Since August 2014, thousands of Yazidis have been persecuted by ISIS. The men are shot. The women and young girls are sold and raped. The young boys are forcefully converted to Islam and made to become ISIS soldiers.
Action Yazidis collects the testimony of survivors to document and offer evidence of every step of the Yazidi genocide. The semi-structured interviews are held with Yazidi victims of all ages – women, men, children, and the elderly. The eye-witness accounts of those who escaped slavery and imprisonment by ISIS are crossed-referenced with other sources, including photographs and written material, as well as from separate testimonies.
Action Yazidis is an initiative of Yahad-In Unum, an international human rights organization which seeks to reveal and denounce the moral disease of genocide in all its forms.
Yahad-In-Unum is not a politically affiliated organization, nor does it advocate any political, economic or military action be taken by any group or nation. Rather, Its mission is to uncover facts of genocidal practices wherever they are found and provide a voice of protest on behalf of all victims and potential victims of genocide.
The work of Action Yazidis and Father Desbois was featured on 60 Minutes in May 2016. Watch the segment above.
The genocide of the Yazidis
During their arrest by ISIS, the Yazidis are immediately confronted with a brutal choice: to convert to Islam or die. At the same time, they are systematically stripped of their identity documents, property (money, jewelry, phones, etc.) and forced from their homes.
This taking of property is not improvised: It is organized and prepared (e.g. tables and storage bags are arranged in advance of confiscation). The preliminary speech used by ISIS is almost always the same, that of deception: "If you convert to Islam and give up your belongings, you can go home.” Yazidis are considered by ISIS as devil worshipers. Registration in directories, individual files on Yazidi people, etc. accompany the entire criminal process.
The second step is recurrent, but can be implemented differently. It is the automatic separation of the men, boys, babies, virgin-girls, and married or older women and their displacement that sometimes resembles deportation. This separation is violent and is accompanied by beatings and serious injuries when families refuse to separate. Separation can take place immediately upon being captured or gradually over the course of imprisonment. In the following photos and videos, you will find documented examples of each.