FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE YEZIDI GENOCIDE
TO BE REMEMBERED AT QUEEN’S PARK
Please stand with the Yezidi Community
(Toronto, July 26th, 2019) The mass murder of more than 10,000 Yezidi people by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will be remembered on Sunday, August 4th at Queen's Park. We invite you to stand with members of the Canadian Yezidi community in memory of those who died in the genocide at Mount Sinjar five years ago. On the morning of August 3, 2014, ISIS fighters entered the Yezidi city of Sinjar, bent on total destruction. In the days that followed approximately 10,000 Yezidis were executed in cold blood – shot, beheaded, burned alive. More than 7,000 Yezidi women and girls were taken by ISIS and forced into sex slavery. Holy shrines were desecrated.
As ISIS overran Sinjar, thousands of Yezidis fled to Turkey. Approximately 15,000 Yezidi refugees, mostly women and children, now live in UNHCR camps in Nusaybin, Diyarbakur, and Midyat. There is a word for what the Yezidis have endured. It is genocide.
Five years later, the survivors of this genocide bear wounds that have not healed. Mass executions, the abduction of sons and daughters, the torment of sexual slavery -- these memories are replayed through every waking moment and restless night.
As new mass graves are discovered, hopes are cruelly dashed that missing relatives will be found alive.
On August 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM the Yezidi community living in the Greater Toronto Area and London, Ontario will commemorate the Mount Sinjar Genocide at Queen's Park with the largest gather of Yezidis in Canada. Among them will be survivors of the massacre and sexual slavery that followed.
The broader Canadian community can help the healing of these survivors by standing with them to mark the fifth anniversary of the genocide. A large and compassionate assembly on August 4th will show these men, women, and children that they are not alone.
Karen Goldenberg, C.M.
Chair of Project Abraham
Founder and Chair of Yezidi Human Rights Organization - International
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following organizations who stand with the Yezidi community in remembrance:
Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
Armenian National Committee of Canada
Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
The Samurai Centre for Human Rights & Holocaust Studies
Fondation Sylvenie Lindor Foundation
Stand With Us Canada
Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT)
Catholic Refugee Sponsors CouncilSt. Matthews United Church, Richmond Hill
World Wide Opportunities for Women
Mozuud Freedom Foundation Centre
Adath Israel Congregaton
Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue
Beth Tzedec Congregation
Pride of Israel Synagogue
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of Jewish Women Toronto