Kurdish issue related articles, news etc.
Amnesty International’s 2014 report
The group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS)1 has carried out ethnic cleansing2 on a historic scale in northern Iraq. Amnesty International has found that the IS has systematically targeted non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities, killing or abducting hundreds, possibly thousands, and forcing more than 830,000 others to flee the areas it has captured since 10 June 2014.
Ethnic and religious minorities – Assyrian Christians, Turkmen Shi’a, Shabak Shi’a, Yezidis, Kakai and Sabean Mandaeans – have lived together in the Nineveh province, much of it now under IS control, for centuries. Today, only those who were unable to flee when IS fighters seized the area remain trapped there, under threat of death if they do not convert to Islam. 3
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Yezidis, most of them women and children from the Sinjar region, were abducted as they fled the IS takeover in early August. At the time of writing, they continue to be held by the IS and, with a few exceptions, little is known of their fate or whereabouts. Some of those who managed to make contact with their families said they are being pressured to convert to Islam and some have reported that some of the women and children – both girls and boys – from their families were taken to unknown locations by their captors. Some families say their detained relatives
have also told them there have been cases of rape and sexual abuse of detained women and children.
Lawyer Mirze Ezdin is among those desperately awaiting news of his family. After patiently listing the names and ages of 45 relatives – all women and children – abducted by IS fighters in Qiniyeh, he showed Amnesty International a photo of two of his nieces on his mobile phone.4 Struggling to hold back the tears, he said: “Can you imagine these little ones in the hands of those criminals? Alina is barely three; she was abducted with her mother and her nine-month-old sister; and Rosalinda, five, was abducted with her mother and her three brothers aged eight to 12. We get news from some of them but others are missing and we don’t know if they are alive or dead or what has happened to them.”