104 victims of Yazidi massacre finally put to rest by families in Iraq

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Last week, the remains of Yazidi men, who were killed by Islamic State fighters in August 2014, were dug out and brought to their families and buried in northern Iraq. The task of exhuming the dead was conducted by Forensic Institute of Baghdad. The officials unearthed the dead from 17 mass graves left by the Islamic State (IS) group around the village of Kocho near Mount Sinjar in Ninevah province.

A team of forensic doctors examined dead bodies to identifying the victims and cause of the death. Dr. Mohammed Ihsan, Head of the Anthropology Department of Baghdad told reporters.”With a living person you can use the profile of their eyes or their fingers, but in mass graves where people have been buried for more than a year the only method is to identify this person is using DNA.”

The United Nations called it a genocide carried by IS against the Yazidi community, wherein 104 men were killed while many children and women were taken into captivity by the extremists and faced physical, mental and sexual assault. Amnesty International, in its report published in July 2020, mentioned that about 2000 Yazidi children who were captured by the IS, faced so much brutality at the hands of extremists that they were still suffering from physical and mental health issues.

The head of the Yazidi Organisation for Documentation, Khairi Ali Ibrahim, said that the bodies of all the 104 Yazidi men, who were identified by the authorities were given a funeral at the Unknown Soldier memorial in Baghdad on Thursday before they were taken to their native place, Kocho.Each coffin had a picture of the deceased on the top, who lost his life in the massacre.

As per the reports, before IS established its stronghold over Iraq, there were about 550,000 Yazidis living in the country, but many were butchered on the fateful day of 3 August 2014 when IS invaded the area. The authorities added that about 360,000 Yazidis managed to escape the horror and found refuge elsewhere.

Yazidi human rights activist Mirza Dinnayi said,“This is a first step in respecting the remains of these victims and it will be also a step of transitional justice that the other victims, the women, the children, who survived the genocide will be compensated.” He added, “I hope that we can do far more in protecting the Yazidi and to say never again for the future.”

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