“A unified cemetery for the victims”, a dream of the families of the victims and a symbol of genocide, does everyone agree on it?

Ezidi24 – Thyab Ghanem
Translation: Tahseen Alhaskany

From July 2019, the Yazidi youth groups began to move to locate a unified mass grave for the victims of the Yazidi genocide committed by ISIS.

According to the supervisors of these movements, the issue was not easy, but a lot of noise loomed around it due to the presence of different views of the victims’ families.

A number of meetings were organized by the Yazidi organizations to converge views and define a place agreed upon in consultation with the families of the martyrs.

The organizations are still continuing with the presence of a Yazidi youth elite to discuss this issue with the families of the victims, who have the first and last decision regarding the burial of their martyrs.

A source close to the supervisors of the mechanism for selecting a place for the unified cemetery, who preferred not to reveal his name, told “Ezidi 24”, “We are still in the stage of discussions, but most of the views of the victims’ relatives are close to each other.”

He pointed out that “the vast majority of the families of the victims agree that the cemetery is in a clear location, so that it is at the entrance to the Sinjar district or close to it.”

On the fate of the missing victims who have no corpse, he said, “This issue requires study and research in the laws. There are countries that consider the missing for a period of four years as dead, but we have not decided the issue yet.”

The Yazidi activist Basma Al-Dekhi spoke to Ezidi24 about the importance of having a unified cemetery for the victims of the ISIS attack on Sinjar district. “The presence of this cemetery is very important, as it will be a symbol of the genocide that we were subjected to,” Al-Dekhi said

And she continued, “The lack of a symbol for the genocides that the Yazidis were subjected to as a religion contributed to forgetting those genocides and not being recognized by the world. Let’s preserve this genocide and keep it alive in the minds of the world, and it must have a symbol.”

Al-Dekhi pointed out that, “The Yazidis in Sinjar made a big mistake when they did not allocate a unified cemetery for the martyrs of the bloody explosions that occurred in Al-Qahtaniyah sub-district, which is inhabited by the Yazidis.”

While the director of the Yazidi Organization for Documentation, the Sinjar Branch, “Khairy Ali Ibrahim,” stressed “the need to speed up reaching an agreement, since work on a unified cemetery will take a long time.”

He reiterated their continuity in researching this issue until the optimal solution is reached, in cooperation and consultation with the victims’ families.

While the process of selecting a place for the unified cemetery is underway, the people of the village of Kojo, which has the largest number of Yazidi victims in the ISIS attack, have allocated a plot of land to bury their martyrs.

104 victims were identified from the village of Kojo, whose remains were exhumed from the cemetery in the village, and they are scheduled to be buried on the 31st of this month.

The families of the Yazidi victims are still waiting for the mass graves to open to bury their sons who were killed by ISIS.

In Sinjar, there are about 80 mass graves containing about a thousand bodies and about 200 individual graves, according to statistics, and it is expected that other graves will be detected, according to Yazidi activists.

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