Massacre of 900 Yezidis, $23 million Ransom Demand for 230 Assyrians

Massacre of 900 Yezidis in Retaliation for Escapees

Demand of $23 million for 230 Assyrians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

1 May 2015

Terrorist forces are holding thousands of Yezidi families in captivity. On April 27-28, 2015, Mirza Ismail, of Yezidi Human Rights International-Organization based in Canada, received word that 300 Yezidi men and boys were massacred. On May 1, 2015, Mr. Ismail received word that another 700 Yezidis were massacred, including men, women and children.[i] It appears IS demanded $2500 for each of the 700, Kurdish security forces and secret service agreed to the ransom, but funds did not materialize and the executions were videotaped.[ii]

IS is also holding 230 Assyrians in Syria, demanding $23 million.[iii] “I don’t know if they would release the Assyrians for $23 million,” said an Assyrian on condition of anonymity, “or if they would just release a few and kill the others.”

The Yezidi massacres were foreshadowed in an 2015.4.27 open letter and related interviews by Yezidi physician Dr. Mirza Dinnayi. According to Dr. Dinnayi, the massacres may be in retaliation for Yezidis who escaped captivity.[iv]

Mirza Ismail of Yezidi Human Rights in Canada, issued a plea: “Concerned nations, including the U.S., U.K., NATO and EU member states—as well as the United Nations—must make a concerted effort to liberate IS detention centers,” said Mr. Ismail. “In addition, we estimate at least 6,500 teenage girls and young married women with children are held in Iraq and Syria. Put simply, the world cannot stand by and acquiesce to ethnic cleansing and genocide.”

Elias Kasem, President of Yezidis International in the U.S. also issued a plea: “From the Armenian Genocide to the Holocaust to Rwanda to Bosnia. Then Darfur, then the Assyrians and then the Yezidis, and the list goes on and on,” said Mr. Kasem. “How many more nations will we add to this list? I don’t want the day to come when my children will ask me, ‘Daddy, where are our people? What happened to them?’ Please help us end the genocide!”

 “The fact that people are dying because of who they are, and efforts to rescue them are proving ineffective is simply unacceptable,” said Reverend Dr. Andrew Kille, an American Baptist minister, Chair of the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council and board member of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. “Through all the confusion, we must keep in mind that these peoples are marked for extermination because of who they are and not because of anything they have done.”

“Where is the media, where is the United Nations and where are people of good will – ready to step into the breach to save Yezidi and Assyrian lives?” asks Reverend Will McGarvey, Pastor of Community Presbyterian (PCUSA & UCC) of Pittsburg, California and Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County in Walnut Creek. “The international community must intervene. Lawlessness, torture and extortion cannot be allowed to persist. The faith community must insist that the religious minorities in the Levant be preserved and protected.”

“We mourn the tragic loss of Yezidi lives in the April 28th and May 1st massacres perpetrated by Daesh,” says Charles Paskerian, Chairman of the Council of Armenian American Organizations of Northern California. “This is a travesty of justice and so is the extortion for Assyrian captives. Where is man’s humanity to man?”

“Our community mourns the loss of each Yezidi who was killed in the April 28 and May 1st massacres perpetrated by Daesh,” said Father Mesrop Ash of St. John’s Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco. “It is a source of great pain to witness this peaceful nation suffering what has recently been alleged as genocide by a UN Security Council report. It is also a great pain to witness the extortion of Assyrians in captivity in Syria.”

“It breaks our hearts,” said Rabbi Barnett Brickner of Temple Israel in Alameda, California “to imagine that people who claim to be God’s faithful could ignore the universally embraced tenet to love our neighbor as ourselves. We offer condolences to the families of the Yezidis who lost their lives in last week’s massacres. Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done to help the Yezidis and Assyrians targeted for extermination.”

[i] UPI: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/05/02/Islamic-State-radicals-execute-up-to-600-in-northern-Iraq-reports-say/1851430599468/; AINA: “ISIS Militants Execute 600 Yezidis…” http://aina.org/news/20150502050350.htm; ARA: http://aranews.net/2015/05/isis-militants-execute-600-yezidis-northern-iraq/; BBC: “Islamic State: Militants kill 300 Yazidi captives” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32565809; Haaretz: “ISIS executes 300 Yazidis…” http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.654618

[ii] Inquisitor: http://www.inquisitr.com/2060990/isis-accused-of-executing-600-yazidi-prisoners-dumping-bodies-on-a-highway/.

[iii] Catholic Herald: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/04/30/isis-demands-23-million-for-release-of-assyrian-christians/.

[iv] “Activists Warn IS Could Be About To Kill Kidnapped Yazidi Boys, Men” http://www.rferl.org/content/islamic-state-yazidis/26981204.html.