Shengal genocide: KJK calls for increased struggle for freedom

On the anniversary of the beginning of the genocide and femicide in Shengal on August 3, 2014, the Kurdistan Women’s Community (KJK) calls for the expansion of the struggle for freedom of the peoples and especially of women.

On 3 August 2014 the world public witnessed a genocidal attack by the terrorist militia ISIS with the aim of exterminating one of the oldest religious communities, the Yazidis. After the Peshmerga forces of South Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP in Shengal withdrew from the region without warning and thus left the population defencelessly at the mercy of the ISIS, the Yazidi community in Shengal began to suffer the 74th genocide in its history through systematic massacre, rape, torture, expulsion, enslavement of girls and women and the forced recruitment of boys as child soldiers. According to recent estimates, approximately 10,000 people fell victim following the ISIS massacres. More than 7,000 women and children were abducted, more than 400,000 people were displaced from their homes and other thousands are still missing today. While a large number of abducted women have been freed from captivity in the last six years, about 3,000 of them are still in ISIS captivity. Therefore, this genocide in its form is also a femicide.

On the anniversary of the genocide, the Kurdistan Women's Community (Komalên Jinên Kurdistanê, KJK) calls on Shengal to expand the freedom struggle of the peoples and especially of women.

A statement issued by the KJK Coordination includes the following:

"August 3 is the anniversary date of the invasion and genocide of the Yazidi people by the enemy of humanity and especially women, the so-called ISIS. The Yazidi people are the basis of our freedom movement. On this occasion we remember all our martyrs with great gratitude. August 3 has gone down in history as both genocide and femicide. This date must not be forgotten by the Yazidi people, the people of the region, and all mankind. Thousands of Yazidis have been killed before the eyes of the world, simply because of their religion and identity. Thousands of Yazidi women were kidnapped by these cruel criminal gangs and sold at markets, raped and murdered. The fate of thousands remains unknown.

Fleeing Peshmergas are not forgotten

Those who at that time retreated with their weapons and left Shengal to the murderous rapist gangs will not be forgotten either. After the invasion, popular resistance began under the leadership of the guerrillas. From the struggle for self-defence and for the protection of the own existence of our Yazidi people, who were affected by so many massacres, a free Shengal has grown up. We declare our conviction that the creation of a new, free Middle East is only possible if we manage to bring our struggle against the colonialist rapist mentality to an even more organised level. We are determined to implement this.

The character of the 21st century is determined by women. As women, we will defeat this genocidal attitude and win in organised struggle. There is not much left to liberate if we strengthen our struggle for a democratic and autonomous Shengal. We are convinced and determined to successfully build the democratic nation in all its dimensions together with the Yazidi women and our people.

3 August as "Femicide and Genocide Memorial Day”

August 3 made it bitterly clear to us that women without self-defense have no guaranteed rights. For this reason, all women must be even more organised and more broadly based in their support for self-defence and the building of the democratic nation and in their leadership roles. We should fight for 3 August to be declared 'Femicide and Genocide Memorial Day' for the Kurdish Yazidis and Yazidi women. Abdullah Öcalan has stated that the Yazidis represent the reality of the Kurdish people who have not lost their essence. The Yazidis are one of the oldest societies in the world and have defended their cultural values. They have preserved their essence despite all the massacres until today. The preservation of such an ancient culture and society in their own country is a human duty. Defending the freedom of Êzîdxan (Yazidi land) means defending Kurdish society and protecting its roots and values. Abdullah Öcalan has always been convinced that the Yazidi Kurdish identity should be kept alive. He warned early on of the dangers that await the Yazidi population. He pointed out that organizing against these dangers was urgently needed. This is the sign under which the population is organising itself within the framework of the project of the democratic nation of Abdullah Öcalan.

Return to Shengal is significant

The return to homeland is very valuable in this sense. The conviction to see the Kurdish reality as a whole is growing more and more in Êzîdxan from day to day. Abdullah Öcalan is very important for our people in the Shengal region. The solidarity is expressed in building the democratic nation. The attacks on Abdullah Öcalan and his isolation on Imrali are part of the annihilation policy and have become even more intense. We know nothing about his current situation, which is nothing more than torture. This system of isolation is highly dangerous and demonstrates the evil nature of the regime in Turkey, which is trying to bring disaster to all peoples. The isolation of Öcalan can be broken through organised struggle led by Kurdish women. His freedom means nothing less than the freedom of women and the peoples of the Middle East. In recent years in particular, the cruelty of the ISIS and the AKP has become even more brutal. The system of isolation on Imrali must be smashed.”

Finally, the KJK called for participation in events commemorating August 3 in Kurdistan, Europe and beyond.