Call to help Abducted Yezidi Women

KRG officials call upon the international community to help abducted Kurdish Yezidi women

KRG officials seek international mobilization to consider the case of women abducted by ISIS terrorists. Following severe terrorists attacks against Kurdish Yezidi towns and villages in late July and early August, a large number of women and underage girls were abducted.

According to various accounts, the victims suffer physical, mental, and emotional trauma. They are forced into sexual slavery, tortured, and transferred from one place to another.

In a statement to Dr Nazand Begikhani, senior advisor to the KRG Prime Minister for Higher Education and Gender Issues and member of the KRG Women’s Rights Board, said, “Local and international communities are now aware of these horrendous acts.”

She added, “These acts qualify as crimes against humanity, and they should be recognised as such by the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.”

Due to the military and security situation on the ground, precise information is not available regarding the number of victims and their whereabouts. Secretary General of the KRG High Council of Women’s Affairs, Pakhshan Zangana, told that she estimates the number to be between 700 and 1000, based on accounts given by displaced Yezidi Kurds and other sources.

She said there are reports suggesting that the women are held at Badoush prison in Mosul, Talafar, and many others have been sent to Syria.

Dr Begikhani pointed out that these crimes are committed against women as a tactic of warfare, and there is a systematic strategy to abuse them. The tactic of abduction and sexual violence against women during conflict has been recognized as a threat to world peace and security by the United Nations Security Council in resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008).

Action by KRG authorities

Dr Begikhani said, “The KRG has set up a task force which includes representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Interior, Labour and Social Affairs, and Martyrs and Anfal Affairs. The Prime Minister has also appointed a special envoy to Duhok [the governorate where most of the displaced people have taken refuge].

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