Two cases of “suicide” in a day among the Ezidi community

Najwa Ismael, 19, has got married only 2 months ago, was found dead in her house on Monday. Photo from family Archive.

Ammar Aziz, Nineveh

A recently married women and a teenager found dead in two separate incidents in Al-Qush and Shingal among the Ezidi community in Nineveh on Monday.

Najwa Ismael, 19, got married on February 19 to a 21-year-old man and was very satisfied yet found dead in a room of her house hanged by a rope to the roof of the room on Monday afternoon, family told KirkukNow. Police is investigating the accident.

She was living in Bozaya settlement of al-Qush subdistrict, a predominantly Christian community with Ezidi and Muslim minority. Al-Qush sub-district, of Tel Kaif district, 40 km north of Mosul, comprises 34 villages and three compounds. Population was 62,000 till mid of 2014, later part of them migrated to the US and Europe following so-called Islamic State ISIS control over the region.

“My daughter was pleased of her marriage and had no problem with her husband,” said Najwa’s father. “When today they called me and said she killed herself, I was shocked. She has broken my backbone.”

When today they called me and said she killed herself, I was shocked. She has broken my backbone.

Najwa’s parents with their two kids live in Sulaymaniyah Northern Province under Kurdistan Regional Government KRG while Mosul is under control of Iraqi government.

Salih Haji, a cousin of Najwa, said her Najwa’s husband told him they had breakfast together and showed no remarkable sign of being depressed or in trouble.

“She looked happy in the morning but this happened in the afternoon,” Haji added.

Police refused to comment on the incident and said they can’t confirm the story of the family yet. They said they are investigating the case and no not want to talk to the media at the moment.

“Police said there is no sign of torture or beating on the body yet the reason behind the suicide not clear because she had no problems, got married with her consent and both families,” Haji added.

Najwa was an IDP of Shingal predominantly Ezidi community and her body was buried there on Monday.

Shingal, located 120 west of Mosul, center of Nineveh province, used to be home to over half a million Ezidi ethno-religious minority and one of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil. Ezidis also live in Shekhan, Bashiqa and other areas in Duhok northern province

Seized in August 2014 by ISIS militants whom accused the Ezidis of being “devil worshippers,” Shingal has been the scene of tragedy: a genocidal campaign of killings, rape, abductions and enslavement, and the surviving community fled to safer-heaven IDP camps in the adjacent northern Kurdistan region.

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A bullet put an end to life of Mahir Dino, 14. Photo from social media platforms.   

In a separate incident, a teenager found dead in Shingal on Monday with a bullet on his body.

Hassan Murad, member of the family, told KirkukNow that Mahir Dino, 14, was playing Billiard with his friends when his father called him to come back but he refused so his father gets angry.

“When he came back home, he went to a room and few minutes later shot himself by a bullet in his heart,” Murad added. The pistol was for his father, he said.

“When he came back home, he went to a room and few minutes later shot himself by a bullet in his heart,”

Few months ago, the Iraqi government has decided to form a committee to investigate cases of suicide escalating among the Ezidi IDPs yet so far no report has been revealed.

A statistic by Shingal mayor office shows 250 cases of suicide has been registered in the IDP camps since 2014, most of the cases were women.

The remarkable surge of suicide among the Internally Displaced People IDPs was an essential topic of a conference held on March 29th in Duhok Northern Province by NGOs, state officials and relevant authorities.

Participants in a poll conducted by an NGO regarding the factors and motives for suicide commitment and attempts said that 20% of their relatives at least once thought about putting an end to their life.

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