With a report published today, PRO ASYL and Wadi are dra­wing atten­ti­on to the dire situa­ti­on of the Yazi­dis in Iraq – and at the same time are cal­ling for an imme­dia­te stop to depor­ta­ti­ons from Ger­ma­ny for Yazi­dis. In addi­ti­on, Yazi­dis must be given a per­ma­nent and secu­re per­spec­ti­ve in Germany.

Alt­hough the Ger­man Bun­des­tag reco­gni­zed the per­se­cu­ti­on of Yazi­dis as geno­ci­de at the begin­ning of 2023,  and despi­te the situa­ti­on in Iraq being very uncer­tain, seve­ral fede­ral sta­tes have been deport­ing Yazi­dis to Iraq again for the past seve­ral months. Now thou­sands of Yazi­dis in Ger­ma­ny fear that the same thing will hap­pen to them.

“It is com­ple­te­ly irre­spon­si­ble to deport Yazi­di men, women and child­ren to a coun­try whe­re they have no liveli­hood and can­not lead a safe life. To be depor­ted to the coun­try of geno­ci­de, whe­re they meet for­mer per­pe­tra­tors and have to feel con­stant­ly threa­ten­ed. That’s why the­re must be an imme­dia­te nati­on­wi­de ban on depor­ta­ti­ons for Yazi­dis so that thou­sands of Yazi­dis don’t have to con­ti­nue to live in fear of depor­ta­ti­on,” says Karl Kopp, mana­ging direc­tor of PRO ASYL.

The Fede­ral Govern­ment must take responsibility

PRO ASYL and Wadi are cal­ling on the Ger­man Fede­ral Govern­ment to final­ly take respon­si­bi­li­ty and crea­te cla­ri­ty. Whe­ther Yazi­dis are depor­ted or not should not be left to indi­vi­du­al Fede­ral States.

The report descri­bes, that sin­ce the geno­ci­de of the Yazi­dis by the ter­ro­rist orga­niza­ti­on ‘Isla­mic Sta­te’ in 2014, the Sin­jar area in nor­t­hern Iraq, whe­re Yazi­dis have lived for cen­tu­ries, has beco­me a dan­ge­rous hot­spot. Ten years after the geno­ci­de: On the situa­ti­on of the Yazi­dis and Yazi­dis in Iraq the report descri­bes how sta­te and non-sta­te actors fight ruthl­ess­ly for power and influence in the stra­te­gi­cal­ly important bor­der area bet­ween Iraq, Syria, Tur­key and Iran, how inte­rests col­l­i­de – and that the Yazi­dis are in the midd­le and bet­ween all fronts. The bleak rea­li­ty that ten years on 200,000  Yazi­dis are still wai­ting in Iraqi refu­gee camps with no pro­s­pect of lea­ving. The talk of a so-cal­led inter­nal Iraqi escape alter­na­ti­ve also mis­ses rea­li­ty becau­se a Yazi­di fami­ly could not go to ano­ther part of the coun­try: the­re they would be wit­hout the vital pro­tec­tion that comes from living as a community.

No depor­ti­ons back to the coun­try of genocide

“Peo­p­le who have been reco­gni­zed as vic­tims of geno­ci­de must not be depor­ted to the coun­try whe­re the geno­ci­de occur­red. If the Bun­des­tag in Ber­lin reco­gni­zes a geno­ci­de a few hundred meters from the Holo­caust memo­ri­al, it should take the resul­ting respon­si­bi­li­ty serious­ly. This would also be an important signal for other Euro­pean count­ries. Ger­ma­ny must give the Yazi­dis secu­ri­ty, espe­ci­al­ly after reco­gni­zing them as vic­tims of geno­ci­de,” says Tho­mas von der Osten-Sacken, mana­ging direc­tor of Wadi.

Coun­ting around 250,000 peo­p­le, Ger­ma­ny not only has the lar­gest Yazi­di dia­spo­ra in Euro­pe, but is also the second lar­gest in the world after Iraq. They live main­ly in Lower Sax­o­ny and North Rhi­ne-West­pha­lia. It is esti­ma­ted that bet­ween 5,000 to 10,000 Iraqi Yazi­dis are curr­ent­ly at risk of depor­ta­ti­on to Iraq. In mid-2023, the first fede­ral sta­tes began deport­ing Yazi­dis to Iraq in light of incre­asing coope­ra­ti­on with Iraq and court rulings that the­re was no lon­ger any group-spe­ci­fic per­se­cu­ti­on in Iraq.

Reports as a source for decis­i­on-making for aut­ho­ri­ties and courts

The report published by PRO ASYL and Wadi in Ger­man and Eng­lish rela­tes the tra­gic situa­ti­on of the Yazi­di com­mu­ni­ty in Iraq and the back­ground to it,including the con­flicts within Iraq – it’s com­pact and com­pre­hen­si­ve. The two orga­niza­ti­ons want to clo­se an infor­ma­ti­on gap and crea­te a basis for qua­li­fied decis­i­ons. Becau­se aut­ho­ri­ties and courts con­ti­nue to deci­de about the future of Yazi­di peo­p­le while igno­ring the dra­ma­tic situa­ti­on into which they send the­se people.

The report is also about the Yazi­dis as a group, how their liveli­hoods were sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly des­troy­ed – and how this is also what geno­ci­de is about. How this distin­gu­is­hes them from many others from the Midd­le East who are fle­e­ing war and des­truc­tion: The Isla­mic Sta­te wan­ted to not only to kill Yazi­dis, but des­troy Yazi­dis from exis­tence. With each depor­ta­ti­on, the fear grows that not only indi­vi­du­als will be for­ci­b­ly torn from their new home and sent into an uncer­tain future, but that the Yazi­di coll­ec­ti­ve exis­tence is also threa­ten­ed here in Germany.

For many months, Yazi­di and other orga­niza­ti­ons such as PRO ASYL and Wadi have been cal­ling for a stop to depor­ta­ti­ons for Yazi­dis, inclu­ding an open let­ter to mem­bers of the Bundestag.

The report can be down­loa­ded in Ger­man and Eng­lish.


PRO ASYL, press office, presse@proasyl.de, Pho­ne: +49 (0)69 24 23 14 30

Wadi e.V., Tho­mas von der Osten-Sacken, Mana­ging Direc­tor, thomas.osten-sacken@wadi-online.de, Pho­ne: +49 (0)151 56906002

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