Delegates at a European Parliament conference argued that for a lasting resolution in Sinjar (Şengal), northern Iraq, the Turkish state must halt its attacks on the region’s Yazidi community, and Islamic State (ISIS) members and their collaborators must be tried for the 2014 genocide and femicide committed against the Yazidis.
During the significant Brussels gathering, the Yazidi Women’s Council (SMJÊ) and the Union of Yazidi Associations together highlighted urgent measures critical to securing peace and self-governance in Sinjar. Delegates underscored the necessity for Turkey to cease assaults on Sinjar, and to bring ISIS members and their allies to justice for enduring rehabilitation of the Yazidi people.
Suham Dexîl Reşo, of the Yazidi Women’s Freedom Movement (TAJÊ), spotlighted historical persecutions faced by Yazidis, marking the 2014 ISIS atrocities as the 74th Genocide. She advocated for global recognition of the 2014 events as genocide, and stressed that the Yazidi community, vulnerable post-2014, require continued protection.
Reşo specifically called for Germany to halt arms sales to Turkey, and criticised the Erbil (Hewler)-Baghdad agreement for disregarding Yazidi self-determination, urging its annulment for failing to consult the Yazidi populace.
Reşo also delineated the continuous threat posed by ISIS in Iraq, particularly near Sinjar, advocating for an international tribunal to prosecute ISIS collaborators and ensure justice for the Yazidis. She highlighted the importance of an international effort to locate and rescue those kidnapped by ISIS.
The conference also echoed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan’s call for the protection of Yazidis, condemning his prolonged isolation and rallying for his freedom as part of a global campaign.
Dr. Rassmann, a scientist and journalist, in his presentation, identified Turkey as a significant threat to Sinjar, critiquing its expansionist ambitions and hostile policies towards Kurds. He described Turkish military actions in the region, including drone strikes and intelligence operations, as “extrajudicial executions” aimed at depopulating the area. He advocated for the recognition of Sinjar’s autonomy as a solution to these challenges.
Dr. Mechthild Exo discussed the “democratic nation” model as a promising future for Sinjar, emphasising autonomy, self-defence and women’s pivotal role in governance and defence as key components of a peaceful solution.
The conference concluded with actionable recommendations for the international community, including prosecuting genocide perpetrators, facilitating the Yazidis’ return to Sinjar, legally addressing state support for ISIS, halting Turkish aggressions and nullifying the Sinjar Agreement for failing to represent Yazidi interests. It also proposed designating 3 August as a day to commemorate feminicide, highlighting the need to prevent future crimes against women.