It's a Shame to Stay with Iraq: Yezidi Official


ERBIL— The officials and personalities of the ethno-religious Yezidi community in Iraq state the Yezidi people yearn for a life with no more catastrophes and have pinned their entire hope on the independence referendum of the Kurdistan Region.

This time Yezidis with their vote will rescue themselves from catastrophes and misery, said Berivan Salim Shamo, the deputy head of Duhok Provincial Council.

"I believe it's a shame [for us] to remain in a state which once every several years causes a calamity  to the Yezidi people," the Yezidi official told BasNews as she made reference to the Siba Sheikh Khidir and Ger Uzer attacks in 2007 and the Islamic State (IS) occupation in 2014.

The suicide bombing attacks in August 2014, through car bombs, took lives of nearly 500 Yezidis and caused injuries to 150 more.

Seven years later, hundreds of Yezidi individuals in Sinjar and its vicinity underwent the IS killing spree. Thousands of women, young girls and children were also held as captives, with most of them becoming sex-slaves to the extremists in Iraq and Syria.

Anyone who votes "No" to the independence referendum of Kurdistan will bring another calamity upon the Yezidi people, remarked Sheikh Idan Kalo, the director of the Yezidi Affairs in Duhok.

He stated the Yezidi authorities will exert their full potential to reinforce the support for the independence vote, "because this vote will protect the rights of the Yezidis."

"The State of Kurdistan will be created for protecting the rights of the entire religious and ethnic components," said Bahzad Qawal Sleman, a  distinguished Yezidi personality.

He thought Yezidis should not forget the oppression they suffered at the hands of Arabs since the foundation of the state of Iraq.

For the Yezidi administrator of Sinune sub-district in Duhok province, the ordeal that the Yezidi community suffered in Iraq was the result of their ethnicity as Kurd and their religion as Yezidi.

Nayf Saydo thought the political disputes in Sinjar will not affect the support for the independence referendum of Kurdistan.

The independence vote will take place on 25th September across Kurdistan, and in Sinjar and a number of disputed areas between Erbil and Baghdad.