Witness to the Yazidi genocide: ISIS attacked Shengal with the help of the Turkish state and the KDP

Speaking at the conference in the European Parliament, Suad Murad Khalaf, a witness of the Yazidi genocide, said, "ISIS attacked Shengal with the help of the Turkish state and the KDP."

The conference on “Shengal - A society threatened by genocide – reconstruction as a guarantee for peace in the Middle East” hosted by the European Parliament in Brussels continues.

The first session of the conference was titled “Recognition of the genocide and the resulting consequences and obligations”.

Feleknas Uca, who moderated the panel, stated that they would listen to the witnesses of the genocide and hear from them what the Yazidis went through.


Suad Murad Khalaf (Hêza), contemporary witness of the 74th genocide of the Yazidis in 2014, pointed out that the KDP forces withdrew when the genocide attacks started and added, "All this was planned."

Remarking that ISIS gangs attacked Shengal with the help of the Turkish state and the KDP, Xelef continued, "Shengal was sold before the genocide. Our weapons were collected before the attack so that Yazidis could not protect themselves. Thousands of people were massacred apart from those kidnapped. Children and elderly people lost their lives.”

Suad Murad Khalaf, as a witness to the brutality against Yazidi women, talked about the women who were sold in chains in the markets. Khalaf, who was one of the women sold, said "There were also those who protected the Yazidi community" and noted that HPG (People’s Defense Forces) and YPJ (Women’s Defense Units) forces rushed to help them.

Khalaf said that she escaped after a year in the hands of ISIS and joined the defence forces, adding that the defence of Shengal is secured by Yazidis themselves today. Khalaf stated that the recognition of the genocide by many countries is important, but the threat of genocide continues, drawing attention to the attacks of the occupying Turkish state and calling for Turkish aggression to be prevented.  


Rojda Arslan, a lawyer and consultant for international criminal law and human rights, made a presentation on the recognition of genocide under international law and at the political level.

Arslan emphasised the obligations of European countries after the recognition of the Yazidi genocide and said, "They have two duties: Prosecuting the perpetrators of genocide and preventing a new genocide".

Rojda Arslan stated that there are trials and convictions in Germany on charges of genocide and noted that there are ISIS members who come from 80 different countries. Arslan said, "Courts face difficulties, they do not make an assessment with a single government. There is no coordination for the examination of these crimes, collection of evidence and judgement. This is a long-term process."


Referring to the second obligation, which is to prevent genocide, Rojda Arslan stated that the threat continues today as thousands of Yazidis still living in the camps are defenceless and thousands of people are missing, which means that the ferman continues. Ferman is the term the Yazidis use to refer to the massacres and extermination operations in their history. While in Ottoman usage the term stands for a decree of the Sultan, in the Yazidi community the word took on the denotation of persecutions and pogroms. The genocide and femicide that began with the rout of the KDP peshmerga and the ISIS invasion of Shengal on 3 August was the 74th ferman in Yazidi history.

Arslan added, "In order to prevent another genocide, European states that recognised the genocide should take steps to protect the Yazidi community.


"We need a feminist politics now," said Marion Böker, Director of Advice for Human Rights and Gender Issues: War Crimes Against Women and International Responsibility.

Marion Böker said that women should be listened to and pointed out that ISIS, Al-Qaeda and similar gangs are misogynists and that they also have relations with other states.

 "The states that support and arm these terrorists must also be held accountable," Marion Böker said, emphasising that "the perpetrators of genocide, whether against women or a group, must be prosecuted. Marion Böker added that Europe should listen to the Yazidis for the recognition of the status of Shengal and its reconstruction.


Marion Böker said that after the recognition of the genocide, the European Union and its countries should fulfil their obligations and action should be taken for the Yazidis in the same way as it was taken for Ukraine. Böker also called for compensation for the survivors of the genocide and said, "In this way, they can build a future for themselves and protect it. The EU and the United Nations should close the airspace of not only Shengal but also of northern and eastern Syria to Turkish warplanes. The status of Shengal should also be recognised.”

In the last session of the conference in the afternoon, presentations will be made on prospects for further reconstruction and recognition of Shengal's self-government. The conference will conclude with a final declaration in the evening.