Events and Activities

June 2022

The Guardian reports on the Yazidi Justice Committee

With the public announcement of the Yazidi Justice Committee, an article about it appeared in The Guardian. It can be read here. Patrick Wintour headlines it “UK lawyers gather evidence for action against countries over Yazidi genocide – Yazidi Justice Committee has been working privately for more than two years to show states failed to protect minority group”.

On July 6, 2022, YJC will publish the findings and conclusions of its two-year investigation in a report entitled “State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis.” The report will be released as part of a side event to the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, hosted by the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office July 5-6 in London. To participate via Zoom, find registration here.

June 2022

Yazidi Justice Committee released

After two years of hard work, the Yazidi Justice Committee (YJC) has gone public. With a homepage and via Twitter, it is now presenting its findings:

The YJC’s research committee has meticulously investigated whether the crimes committed primarily by “ISIS” against the Yazidis (Ezidis) could be genocide, and if so, whether certain states are or were responsible for not fulfilling their obligations under the Genocide Convention to prohibit, prevent and prosecute this crime.

On July 6, 2022, YJC will publish the findings and conclusions of its two-year investigation in a report entitled “State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis.” The report will be released as part of a side event to the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, hosted by the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office July 5-6 in London. To participate via Zoom, find registration here.

The Yazidi Justice Committee (YJC) was established in early 2020 as an ad hoc body of the following organizations: Accountability Unit, Women for Justice, International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, and Geoffrey Nice Foundation.

Since March 2020, YJC has been investigating allegations of genocide against the Yazidis (Ezidis), committed by the armed group “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (“ISIS”) in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Iraq since early 2013.

YJC’s primary objective was to determine whether the alleged violations of international law related to genocide could be brought before a court of law so that states that might be legally responsible for committing or failing to prevent the possible genocide of the Yazidis (Ezidis) could be held accountable in addition to the individual perpetrators.

In fulfilling its objective, YJC has evaluated evidence on whether states have failed to meet their obligations under the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) with respect to the alleged genocide of the Yazidis (Ezidis) in Iraq and Syria. This evidence relates to a number of States Parties to the Genocide Convention that do not maintain “reservations” to the Convention.

YJC believes that the Genocide Convention has no meaning at all unless states are held legally accountable for failing to comply with their obligations to enforce obligations to prevent and punish genocide under Article I of the Genocide Convention.

YJC’s evidence and conclusions were compiled in a comprehensive investigative report supported by an associated electronic database.

March-June 2022

Observation of the criminal proceedings at the Higher Regional Court of Celle against Romiena S.

Together with our cooperation project “Ferman means genocide” we observed the criminal trial at the Higher Regional Court of Celle against Romiena S., who joined the so-called Islamic State in Syria and was charged, among other things, with aiding and abetting the crime of slavery under international law. In the trial, which lasted three months, the verdict was announced on June 01. Romiena S. was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison.

May 2022

Merchandise from Women for Justice

In May, we were able to have bookmarks, pads, pens, cloth bags and magnets printed thanks to funding from the filia Women’s Foundation. The material can be ordered from us by email, just like our brochures.

April 2022

Event in Hamburg

In April, an event was held in Hamburg by the Interkulturelle Denkfabrik e. V. in cooperation with the Rosa-Luxemburg Foundation HH as part of the project “Life and Developments in Turkey 2022”. Dr. Leyla Ferman gave a lecture on behalf of Women for Justice e. V. on the topic of remembering and the culture of remembrance among the Yazidis (Ezidis).

April 2022

Roundtable in UK: Turkish Airstrikes on Yazidis (Ezidis) in Iraq and Syria

Turkish Airstrikes on Yazidis (Ezidis) in Iraq and Syria: Keeping Justice for the Yazidis (Ezidis) on the Agenda

20/04/2022, 3.45 PM (UK)

House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Live Stream (Zoom): Registration

Since August 2016, Turkey has conducted, through its own armed forces and together with Turkish- backed non-State armed groups, military operations and airstrikes in and against northern Syria and northern Iraq. There are reasonable grounds to conclude that, as part of these military operations, Turkey has targeted and/or conducted indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian objects in northern Iraq, including against the UN-sponsored Makhmour refugee camp on 14 June 2020, 5 June 2021, 3 September 2021 and 2 February 2022, and Sikeniye Medical Clinic on 17 August 2021. There is a real and serious concern that these lethal attacks against civilians and civilian objects, which are continuing, constitute grave violations of international law and not least, international humanitarian law, and the arbitrary deprivations of the right to life, freedom from torture, and the right to an effective remedy, contrary to international human rights law.

Accountability Unit, through the support of City, University London, has filed a communication to relevant UN Special Rapporteurs on this matter together with Commissioners at relevant regional organisations.

This important and timely roundtable conference, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Yazidis (Ezidis), will be chaired by Brendan O’Hara MP, with contributions from Dr Ewelina Ochab, Aarif Abraham, Dr Tatyana Eatwell, Dr Aldo Zammit Borda, and our representative Dr Leyla Ferman.
Read more…

April 2022

Virtual tour of the new kindergarten Serdeşt

Our local partner from the Ezidi Woman Support League gives a tour of the new kindergarten building in Serdeşt.

Work has been underway for over a year to complete it. The project is realized as a cooperation between the local Ezidi Woman Support League, Aktion Hoffnungsschimmer e. V., Aktion der kleine Prinz e. V. and Women for Justice e. V.

The large building offers space for at least 50 children. In the future, they will be able to spend time together here, in the middle of the beautiful mountains of Sinjar. The kindergarten includes group rooms, a large hall, a depot and is equipped with modern sanitary facilities. In addition to singing together and art and culture projects, the Arabic and Kurdish languages will also be taught.

The operation of the kindergarten is to be guaranteed in the future initially by means of donations. We are very happy about your support!

Music in the clip from allesgemafrei

March 2022

Brochure published, documentation and social project in Brandenburg

Last year, members of Women for Justice e. V. visited a group of Yazidi (Ezidi) survivors in Brandenburg several times. In addition to social exchange, interviews were also conducted, which have now been published in a brochure.

We have compiled general information about the city, country and people of Sinjar in the German-language brochure. It also contains several chapters on the Yazidi (Ezidi) faith, religious lifestyles and rites, and current living conditions in the region. After an introductory account of the genocide-feminicide since 2014, four interviews are printed under the heading “Captured by “IS”: survivors report”.

If you are interested, you can order the brochure by sending an email to info.womenforjustice@gmail.com. The printing was sponsored by the Caritasverband für das Erzbistum Berlin e. V.

February 2022

 

Postcard: A tree as a gift for birth/baptism

A tree as a gift for birth/baptism: with the tree as an archetypal symbol for the imperishability of nature and life itself, a connection to nature and the eternal forces of life is developed. These elements, like human love, are universal Therefore, we have designed German language postcards that can be used to dedicate a tree in Sinjar for a baptism or the birth of a child.

1 tree 4 Shingal = 20€ + 2,20€ postcard & shipping
Intended use: 1tree4Sinjar + name of the child
IBAN: DE71 2505 0180 0910 4550 82
BIC: SPKHDE2HXXX

Send us an email with your address to info.womenforjustice@gmail.com and we will send you the card, on which there is also space for your personal greeting, by post.

February 2022

 

Temples in and around Batman

As part of our documentation projects, we also conduct research and interviews regarding destroyed but also intact holy sites and villages outside Sinjar, for example in the Batman region (Turkish state territory). For this purpose, in addition to interviews in Germany and in Batman, a photo documentation will be created in 2022, which will be published together in a calendar as well as an illustrated book.

This project will be implemented in close cooperation with the Hesen and Rinde Düman Foundation. From February 2022 we have started to conduct the interviews. Memories and stories regarding the holy sites as well as religious lifestyles and rites will be asked.

February 2022

 

Another step of digitization accomplished

Another step in the digitization of our tourung-exhibition “ÜBERLeben” has been completed: all interviews were recorded as audio recordings by a large number of different women. The post-processing and editing of the recordings has now also been completed.

The next step will be the selection of appropriate musical accompaniment in cooperation with Yazidi (Ezidi) folklore teachers. For this purpose, a project is planned under the title “Culture connects – musical stories”, in which participants will have the opportunity to deal with the genocide-feminicide in an artistic-cultural way and to express their feelings in it.

January 2022

Sport, self-defense, relaxation in Sinjar city

In cooperation with the Ezidi Woman Support League we have developed a project concept for sports, self-defense and relaxation for women in Sinjar city, which could start in January through the funding of Roter Keil e. V..

In two courses, women increase their physical fitness, learn self-defense strategies and acquire relaxation techniques.
The participants are women who have been traumatized by the war, genocide and captivity by the “IS”. In addition to a sports and self-defense trainer, a trauma therapist or a trauma-trained social worker accompanies the courses, is available to the women for individual discussions and leads a round of talks at the beginning and end of each course.
These activities strengthen the women both physically and psychologically and teach them how to assess threatening situations realistically. The self-defense program aims to increase their self-confidence and teach them exercises to defend themselves in emergency situations.
Such a program can help to strengthen the women’s self-confidence and body awareness.
During the activities they meet other women with similar experiences and through this they feel that they are also strong as a group.
Exercise is known to help against depression and with the relaxation techniques that are also taught in these courses. Psychologically stressful situations and panic attacks can be better managed in the future.

January 2022

Construction of the kindergarten in Serdeşt completed

After months of construction, the building for the new kindergarten in Serdeşt is now completed. Here are first pictures also from the inside of the building. In addition to sanitary facilities and large halls, there are also smaller rooms for working with children in smaller groups.

We are very proud of what has been achieved and congratulate our partners of the Ezidi Woman Support League from the bottom of our hearts for this great success! Donations and grants will secure the operation and maintenance of the kindergarten in the first years. We are looking forward to the next steps and to the first pictures where we can see children playing. As part of the “1 tree 4 Sinjar” campaign, we also plan to green the outdoor area so that there will be direct access to nature.

Soon we will also publish a short clip that will lead through the kindergarten building like a digital tour.

Permanent Activity

Meeting female survivors

We understand meetings with female survivors as the basis of all our work. We have been meeting female survivors from Sinjar (Şengal) both as inviduals and in groups. Besides social care and legal advice, we try to find out methods to enable Yazidi (Ezidi) survivors to make their own decisions in life here in Germany.