A Yezidi man carries his child as they flee ISIS on August 11, 2014. Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Armenian parliament voted to formally recognize and condemn the Yezidi genocide committed by ISIS.
Member of parliament Rustam Makhmudyan, a Yezidi who introduced the resolution on Tuesday, urged lawmakers to not just condemn the genocide committed, but to, through international agencies, investigate crimes committed against the religious minority and pursue perpetrators.
The resolution was supported by four factions in the Armenian legislature and passed with 91 votes for and one abstention.
Nadia Murad, Yezidi survivor, activist and UN Goodwill Ambassador thanked Armenia and Makhmudyan for the support.
“I am touched by today’s decision and I would like to express my gratitude to the people of Armenia and their representatives in Parliament. Acknowledgement of the Genocide means a lot to me and all the victims of genocide,” she said.
The recognition from Armenia is particularly poignant for the Yezidi community because Armenians themselves were the victims of genocide a century earlier. Yezidi advocacy group Yazda described the decision as a "historic moment for the entire Yezidi community worldwide and for victims of this genocide."
The Yezidi genocide has been recognized by the, KRG, European Parliament, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Scotland, and Iraq as well as a United Nations independent inquiry.
According to the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the KRG, some 360,000 Yezidis were displaced and approximately 100,000 fled abroad when their cities and towns were taken over by ISIS in August 2014.
Of the 6,417 Yezidis captured by ISIS when they attacked Shingal, just over half have been rescued. Thousands more were killed.