You are here

HRW slams Iraq failure to compensate Yazidis for lost homes

By AFP - May 10,2023 - Last updated at May 10,2023


BAGHDAD — Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticised Iraqi authorities on Tuesday for failing to pay compensation to those who lost homes during the Daesh terror group's brutal occupation of the Yazidi stronghold of Sinjar.

The Yazidis, whose pre-Islamic religion earned them the hatred of the Muslim extremists of Daesh, were subjected to massacres, forced marriages and sex slavery during the terrorists' 2014-15 rule in Sinjar.

Many of the mountain villages, where the Yazidis had preserved their minority faith and Kurdish language, were razed. Thousands remain in displaced persons' camps in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region farther east.

They have been unable to rebuild their homes because they have yet to receive compensation for the damage done by the extremists and by the Iraqi and US-led campaign to oust them, the rights group said.

"Without compensation, many Sinjaris lack the financial means to rebuild their homes and businesses, so returning home is simply not an option," said HRW Iraq researcher Sarah Sanbar.

“Iraqi authorities should distribute funds already earmarked for compensation to help people go home and rebuild their lives.”

As of 2023, the 200,000 Sinjaris who remain displaced include 85 per cent of the district’s Yazidi population.

Those who have returned face an unstable security situation and inadequate or nonexistent public services.

The first group of 420 Yazidi women received financial compensation under the Yazidi Survivors Law in February 2023.

Since the Sinjar Compensation Office opened in 2021, 10,500 Sinjaris have applied for compensation under a separate law, which entitles all Iraqis to claim compensation for damage done during the Daesh occupation and its aftermath, an office representative told HRW.

Although about 5,000 of these claims have been approved, not a single family has received the funds to which they are entitled, the representative said.


19 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.