Justice for Yazidis - Ask Congress to Act Now
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In 2014, Islamic State (ISIS) attacked the Yazidi people of northern Iraq, committing mass murder, crucifixions, 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 minority groups who suffered genocide and crimes against humanity at the hands of ISIS is a "human rights priority" for the United States.
Nearly all of the survivors of this genocide were displaced from their homes. For more than three years, the members of this ancient ethno-religious group have been forced to live in camps for Internally Displaced Persons under substandard conditions. Basic services such as sanitation, electricity, and water are often lacking. Residents are jobless, severely traumatized, and lack access to proper treatment. Returning to their old villages and towns, where non-Yazidi neighbors often collaborated with Islamic State or did nothing as Yazidis were taken away to be executed and enslaved is not an option for many survivors. Over 3,000 Yazidi women and children are still held by Islamic State.
H.R. 379, Justice for Yazidis Act, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to alleviate the suffering of these innocent victims, and we the people call on the U.S. Government to pass this essential legislation now. H.R. 379, Justice for Yazidis Act, calls for: (1) establishment of a new classification for Yazidi survivors as refugees of special humanitarian concern; (2) an expedited system of processing for Yazidi applicants; and (3) other forms of support for Yazidis in need, including more humanitarian help for those in Iraq and protocols for the rescue of those still enslaved.
Supporting the survivors of this genocide is one of the clearest messages the United States can send that we as a nation will not be passive bystanders when an innocent people are targeted for extermination, and that we respect and value human rights for all. By standing with the Yazidis and other victims of genocide, we uplift ourselves as we uplift others. Ensuring that innocents targeted by violent extremists like Islamic State can live good lives with the aid of the global community sends a message loud and clear to extremists all over the world that they will not win. 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 hear the people's mandate to pass the bill H.R. 379, Justice for Yazidis, without delay. Thank you.
For more information on the Yazidis and the genocide perpetrated by ISIS, please visit www.justiceforyazidis.wordpress.com.
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