Sozdar Avesta: Autonomy is a right for the Yazidis in Shengal

In a written message to the congress of the Democratic Autonomous Council of Shengal (MXDŞ), KCK Presidential Council Member Sozdar Avesta said, “Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan has entrusted the Yazidis in Shengal to us."

The 4th congress of the Democratic Autonomous Council of Shengal (MXDŞ) kicked off in the Azadî Hall in Shengal earlier today.

Along with 250 delegates, opinion leaders, singers, journalists, women and youth organizations, non-governmental organizations, 50 people from different communities and Yazidis from Europe and Russia are attending the congress.

Shengal Executive Council Co-Chair Riham Hico made the opening speech of the congress. “Our aim is to solve not only the Shengal problem, but all the problems in Iraq. The 4th congress is an important step for the political, social, cultural and educational development of the Yazidi community,” he said.

After the opening speech, a documentary about the 2014 Shengal Massacre, resistance to the massacre, liberation of Shengal, and preparations for the establishment of the democratic self-government was displayed. Following the documentary, the messages sent to the congress were read out.

One of the most important messages delivered to the congress was that of The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Presidential Council Member Sozdar Avestawho stressed the importance of the congress and stated that all components should attend the congress and consider it as their own will.

Emphasizing the importance of Shengal's autonomy, Sozdar Avesta said that “The main work is Democratic Autonomy led by women and youth. Young people and women attach importance to autonomy and lead efforts to this end. These people should also take part in the congress and lead the work.”


“These are important days for achieving autonomy. The 2014 Shengal Massacre is recognized as a genocide all over the world. The Belgian and Dutch parliaments have recognized the genocide most recently. However, this alone is not enough. This decision must be implemented. First, we must believe in ourselves and ensure Shengal’s Democratic Autonomy,” Avesta said.


Citing the Holocaust as an example, Sozdar Avesta underlined that the aim of the Yazidi community is not to establish a state, but to live freely in their holy lands. “Autonomy is our right. Everyone should know that the Yazidi community can now defend itself. They will not give away their defence and administration to anyone. This is also guaranteed under Iraqi laws. The fascist Turkish state and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) prevent this," Avesta noted.


Avesta expressed that the issue of Shengal’s autonomy should be discussed with the Iraqi government. “If this issue was discussed properly with Iraq, Iraq would not be closed to dialogue. Meticulous efforts and dialogue can solve this problem. Iraq should recognize the rights of the Yazidi people. The Yazidis will not harm Iraq. On the contrary, they will secure a common life and a new model will develop.”


Avesta addressed the situation of Yazidis who were forced to migrate. “Those who left home should return to their holy lands. Our people are held captive in camps. The capture of Yazidis must end. We call on our people to return to their land and to rebuild their place. Only in this way can they be liberated. This congress should take decisions for Êzidxan (Yazidi Land) and the Yazidis in Europe, Russia and other countries of the world. All Yazidis, especially those in Europe, should increase their efforts for Shengal’s autonomy.”


Avesta called on the Yazidi youth to join the YBŞ, YJŞ and Asayish (Public Security), and the unyielding women in Shengal to lead the Democratic Autonomous Êzidxan. “I call on all tribes to participate in this process. This is a historic and important moment. They should strengthen their organizations and favour the interests of the Yazidi community. I urge all clergymen to take part in the council and to lead the way on cultural and religious issues.”


“As the Yazidi community, we are grateful to Kurdish leader Öcalan. He entrusted the Yazidi community to us. We promise Öcalan that we will serve the Yazidi community more than ever.”

Avesta's message was followed by the slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi” (Woman, Life, Freedom).

After the speeches and messages at the congress, the report of the MXDŞ Co-Presidency and the Shengal Autonomous Administration Executive Committee will be read out. After the reports, evaluations will be made on organizational issues. Recommendations will then be presented, and decisions will be made.

On the second day of the congress, an election will be held to form the Shengal Democratic Autonomous Council Co-Presidency.