ERBIL – The reason behind banning the Yezidi so called Yazda Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) in the Kurdistan Region was its involvement in political activities while it was allowed only to offer humanitarian services, said a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) official on Friday.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released a report stating that the KRG has closed down “a prominent nongovernmental organization supporting the Yezidi religious minority.” It also stated that shutting down the NGO “for unspecified reasons and at a time of growing humanitarian need has quickly sent a shudder through Iraq’s humanitarian community.”
Dindar Zebari, head of the KRG’s High Committee to Evaluate and Respond to International Reports, posted on his official Twitter account that the closing down of Duhok-based Yazda organization was due to divergence from its "main mandate which is supposed to be humanitarian services.”
The Kurdistan Region-based Yazda office in Duhok province has been delivering humanitarian assistance to the Kurdish Yezidis affected by the atrocities of the Islamic State (IS).
“Representatives of the Yazda NGO were requested to stop carry[ing out] political activities, but in contrary [they] continued to ignore requests,” Zebari stated.
The IS militants attacked the Yezidi-major town of Sinjar in August, 2014. They abducted more than 5,000 Yezidis from Sinjar and the surrounding areas and thousands more were either executed or forced to flee home.
In November 2015, Peshmerga forces with the support from the US-led coalition air force liberated the district.
With support from Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani's office to rescue Yezidis, KRG has rescued over 2,000 Yezidis mostly women and children, from the grip of IS.
“KRG has pushed all necessary efforts to bring the case of [Yezidis] into international occasions," Zebari added.