In Sinjar the security situation could rapidly be improved if the region were joined onto the Iraqi federal provinceof Kurdistan. On this a plebiscite must be carried out as soon as possible. In the hill country of Sinjar lives the largest Yezidi-Kurdish community in the world with some 400,000 people. The region can only be reached via a single and already very insecure road.

Islamist terrorists forced a bus to stop on Sunday in the city of Mosul, a bus in which Yezidi employees of a textile factory were travelling home, reported workers of the GfbV Kurdistan- Iraq Section on Tuesday by telephone. The Yezidi were taken by the attackers from the bus and killed. On the same day six lorries with food from Kurdistanfor Sinjar was attacked. A driver was seriously injured and the food was stolen, reported the GfbV workers from Kurdistan. The attack took place at the small town of al-Rabia on the only road which at present links Kurdistanwith Sinjar. Transports carrying food and medical supplies are constantly being attacked on this route.

"The number of Yezidi fleeing from the city of Mosul is rising constantly because they are being persecuted and threatened with death by Islamist fundamentalists", reported the GfbV Near-east expert, Kamal Sido. According to information received by the GfbV at least 20,000 Kurdish families (Yezidi and Moslems) have fled from Mosulsince 2003.

Background information:

The Yezidi are a religious minority among the Kurds, who are mostly Moslems. Theirs is a near-east non-Christian and non-Moslem religious community going back a thousand years. They speak the Kurmanci dialect of Kurdish and live in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Armeniaand Georgiaas well as in various European countries. Their total number is estimated at about 800,000. Most of them live in northern Iraq. Here there are about 550,000 Yezidi. In Germanythere are about 45,000 Yezidi, mostly religious refugees from Turkey.

In Sinjar the Yezidi make up with approximately 400,000 members about 80% of the population. The roads leading from the province of Mosul to Sinjar are mostly blocked or can only be passed at risk of life. The only link which has hitherto proved more or less secure runs between Dohuk and Al-Rabia, but here too the number of attacks by Islamist terrorists has been increasing steadily.

PRESS RELEASE Göttingen, 24.04.2007

Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker e.V. (GfbV)
Society for Threatened Peoples
Dr. Kamal Sido, Nahostreferat/ Desk Middle East
P. Box 2024, D-37010 Goettingen
Tel. +49/551/49906-18, Fax:+49/551/58028
E-Mail: [email protected] mailto:[email protected], Homepage:

Kurdish Institute of Brussels
Bonneelsstraat 16, B-1210 Brussels | [email protected] | tel. +32-(0)2-230 89 30 | fax. + 32-(0)2-231.00.97