Family of Ezidi sentenced to death seek reconciliation

Ninewa, Feb. 2020- Protests by part of the Ezidi people whom believe Khalid Shamo is innocent though found guilty and sentenced to death by Nineveh Criminal Court. Ibrahim Yazidi

By Ammar Aziz in Ninewa

The relatives of a member of the Ezidi community convicted of murderseek consent of and reconciliation with the counterparty which insists on cooperation of the convict for penalty against two other suspects.

Khalid Shamo, 21, was sentenced to death per counter-terrorism law by Nineveh Criminal Court on February 4th 2020 for ‘intentional killing" of Faris Nawaf, 28, in August 2017 at a border area in the district of Shingal, west of Mosul, on the borders with Syria in cooperation with two other suspects who were arrested and freed for lack of proof.

The case is if high concern as it has trigged tribal, sectarian and ethnic concerns between the Ezidi community and the Gargari Sunni Muslim tribe.

"My only request is to penalize anyone involved in the murder of my son," said Nawaf Mohammed, father of Faris was frustrated of the slow trial process and ongoing demands for reconciliation.

Father of the convicted said they have not lost hope in negotiation with the family of the victim.

"We have talked to them and they have tough conditions," said Shamo Sarhan, father of Khalid who is in prison since October 2017. Sarhan said they asked him to convince Khalid to testify clearly who is the main perpetrator, file lawsuit against those three who were freed and find one of them who is aboard.

Ezidis are adherents of one of the ancient monotheist religions. Their population was over half a million in Nineveh province ahead of its takeover by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS in August 2014, killing thousands of Ezidis whom the "extremist Sunni Arab fighters" accuse of being "devil worshippers."

Shingal, located 120 west of Mosul, center of Nineveh province, used to be home to over 300,000 Ezidi ethno-religious minority and one of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil. Ezidis also live in Shekhan, Bashiqa and other areas in Nineva and Duhok Northern Province.

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 Mount Shingal and the adjacent northern Kurdistan region.

Ezidis accuse some of their Sunni Arab neighbors of sympathy for and collaboration with ISIS while the vulnerable community was being massacred at the hands of the extremist Jihadists.


The murder of Faris Nawaf, 28, poses threat to the social resilience in the war-torn Ezidi region.

"My son is innocent and has no idea who is the killed. Secondly, it is not our duty to file lawsuit against the main suspect as court freed them and third if the government can't, how we can find some fled abroad?"

Hundreds of the Ezidi people held several demonstrations last year following the court verdict and called for the nullification of the decision.

"I have spent all what I have in transportation and lawyer fees. I have spent 60,000 USD in the last four years. Now people of the camp collect money for us voluntarily," Sarhan desperately said.

The family left Shingal in 2014 to Qadia IDP camp in Duhok where they live up to day.

Sarhan put effort into social reconciliation to get consent of the victim family in order to get their pardon yet in vain.

"I will never accept tribal reconciliation or accept money in return of the blood of my son," Mohammed vowed."

He confirmed that he has three demands for Khalid's father and family.

"I have filed lawsuit against the tow others freed by couort. I am not accusing only Khalid of murder of my son. Let them arrest those tow and find the third for a new fair trial."

xalid shamo (3)
Ninewa, February 2020: The Ezidis protest death murder sentence against Khalid.  Ibrahim Yazidi

The court verdict has been endorsed by Appeal court yet they have not lost hope in rescue of their son from absolute death. Ezidis believe that Khalid is innocent.

Idris Sarhan, a friend and a neighbor of Hawre’s family, said, “on the day that the Person form GarGari tribe was killed, Khalid was in the camp. We together participated in the anniversary of ISIS attacks in Sinajr on August 3. I explained this in the court only to reveal the truth.”

Sarhan stated that on the day of the incident Police Department of Zakho arrested Khalid Shamo with the charges of arranging protests. It proves that Shamo was no present in the place of killing the person. The police seized his mobile phone, and they deleted all pictures and videos of that day.”

The Ezidi community and tribal figures of the Gargari tribe are working hard to keep the issue in order to not to spread into a feud between both communities.

"There have been many attempts to convince the father of the murdered to make a compromise and reconcile yet he insists on his conditions and we keep trying to finalize this issue," said Talal Sileman, a well-known figure of the Gargari tribe.

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