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Human Services

Human Rights Watch slams expulsion of Yezidis from Iraqi Kurdistan

The expulsion of Yezidi families from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) because a relative joined the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Sha'abi or PMF) amounts to collective punishment in violation of international law, Human Rights Watch reported.

'Kurdistan Regional Government authorities should stop expelling Yezidi families because of their relatives' actions, a form of collective punishment, HRW quoted Deputy Middle East Director at Human Rights Watch Lama Fakih as saying.

These displaced families have the right not to be forcibly returned to their still-damaged homes in villages, he added.

Human Rights Watch spoke to three Yezidi commanders who said that Yezidi forces had been integrated into the PMF under the name Yezidi Brigades (Kata'ib Ezidkhan), with the forces holding positions in four areas of Sinjar. Sinjar is technically under Iraqi central government administrative control, but KRG security forces remain active in the area and control the main road from Sinjar to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Human Rights Watch received reports from a Yezidi rights' activist of another 15 Yezidi families who were expelled and returned to Sinjar by Asayish forces, but could not confirm the report.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

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