able to rescue 2,150 of those taken prisoner. Of those rescued, 800 were young girls — they have evidence, she says, of ISIS fighters raping children as young as age 8. Dakhil believes the Yazidi are “under threat of extinction,” and asks anyone who will listen to help the Yazidi secure the basics they need to survive. As a final request, Dakhil asked that that the world remember the Yazidi women who live on, “enslaved and in terror.”

Read the full story at Politico.

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