Justice for Yazidis - Immediate U.S. Resettlement for Yazidis
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"I had always hoped that this land might become a safe & agreeable Asylum to the virtuous & persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong."
--George Washington, First U.S. President
In 2014, Islamic State (ISIS) attacked the Yazidi people of northern Iraq, committing mass murder, beheadings, rape, torture, enslavement, trafficking, and the kidnapping of women and children. The United Nations in 2016 reported "almost unimaginable horrors” perpetrated on the Yazidis in a formal report, and the U.S. and the UN declared the attack a genocide. In August 2017, the U.S. Secretary of State stated that protection of religious minorities who suffered genocide and crimes against humanity by ISIS is a "human rights priority" for the United States.
Nearly all of the survivors of this genocide were displaced from their homes. For almost four years, the members of this ancient ethno-religious group have been forced to live in camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) under substandard conditions. Many residents are jobless, severely traumatized, and lack access to basic needs such as electricity and health services. Returning to their old villages and towns which were destroyed is not currently an option for most survivors. An estimated 2,000 Yazidis are still missing, and the U.S. still has not passed significant legislation to allow Yazidis to resettle as refugees.
One group (estimated to be less than 200) that deserves and requires immediate resettlement are Yazidi interpreters who served U.S. forces during the Iraq War. These interpreters risked their lives to serve U.S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and then faced a genocide only a few years later. We ask that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security coordinate with U.S. and international resettlement agencies to facilitate immigration without delay for these OIF Yazidi interpreters, their full families, plus separated family members of OIF Yazidi interpreters currently living in the United States.
Supporting the survivors of this genocide is one of the clearest messages that any nation can send that it will not be passive bystanders when an innocent people are attacked or targeted. By standing with the Yazidis and other victims of genocide, we declare that innocent people cannot be terrorized and victimized. And we maintain our nation's historic commitment to assisting those around the world who deserve justice.
Please sign this petition today to ensure that members of the U.S. Congress and the administration hear the people's mandate to begin Yazidi refugee resettlement in the U.S. Thank you.
For more information on the Yazidi genocide, please visit www.justiceforyazidis.wordpress.com.
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