SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) –  Yazidi mothers should decide fate of Islamic State children: Nadia Murad – Yazidi Human rights activist Nadia Murad Basee Taha,

29 April 2019 – MESOP – HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Yazidi survivor and Nobel laureate Nadia Murad issued a video statement on Sunday addressing the Yazidi Spiritual Council decision not to accept children born from rape by Islamic State (ISIS) militants.

The Spiritual Council made the clarification on Saturday, days after it implied “all” survivors would be taken in.

In a statement published Saturday, the council said coverage of its earlier statement was “distorting the truth”.

“About the decision to accept the female survivors and children, we did not mean the children born as a result of rape at all, but those who were born from Yazidi parents and were kidnapped during the invasion of Sinjar [Shingal] by Daesh on August 3, 2014,” the council said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The Yazidi faith does not accept marriage and conception between Yazidis and non-Yazidis, nor does it allow conversion.It appears the Spiritual Council made the U-turn after Yazidi political parties and others within the community objected.

Responding to the development, Murad said children born of ISIS rape are an “international and humanitarian” matter.

“I know that this is a difficult decision. This is something new and hard for our nation,” Murad said in the video posted to her Facebook page late Sunday.“This is a hard and historic decision, but our case does not only concern us.”

The birth of children fathered by ISIS fighters was out of the Yazidi women’s control, she said.“The mothers of these children have approached the UN, organizations and governments. Many of them have said that their children have been rejected,” Murad said.

“I was in contact with many women and they told me they have been rescued [from ISIS] but are living in camps, mountains, and [foreign] countries, afraid to return as they have been told that their children will not be accepted.”

“I believe this should be determined by the mothers of the children and their families rather than the fact that each of us say: ‘No, they should not bring [their children]’ while other say ‘They should bring [them]’.”

Murad said the Yazidis and the international community must not lose sight of greater issues afflicting the persecuted minority group.“Only this morning three of our [Yazidi] brothers were exhumed from a mass grave in Kocho. I have not broken the news to you due to talking with people about these children,” Murad said.

Following years of delay, a UN team recently began exhuming mass grave sites in the Shingal village of Kocho.Murad called on Yazidis to find a humanitarian solution “so that we can know what to tell people and return to our greater issues such as Sinjar [Shinga], its reconstruction, mass graves, and the thousands of missing people.”

In August 2014, the Islamic State ISIS militants attacked the Sinjar district, which was home to hundreds of thousands of Yazidis, after Massoud Barzani’s KDP peshmerga forces withdrew from the area without a fight leaving behind the Yazidi civilians to IS killing and genocide.

Thousands of Yazidi women were raped and murdered, with many of the survivors sold into sexual slavery and taken away to other parts of Iraq, Syria, and even further afield. Men and boys were systematically murdered, forced to work for the group, or coerced into becoming child soldiers.

It is estimated that 3,000 Yazidis were killed over a period of several days and 6,800 others were abducted.

Although several thousand Yazidis have been rescued over the last four-and-a-half years, another 3,000 remain missing. The Yazidis are a Kurdish speaking religious group linked to Zoroastrianism and Sufism. The religious has roots that date back to ancient Mesopotamia, are considered heretics by the hard-line Islamic State group.

Some 600,000 Yazidis live in villages in Iraqi Kurdistan region and in Kurdish areas outside Kurdistan region in around Mosul in Nineveh province, with additional communities in Transcaucasia, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and Syria. Since the 1990s, the Yazidis have emigrated to Europe, especially to Germany. There are almost 1.5 million Yazidis worldwide.