Events and Activities

September 2022

Merchandise: Injustice does not come into my bag!

In September, our carrier bags have finally arrived. With the meaningful imprint:
“Injustice does not come into my bag! I carry responsibility”.
In May, the other merchandise material arrived (all of which we were able to have printed thanks to the support of the filia women’s foundation): Bookmarks, pads, pens and magnets. The material can be ordered from us by email, just like our brochures.

August-September 2022

Workshop: Culture unites - musical stories

In September, the multi-part workshop “Culture unites – musical stories” was successfully completed. This was about getting to know the Yazidi (Ezidi)/Kurdish culture and finding an emotional expression of the memory and processing of the genocide feminicide of the Yazidis (Ezidis) since 2014 by self-proclaimed IS through music.
In the theoretical workshop meetings, (translated) interviews from our touring exhibition “ÜBERLeben” were listened to and discussed, and various Kurdish musical instruments were learned about. In the practical workshop meetings, the instruments were then first tried out.
The musical director suggested different compositions/styles of music for interpretation, which were also discussed and tried out by the group. They chose the most emotionally suitable variant for them and practiced it. After a dress rehearsal, the compositions were recorded in the studio at the last meeting.
The workshop participants confronted the genocide-feminicide for different motives. The project offered them the possibility of emotional access through musical expression and conversation to the interviews. It also offered them the opportunity to get to know and play certain Yazidi (Ezidi)/Kurdish instruments and, through this, also to get an impression of the culture that “IS” wanted to wipe out in 2014.

August 2022

Ceremonial opening of the exhibition in the New Town Hall in Celle

On Monday, 01 August 2022, the exhibition “Das Leid von Şengal” (“The suffering of Şengal”) by the artist Saleh Aldawood was opened in the New Town Hall in Celle. He documented in colored pencil drawings the attack of self-proclaimed Islamic State on the Shingal region in 2014, as well as his escape. On the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the genocide femicide of the Yazidis (Ezidis), the exhibition will be shown for three weeks as part of our cooperation project “FERMAN” with the Stiftung niedersächsische Gedenkstätten (Foundation of Lower Saxony Memorials).

Susanne McDowell, the city’s head of social affairs, is patroness of the presentation, to which a broad alliance from the arts, culture and social sectors has invited people. After a musical interlude by Edip Ulucan, board member of the Yazidi Cultural Center Celle (Mala Ezdia Celle), she opened the celebration with clear words: “This story is part of Celle’s urban society and its history. It is our neighbors who are directly or indirectly affected and severely traumatized by it. Especially for this reason, we here in Celle need to know about it. Tell everyone about this exhibition, invite everyone to visit it as well.”

Dr. Leyla Ferman, representing the FERMAN project, said that it is important to put into words and pictures what happened so that it is not denied and forgotten: “We can learn from the genocide and its consequences, as well as from the Holocaust and other genocides, for peaceful coexistence. We must be sensitive and vigilant.” It is also important, she said, to remember the strengths: “The strength of having survived and continuing to live.” Special appreciation is due to contemporary witnesses, because without them it would be difficult to imagine remembering.

Afterwards, Najlaa Matto, as a survivor of the attack and “IS” captivity, spoke about her experiences. Her poignant words also encompassed the motivation behind her courage to speak publicly, “It is not something nice for me to talk about. It’s very hard for me and I don’t feel well afterwards. But I don’t speak for myself, but because otherwise nothing will be and nothing will happen. If we don’t talk, everything will be forgotten, nothing will change. That’s why I have to talk about it.”

The opening ceremony was attended by more than 60 people who listened with great sympathy to the speeches and then looked at the pictures. Among them were also various representatives of politics. The further course was accompanied again by Yazidi (Ezidi) music, for the physical well-being offered the Yazidi culture center Celle (Mala Ezdia Celle) tea and coffee.

The exhibition will be shown from now on for three weeks, until August 21 each during the opening hours of the city hall (Monday: 8 am – 4 pm, Tuesday: 8 am – 4 pm, Wednesday: 8 am – 1 pm, Thursday: 8 am – 5 pm, Friday: 8 am – 1 pm). Contact can be made at the email address projekt.ferman@stiftung-ng.de for further interest in workshops, talks or lectures.

August 2022

Exhibition „Das Leid von Şengal“ ("The Suffering of Şengal") in Celle

Sinjar (Şengal) is the capital of a district of the same name in Iraq and also the main settlement area of the Yazidis (Ezidis) the province of Nineveh. On the night of August 3, 2014, terrorists of the “Islamic State” attacked the town, killing thousands of Yazidis (Ezidis) and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee.
The artist Saleh Aldawood was among them and documented his experiences with colored pencils. He lives in Hamburg and is now showing his drawings to a wider public.

On the occasion of the eighth anniversary of the assault on Sinjar, the cooperation project „Ferman heißt Völkermord“ (“Ferman means genocide”) of the association Women for Justice e. V. and the Stiftung niedersächsische Gedenkstätten (Foundation of Lower Saxony Memorials) invites to the exhibition in Celle in the foyer of the new town hall. Susanne McDowell, the head of the social department of the city of Celle, is patroness of the three-week presentation, which takes place with broad support of Celle initiatives and associations. Remembrance and commemoration are important to all of them, which is impressively demonstrated by this diverse alliance from the cultural and social sectors.

Program
Opening 01 August 2022 17.00 h, with speeches, musical accompaniment and tea serving

Opening hours 01-21 August 2022
Monday and Tuesday: 8 am – 4 pm | Wednesday and Friday: 8 am – 1 pm | Thursday: 8 am – 5 pm

Contact: projekt.ferman@stiftung-ng.de

July 2022

New video for the campaign "1 tree 4 Sinjar" published

A new short video about our campaign “1 tree 4 Sinjar” with impressions of the plantings and the importance of the project for the Yazidis (Ezidis) in Sinjar.

1 tree 4 Sinjar = 20$/€
Intended use: 1tree4Sinjar + name for dedication
IBAN: DE71 2505 0180 0910 4550 82
BIC: SPKHDE2HXXX

Music from www.allesgemafrei.de

July 2022

Dr. Leyla Ferman interviewed by BBC Radio

On July 19, BBC Radio published an interview with our representative Dr. Leyla Ferman. The occasion is the 18th anniversary of the genocide femicide of the Yazidis (Ezidis) by self-proclaimed Islamic State. The situation of the approximately 200,000 Yazidis (Ezidis) living in 15 Iraqi refugee camps was discussed in particular. The Yazidi (Ezidi) community is highly traumatized by these experiences and the conditions in the camps prevent people from recovering. The political situation and decisions of different governments are a major problem for a real solution, especially the lack of help in reconstruction and stabilization of the Sinjar region makes it impossible for the refugees to return to their homes.

The interview in English can be heard here, it starts at minute 18:15.

July 2022

Press on YJC report and its consequences - Turkish state also blamed for genocide femicide

The press and media in general are reacting worldwide to the report “State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis” by the Yazidi Justice Committee (YJC). The report presents the findings and conclusions of the two-year investigation, which was guided by the UN Genocide Convention. Sufficient evidence was gathered to prove the Turkish State’s failure to take responsibility for preventing and stopping the 2014 genocidal femicide of the Yazidis (Ezidis) by self-proclaimed Islamic State. This finding was picked up by “The Guardian,” among others, under the title “Turkey should face international court over Yazidi genocide, report says”.
“PoliticsHome” also used this occasion for a conversation with Dr. Leyla Ferman and Aarif Abraham.

July 2022

"1 tree 4 Sinjar" donation round until September 30

The current round of donations for the “1 tree 4 Sinjar” campaign launched in 2020, under which various reforestation projects are being implemented in Sinjar, will run until September 30. All trees donated until then will be planted from October 01.

Twice a year (in March and October), our partners from Ezidi Woman Support League plant various regional fruit tree seedlings in mainly public places as well as holy sites and temples. Some of the trees are also provided to women and families to improve their economic situation.

It is possible to give a personal dedication to the donated trees. For this purpose, simply specify the name in the intended use.

1 tree 4 Sinjar = 20$/€
Intended use: 1tree4Sinjar + name for dedication
IBAN: DE71 2505 0180 0910 4550 82
BIC: SPKHDE2HXXX

July 2022

Yazidi Justice Committee Presents Report at International Ministerial Conference

On July 6, the Yazidi Justice Committee (YJC) presented the findings and conclusions of its two-year inquiry, the report “State Responsibility and the Genocide of the Yazidis” at 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. The legal processing of the genocide femicide of the Yezid:in is an important step towards justice and recognition. Of this, the prosecution of responsible states in particular is also a key part.

The YJC Research Committee has been meticulously investigating whether the crimes committed against the Yezidis, especially by “ISIS,” could constitute genocide, and if so, whether certain states are or were responsible for failing to fulfill their obligations under the Genocide Convention to prohibit, prevent, and prosecute this crime.

July 2022

Living on – Yazidis (Ezidis) after the Genocide by the Islamic State

The Institute for Iranian Studies at Freie Universität Berlin invited Najlaa Matto (Yazidi/Ezidi survivor) to a lecture and discussion on July 2.

The central question was: How do groups and individuals manage to survive after genocide? In order to explain this topic, Najlaa Matto told about her time in captivity with the “IS“. During the event, our representative Dr. Leyla Ferman also presented our cooperation project with the Stiftung niedersächsische Gedenkstätten (Foundation of Lower Saxony Memorials), the documentation and education project FERMAN. In addition, the new book “Yezidism: Between Continuity and Transformation”, edited by Khanna Omarkhali and Philip Kreyenbroek, was presented.

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

Invitation from the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe

On May 23, our representative Dr. Leyla Ferman was invited by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe as an expert on the topic of state responsibility in relation to the genocide of the Yazidis (Ezidis).

She represented the position of the Yazidis (Ezidis), for whom there are appropriate regulations in the UN Genocide Convention. Member states have been called upon to close the existing gap in the legal accountability framework. Obligations under the UN Genocide Convention are there to be met. Failure to do so must have legal consequences. Legal achievements must be protected in order to protect peace in the long term.

May 2022

Merchandise from Women for Justice

In May, we were able to have bookmarks, pads, pens 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.