The people of Sinjar are commemorating the ninth anniversary of the harrowing genocide by the Islamic State (ISIS) on 3 August 2014, in which thousands of Yazidis lost their lives.
Today in Sinjar, shops are closed. Shutters are down and the town is silent in remembrance. The mass grave of the genocide victims in the town is being crowded as a part of the ceremony.
Speaking at the cemetery, Kinê Xidir of the Yazidi Free Women’s Movement (TAJÊ) called on the world to recognise the 2014 atrocity as genocide. “We have been betrayed. Whoever participated in the massacre of our children and the imprisonment of our women will not get away with it,” Xidir said in her speech.
Sinjar’s autonomous defenders established in 2017, namely the Shengal Resistance Units (YBŞ), Yazidi (Êzîdxan) Women’s Units (YJŞ) and Êzidxan Asayish also held an official ceremony and called for unity among the Yazidi people, as they commemorated those who lost their lives in the massacre in 2014.
Kurtay Şengalî, one of the commanders, warned against possible further major attacks and called for the strengthening of the YBŞ and YJŞ in his speech at the ceremony. He stressed the importance of a united struggle for the safety of the Yazidi people and the prevention of similar tragedies in the future.
The genocide that took place in Sinjar in 2014 sparked global outrage and was recognised as a crime against humanity by the United Nations and several European countries.
Since then, the Yazidis have continued to call for those responsible to be brought to justice.