Justice Rapid Response, Yazda and the Clooney Foundation for Justice are co-hosting an innovative and interactive event inviting guests to an open dialogue with survivors of the Yazidi genocide.
GENEVA, 1 June 2023 – Justice Rapid Response (JRR), Yazda and the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) are co-hosting an innovative event providing representatives from Geneva-based UN missions with the opportunity to interact with survivors of the Yazidi genocide. Two survivors, Dalal and Hakeema, who will be attending the event, will reflect on the next steps that must be taken to ensure effective justice for their community.
“Survivors carry the indelible scars of the genocide deep within their hearts and souls. After nearly nine years, the international community’s support remains crucial for the Yazidis and other affected minorities in their path toward healing. We need justice, as it will empower victims to rebuild their lives and envision a better future in a stable and sustainable environment,” Dalal and Hakeema said in the lead-up of the event.
On August 3, 2014, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacked Sinjar, launching a campaign of genocide against Yazidis and other minorities in northern Iraq. In the aftermath of the attack, the Yazidi community has suffered devastating consequences. It is estimated that 6,417 Yazidis were abducted, including women and girls who were sold into sexual slavery, and young Yazidi boys who were captured and forced into re-education camps and ideological schools.
“We, at Yazda, highly encourage survivors to take the lead of advocacy initiatives for justice and accountability. Since 2014, our campaign has been spearheaded by survivors, who can testify to what happened to them and explain why these crimes need to be investigated accordingly. No one can express the pain they endured except the survivors themselves. Thus, our campaign can only be legitimized with the leadership of Yazidi survivors,” emphasized Haider Elias, President of Yazda, who will take part into the event.
The latter will feature various activities enabling guests to fully immerse themselves in the path to justice of a Yazidi genocide survivor.
“At JRR, putting victims and survivors at the center of their justice process are not just empty words. It is our everyday motto and the very compass which is guiding all the accountability efforts we are taking part in. Our mission is to provide prompt, impartial and professional expertise to investigate international crimes and serious human rights violations and to promote the rights and access to justice of victims and survivors,” declared Samuel Emonet, Executive Director of JRR.
Guests will have the opportunity to better grasp the reality of a survivor by attending a virtual exhibition curated by the groundbreaking and award-winning Nobody’s Listening. Participants will also engage in an open dialogue with representatives of the Yazidi Survivors Network and the
JRR Roster expert who was deployed in Iraq. Finally, the Clooney Foundation for Justice will present its groundbreaking Justice Beyond Borders tool, which maps universal jurisdiction laws in 193 countries. CFJ will also discuss Co-Founder Amal Clooney’s work securing the only two convictions for genocide against ISIS fighters anywhere in the world.
“The Docket’s mission is to make justice for survivors of mass atrocities a reality. At The Docket, we gather evidence of international crimes to trigger prosecutions of perpetrators and support victims in their pursuit of justice. We are proud to seek justice and reparations for the atrocities committed against the Yazidi community by ISIS, working closely with our co-President, Amal Clooney, who is representing Yazidi survivors before national courts,” said Anya Neistat, Legal Director of The Docket Initiative of CFJ.