Relatives of Ezidis slaughtered by IS await reparation for years

Ninewa, February 6th 2021- The ceremony for burial of 104 Ezidis slaughtered by IS militants and buried in a mass grave in the village of Kojo in Shingal. KirkukNow

By Ammar Aziz in Ninewa

Hamid Mahmud is commuting between government offices of Ninewa and spent a lot of money to finalize application to get a salary as financial reparation for his brother killed by the extremist militants of so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS.

Mahmud, a resident of the village of Kojo where tens of mass graves were found, in Shingal, is almost hopeless. He has lost six brothers at the hands of IS militants. He is looking for reparation since 2017, including a monthly salary for the martyrs.  

The Iraqi federal government has endorsed a law for the martyrs, victims of military operations and mistakes, and victims of the terrorist acts.

"In 2017, they said relatives of a martyr can apply for reparation and since then I am chasing the paper work for my brothers. I have travelled tens of times to Mosul, Tal Kef and Shingal. I have spent about three million Iraqi Dinars IQD ($2,000) for nothing up to now."

Mahmud is going to receive the reparation instead of his parents whom are still missing with a sister of him since august 2014 when IS took over Shingal and one third of Iraqi territories.

I am afraid this time all our efforts go in vain

Mahmud says for a while they have stopped receiving application to register those killed by IS as martyrs and it has been resumed few weeks ago.

"Finally, I have delivered the papers to the special committee in Kojo. I am afraid this time all our efforts go in vain."

As per amendment to law number 20 in 2009 for victims of war, any citizen martyred or gone missing or abducted in military operations or terrorist acts are entitled for compensation or monthly wages according to the loss.

The process undergoes several stages following the applications being received by a special committee which opened an office in Shingal in June.

"I am not very optimist that families to receive a monthly salary for their martyrs and the victims Ezidis offered because after seven years only few mass graves have been unearthed."

"We have heard many promises but only words like rerun of the IDPs and normalization of life," Mahmud said.

Ezidis are an ethno-religious minority over half a million people, mostly residing in Shingal, in northern Iraqi province of Nineveh. The militants of Daesh extremist group in 2014 attacked their communities, killing thousands of men and taking thousands of women and children, in an atrocity the U.N. said amounted to genocide.

IS reportedly used the women and girls as sex slaves. Tens of thousands of Ezidis are still living in Internally Displaced People IDP camps in Iraqi Northern Province of Duhok.

ezdidi qrabw

Ninewa, 2021- One of the applicants is visiting the office of the special committee in Shingal assigned by council of ministers to receive applications for those affected by war. Media of the special committee

The committees tasked to register Eizid martyrs are affiliated to the foundation of martyrs under Iraqi council of ministers.

Sahir Tariq, director general of a special committee for compensation of the Eizid victims of war, said they have commenced receiving applications since April for the martyrs, injured, missing and those affected and damaged by war, morally and materially.

"We ask on people to apply their papers in order to not to be deprived of compensation."

There are three committees in Ninewa, one of them is in Shingal divided into three sub-committees: one in Shingal, another in Sheikhan and another in the town of Faida in Duhok to receive documents from Eidi IDPs in the camps.

Another committee is located in Mosul, center of Ninewa province and another in the district of Talafar.

The volume of the compensation depends on the volume of the loss or damage. 750 appilcations have been processed to be audited in the next stage.

Relatives of martyr are to receive IQD 1,200,000 ($800) per month

"Our committee has received the applications for 194 remnants buried in Kojo. Any application approved, the relatives are entitled to receive 1.2 m IQD a month," Tahir expects their mission to come to end in September.

Daesh have executed tens of Ezidis in the village of Kojo, buried in mass graves. Hundreds were enslaved and taken into slavery. In February, the remnants of 104 victims, which were unearthed in 2019, were buried in a special ceremony.

Since March 2019, about 500 remnants were exhumed from 20 mass graves in two stages.

"In Kojo, I have submitted application for my father and two brothers to the committee. Everything is in order and we are expecting to receive a bank card Mid August to easily get the monthly salary," said Nasir Alyas.

Alyas is resident of Kojo, hometown of IS survivor Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and human rights activist, and lives in the IDP camp of Qadia since 2014.

Daesh have executed his father and two brothers while his mother and a brother are still missing. Their remnants were identified in Kojo mass graves and reburied there.


Ninewa, 2021- The special committee in Shingal for reparation of those affected by war. Media of the special committee 

"I have their death certificates and their applications have passed all stages and to receive 1.2 m IQD for each a month as the committees said which is a good step if implemented yet still we are not sure and afraid it's just words alike other promises," Alyas said.

According to the data by the Kurdistan regional government KRG, 1,293 Ezidis were killed by Daesh and about 80 mass graves were found in Shingal.

Ali Omer Gabo, deputy governor of Ninewa for affairs of the IDPs and NGOs, said, "We affirm the relatives of the martyrs as administration of the province we are in communication all the time to process their applications and get their rights."

All the applications are to be audited and later a budget is allocated once its transferred to the ministry of finance.

Those got loss and damages in Shingal will receive their rights though it has been delayed

Gabo said in June, two group of those affected by war were compensated as they applied for reparation in 2017 and 2018.

The war against Daesh caused damage to thousands of houses, stores and properties in general.

Most of the residents of Shingal affected by war against Daesh have applied for compensation in 2019 thus their compensation got delayed but it won't go in vain, Gabo added.

KRG office for rescue of missing Ezidis says 6,417 Ezidis were enslaved by IS when it took over Shingal in 2014 and 2,700 of them have been brought to unknown destiny.

"One of the obstacles is that we do not have a permanent office and very few personnel. Besides, every application requires an order by a judge whom so far has not visited our committee. We even don't have daily work requirements," said Tahir.

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