Iraqis from the Yazidi minority near their makeshift homes on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of Baghdad. Credit: Seivan Selim/AP
In March of this year Nadia Murad— Yazidi genocide survivor, activist and UN Goodwill Ambassador— gave a speech to the UN in which she yet again implored world leaders to open the case against ISIS for murdering and enslaving over 9,000 of her community in a matter of days. In an interview just after addressing the UN she said, “It is very hard to come here every time, and nothing tangible takes place. It’s very hard for the victims as well to hear there is no progress.”
For over a year Global Citizen has been campaigning to see justice for the Yazidi people— with over 100,000 actions taken by people like you. And in recent months, Global Citizens have joined Nadia in placing pressure on the UN to ensure that ISIS are prosecuted for their crimes against the Yazidi community. Over 5,000 Global Citizens called the Office of the High Commissioner to Human Rights in one week alone. Today, our collective call was responded to.
The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Andrew Gilmour, has released an official statement declaring they have heard our thousands of calls and emails and that the organization “firmly stands with Yazda and Global Citizen, and stresses the need to comprehensively document the atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict.”
The Yazidi, a religious sect whose beliefs combine elements of ancient Middle Eastern religions, are regarded by ISIS as devil-worshippers, and were attacked in 2014 by ISIS militants. And nearly three years on, they have still not seen justice. The only realistic option for a case of this nature to be prosecuted, is for it to go to the international judicial body established by the United Nations in 1998: the International Criminal Court (ICC). Thus a statement of this nature from a high level member of the United Nations (UN) is vital progress.
However, this statement still does not guarantee justice. For ICC referral, or even any kind of evidence building process to begin, we need a member of the UN Security Council or a state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC to step up.
Which is why we need your voice to help us put the pressure on UN Security council members Sweden and the UK who have publicly spoken of their outrage over the genocide, to get them to the festival on Sept 23.