HRW slams Iraq failure to compensate Yazidis for lost homes
The Yazidis, whose pre-Islamic religion earned them the hatred of IS extremists, were subjected to massacres, forced marriages and sex slavery during the militants' 2014-15 rule in Sinjar.
Many of the mountain villages, where the Yazidis had preserved their minority faith and Kurdish language, were razed. Thousands remain in displaced persons' camps in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region farther east.
They have been unable to rebuild their homes because they have yet to receive compensation for the damage done by the extremists and by the Iraqi and US-led campaign to oust them, the rights group said.
"Without compensation, many Sinjaris lack the financial means to rebuild their homes and businesses, so returning home is simply not an option," said HRW Iraq researcher Sarah Sanbar.
"Yazidi activists say emigration – and indefinite exile in camps – is effectively a slow continuation of the genocide to eradicate the Yazidi population in Iraq."— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) October 3, 2022
For Iraq's displaced Yazidis, the genocide is ongoing. @trbrian11 explains why ⬇ https://t.co/yhINDLMevL
"Iraqi authorities should distribute funds already earmarked for compensation to help people go home and rebuild their lives."
As of 2023, the 200,000 Sinjaris who remain displaced include 85 percent of the district's Yazidi population.
Those who have returned face an unstable security situation and inadequate or nonexistent public services.
The first group of 420 Yazidi women received financial compensation under the Yazidi Survivors Law in February 2023.
Since the Sinjar Compensation Office opened in 2021, 10,500 Sinjaris have applied for compensation under a separate law, which entitles all Iraqis to claim compensation for damage done during the IS occupation and its aftermath, an office representative told HRW.
Although about 5,000 of these claims have been approved, not a single family has received the funds to which they are entitled, the representative said.