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On 2 and 3 August 2017, a delegation of the Kurdish-European Society (KES) participated in the commemorative event of the Central Council of the Ezidis in Germany on the occasion of the third anniversary of the genocide against the Ezidis on 3 August 2014 in Shingal (Iraq). The delegation consisted of Kahraman Evsen, Zemfira Dlovani and Nabil Chaker. Numerous guests from politics and society attended the event. KES is committed to the rights of religious and ethnic minorities (especially the rights of the Ezidis) in Kurdistan and advocates a democratic and independent Kurdistan based on the rule of law.

The President of KES Kahraman Evsen gave the following speech:

 

Dear Mr. Chairman of the Central Council of the Ezidis in Germany,

Dear Irfan,

Dear Sir or Madam,

In the name of the Kurdish-European Society, I thank the Central Council for allowing me to be here today. The terrible event on 3 April 2014 has been anchored into our collective memory.

A few weeks before it happened, I was in the region with my wife, the first time ever. We wanted to discover together my old home Kurdistan. I assured her that the region was safe. A few weeks later, the terrible attack happened and the horrible pictures went around the world.

The jihadist of the so-called Islamic state had attacked Ezidi villages and cities. They raped, abducted and murdered Ezidi girls and women. Today we commemorate the victims of this terrible genocide.

Even today, we wonder how this could happen. The Iraqi metropolis of Mossul was taken by the terrorists within days. The Iraqi forces simply ran away. Thousands of Kurdish forces were stationed in Shingal for the protection of the Ezidis. After the advance of the IS they withdrew completely. They left the Ezidis to their fate. The result was the 74th genocide against the Ezidis. As often in history, the Muslim Kurds were jointly responsible for the slaughter and assassination of the Ezidis.

On 3 April 2014, the already troubled relationship was put to a test. Many Ezidis feel once again betrayed and a growing number among them wants to have nothing to do with Muslim Kurds. I can understand this reaction very well. If I had been a victim, I probably would not have reacted differently.

For me and millions of other Muslim Kurds this rejection is still painful. We see the Ezidis and the Ezidi religion as an inseparable part of our Kurdish identity. Many of us regard the Ezidi religion as their origin religion.

At this point I ask forgiveness for the wrongs of my ancestors.

We cannot change the past, but we still have the future. I sincerely hope that our Ezidi brothers and sisters will one day be able to trust us again. For this we will do everything in our power.

Above all, the government of the Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan has a debt to the Ezidis. The withdrawal of the Peschmerga on 3 April 2014 has to be resolved with relentless clarity and the responsible persons brought to justice. The government must create the conditions for the Ezidis and other religious and ethnic minorities to live in peace and security in Kurdistan.

At this point, I would like to emphasize that, as the Kurdish-European society, we support the Independence Day in September 2017.

History has shown that only a Kurdish state can give the people of Kurdistan permanent peace and security. However, we support a Kurdish state only on the condition that Kurdistan is committed to democratic and constitutional principles, protects its minorities and allows them equal participation. A lot has already been done there, but there is still a lot to be done.

Thank you very much.