Shingal: Human remains found in sewerage of abandoned house

Remains for several bodies were found in the sewage pipe of an abandoned house of Gir Ouzer sub-district of Ninewa province, Sinjar, May 2023. Laith Hussein

By KirkukNow

Several bodies suspected to date back to the ruling of the extremist militants of so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syira ISIS war have been found in the sewerage of an abandoned house in the sub-district of Giruzer, south of Mount Shingal (Sinjar) of Ninewa Province.

The owner of the house who is currently displaced was checking the house before renovation in order to return, have noticed bodies in the sewerage and informed the local authorities about it.

"We decided to visit our house in Grazer district a few days ago to prepare for the return, but after examination we found several bodies in the sewage system of the house," Elias Shivan, the owner of the house, told KirkukNow.

Elias left Sinjar on August 3, 2014 after the fight against ISIS and the capture of the entire district and almost one third of Ira by IS fighters up to 2017.

"As soon as we saw the bodies, we alerted the Giruzer police station and the relevant authorities. We ask them to resolve the issue as soon as possible so that the relatives of the victims know their fate and we can return to our home," he added.

The bodies were found under this house, Sinjar, May 2023. Laith Hussein

In August 2014, Daesh took over Shingal and took 6417 Ezidis as captives and sex slaves, mainly women and children. Up today, 2781 of them are missing and brought to unknown destiny, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s KRG office for rescue of the abducted Ezidis.

Ezidis are a non-Muslim ethno-religious minority of about 550,000 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 under tents in camps for the Internally Displaced Persons IDP, mainly in northern province of Duhok.

Amid the atrocious attacks of IS, 1,293 Ezidis were killed, 68 shrines were destroyed and over 80 mass graves have been discovered.

Local and international organizations are cooperating to build a cemetery and a memorial for Shingal massacre.

The process of building a cemetery and memorial in Solagh and Shingal (Sinjar), has officially begun as the Ezidi community in Iraq continues to rebuild in the wake of genocide at the hands of the extremist militants.

Launched by Nadia’s Initiative (NI) in 2021 in response to requests from the Yazidi community, NI spent the last two years designing the cemetery and memorial in partnership with community members and a Yazidi architect.

The sewerage of the house where the bodies were found, Sinjar, May 2023. Laith Hussein

"We will notify the national mass grave excavation team in writing. This is the second similar grave discovered this year, the other was in Sibai Sheikh Khadr community," said Kher Ali, director of Batrikur Human Rights Organization in Sinjar.

March 28 was the last time a mass grave was excavated by the Iraqi National Mass Grave Excavation Team in Sinjar, four graves in eastern Sinjar district.

The German Parliament (Bundestag) decided in a session held on January 19, 2023 to classify the violations and crimes committed by the militants of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - ISIL" against the Ezidi component in Iraq as genocide.

According to the statistics of the organization, 90 mass graves have been discovered in different parts of Sinjar yet only 42 of them have been excavated.

The exhumation of mass graves was first launched Mid-March 2019 in Kocho village, and so far the remains of nearly 500 victims have been exhumed in two stages from 20 mass graves. In Kocho, a 300-grave cemetery was prepared for the remains in 2019.

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