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Armenia recognises genocide of Yazidis in Iraq Open in fullscreen

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Armenia recognises genocide of Yazidis in Iraq

The UN has called the massacres of Yazidis a genocide. [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 January, 2018

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IS militants murdered Yazidis in their thousands in 2014 and abducted thousands of women and teenage girls to make them sex slaves.

Armenia's parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution recognising the 2014 genocide of the Yazidi community in Iraq by the Islamic State group.

The Yazidi community in Iraq comprised some 550,000 people before it was scattered by attacks from IS, with hundreds of thousands displaced or fleeing the country.

IS militants murdered Yazidis in their thousands in 2014 and abducted thousands of women and teenage girls to make them sex slaves.

"With this resolution we not only recognise and condemn the genocide, we also call on the international community to lead an international investigation," said Rustam Makhmudyan, the Yazidi deputy of a parliamentary human rights commission.

"As a nation that has lived through genocide, the Armenian people understand the significance of this recognition," said Armen Ashotyan, a ruling party lawmaker. 

There are around 35,000 Yazidis in Armenia, making them the largest minority group in the country.

During the IS massacres, several dozen Yazidi families fled from northern Iraq to Armenia. 

Yazda, an advocacy, aid and relief organization for the Yazidi community, called the Armenian resolution "historic".

"The Yazidi genocide is the latest capital crime of our century, the world should recognize this crime and accept the fact it happened, not only recognize it, but take the steps to stop it and adopt mechanisms to ensure it will not be repeated in the future" Yazda's executive director Murad Ismael said.

Kurdish Iraqi officials in December said around half of the Yazidis kidnapped by IS are still missing and that 47 mass graves containing the remains of Yazidis have been found since 2014. 

The UN has called the massacres of Yazidis a genocide, arguing that IS had planned them and then intentionally separated men from women to prevent Yazidi children from being born. 

The Yazidis are Kurdish-speaking but follow their own non-Muslim faith that earned them the hatred of the Sunni Muslim extremists of IS. 

The UN has called the massacres of Yazidis a genocide, arguing that IS had planned them and then intentionally separated men from women to prevent Yazidi children from being born. 

The Yazidis are Kurdish-speaking but follow their own non-Muslim faith that earned them the hatred of the Sunni Muslim extremists of IS. 

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