Today, representatives of Armenia’s Yezidi minority protested in front of the National Assembly and sent a letter to all the party factions, urging them to recognize the situation of Yezidis in Iraq as genocide. The protest participants gave the option to the MPs to either make a public statement or pass a legislation. The day is not a coincidence; on December 9, 1948 the UN passed the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
The Sinjar Yezidi National Union president Boris Murazi, who informed us about the protest, applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with two requests. The Sinjar representatives are demanding in one of their requests to obtain a substantial report on the expenses of the $100,000 aid given to Yezidis in Iraq from Armenia.
“Not only is it of utmost importance for us that we help our sisters and brothers, but the aid on a state level must be spent efficiently,” said Boris Murazi.
The second issue is related to the refugees from Iraq; Murazi is confident that Armenia would not accept the Yezidi refugees.
“They said many months ago that they would implement work, would discuss the issue with state institutions and that coordinated steps would be taken. Let them show us now, for example, has the Ministry of Foreign Affairs implemented anything in that direction,”said Murazi.
The protesters highlighted that Armenia’s potential state level recognition of the Yezidi Genocide in Iraq would set an example to other countries.
“It would result in more intensive help to both the refugees and to the Yezidi fighters trying to retake their occupied lands.They will return to their homes.” said Sinjar vice-president Mame Amiryan.
According to him, due to ISIS’s attacks there are approximately 700 – 800 thousand Yezidi refugees, while overall refugee number, including Christians and Shia Muslims, makes up about 2 million.
Yezidis genocide victims who continue to live in Iraq are keeping shelter under tents, and the issue of being transferred to another country is complicated because the large portion of the population do not have passports. Nearly 30,000 Yezidis have found refuge in Turkey.