Armenia’s Yezidis Urge the World to Help their Community in Iraq -
RUDAW – The Yezidi community of Armenia staged a demonstration in the capital Yerevan on Friday, condemning attacks by Islamist militants against their brethren in Iraq and calling on the international community to protect the Yezidis from threat.
“We can’t help our brothers who are there, because of terrorists,” a community organizer in Yerevan told Rudaw. “But we call on the international community which watches how Yezidis are killed to act.”
The protests were organized by the Yezidi National Committee of Armenia and community-based organizations and activists who marched to the American Embassy and delivered their concern about the plight of Yezidi civilians stranded on Mount Shingal in northwestern Iraq to the US ambassador.
“You know how it feels to be victims of Genocide and persecution,” Karam Hadzoyan, an activist protestor told Rudaw. “We ask Armenian government to help us Yezidis, who are oppressed and killed by IS in Sinjar.”
The protesters also criticized the Iraqi government for “not doing enough to protect Iraq’s ancient and peaceful community of Yezidis” by gathering in front of the Iraqi Embassy.
An estimated 100,000 Yezidis fled Shingal and surrounding villages and sought shelter on an arid mountain ridge last week when militants from the Islamic State (IS) overran their town in a surprise attack.
Around 40,000 Yezidi Kurds are believed to live in Armenia, making it the largest Yezidi community in any of the former Soviet republics.
“They want all Yezidis to disappear,” said one young protestor. “Help us.”
Sashik Sultanyan, a protest organizer vowed that there would be more demonstrations unless the world “responded to their plight.”
“We plan to repeat our protest in few days, if there is not any reaction,” he said. “The Yezidis of Armenia always will stand with their brothers.”