The Yazidis all over the world are mourning the grief of their people, remembering the dead and calling for the release of the women and children still in captivity.
Memorable events were held in the refugee camp near the town of Zakho in Iraqi Kurdistan and the German city of Stuttgart. In Stuttgart a famous Iraqi human rights activist of Yazidi origin, the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Drugs and Crime, Nadia Murad, made an appearance.
The participants of the Day of Sorrow brought photos of their children and relatives.
In an interview with Sputnik, Zeinab, a 32-year-old Yazidi, shared her experience of being a Daesh captive.
“What we experienced in the captivity of Daesh we will never forget. The terrorists kidnapped me and three of my sisters, two managed to avoid this nightmare. Our cousins were also taken prisoners,” Zeinab said.
Zeinab was raped by the terrorists. After the first assault she developed health problems due to stress and the militants stayed away from her after that thinking that she might be infectious.
Many other women had much worse experiences as they were sexually assaulted multiple times, very young girls like Zeinab’s 12 year-old cousin who was also raped.
During captivity, she was repeatedly transported from one city to another; she even had to live in the Syrian city of Raqqa for some time.
According to Zeinab such horrors were experienced by almost every Yazidi woman in the region. Many died not only from torture but also from the international coalition’s bombings.
There were many women who died because they were forced to put on suicide jackets or were pushed into cars full of explosives.
Most of the women who were lucky enough to be freed were sold in slave markets. The price per woman was somewhere around $15,000 to $25,000.
The women who managed to escape are now residing as refugees in Europe. There is special support for them in Germany, where there are programs aimed at rehabilitating tortured women and children.
As the atrocities against Yazidis mark its third year, the United Nations has accused the international community of failing to address the ongoing crisis.
The latest UN estimates show that thousands of Yazidi men and boys remain missing. Meanwhile thousands of women and children still remain subject to horrific violence.
In an interview with Sputnik, Karen Abuzayd, a member of the UN's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that since the release of a UN report on the atrocities of Daesh against Yazidis, the organization has asked the international community to declare the situation a genocide but nothing has been done about that yet.
Talking about why Yazidis in particular are targeted by Daesh, Abuzayd said, “Everyone is targeted by Daesh but Yazidis in particular because they are considered not to be the people of the book. Their religion doesn’t fit in with other religions that are related to ISIS’s [Daesh’s] version of Islam.”
She further said that over the past three years the situation for Yazidis has remained quite grim because many are still captives of Daesh.
“We [UN] have been asking that some attention must be paid to protect those people and get them to a safer place,” the expert said.
She further said Yazidi women are still getting brutally raped, beaten every single day and sold from person to person by Daesh, so they need special attention to their situation.
“Then there are the young boys who are being indoctrinated and are forced to fight. Many of them are killed,” she said.
She stressed that it is vital to recognize these atrocities against the Yazidis as genocide and address them as soon as possible.
Daesh has been carrying out attacks against the Yazidi minority group in both Syria and Iraq since August 2014.