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Funeral of 41 Yazidis executed by ISIS militants in Sinjar, Iraq

On Monday, a solemn funeral took place at the Martyrs' Monument in Baghdad for the remains of 41 Yazidi civilians killed by the terrorist organization ISIS after the capture of Sinjar district in Nineveh Governorate in August 2014.

In August 2014, ISIS occupied Mount Sinjar in Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq, where the Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking minority, live, and have been killed and persecuted by the organization.

Members of the Iraqi Honor Guard (AFP) during the official funeral of 41 victims of the Yazidi minority who were executed by ISIS militants in front of the Martyrs' Monument in Baghdad.

Its members killed scores of people and detained and imprisoned thousands of women and girls. Although more than 6,400 of them were abducted, half of them were rescued or managed to escape, and the fate of the rest remains unknown.

The funeral was held Monday at the Martyrs' Monument in Baghdad, and the bodies of the victims, draped in Iraqi flags, accompanied by pictures of the dead, were carried in honor guard vehicles accompanied by military music. Choir, according to Agence France-Presse.

An official funeral for 41 victims of the Yazidi minority executed by ISIS militants in front of the Martyrs' Monument in Baghdad (AFP)

The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Health Saleh Mahdi Al Hasnawi on behalf of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani and officials from various government departments, members of the House of Representatives, religious and social figures and many others. Martyrs' families.

During the ceremony, Minister of Health Saleh Al-Hasnawi said: The Department of Forensic Medicine has completed forensic tests on about 41 remains of Yazidi martyrs and handed them over to their families (today, Monday), bringing the total number. There are about 188 remains of the Yazidi brothers and their families.

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Official funerals for 41 victims of the Yazidi minority executed by ISIS militants in front of the Martyrs' Monument in Baghdad (AFP)

The Minister pointed out that the Forensic Department will conduct compliance checks on all the remains recovered from the graves which are opened from time to time and prepare them in the form of food and give them to their families. “

The Forensic Department in Baghdad says: “The remains were handed over to their families after laboratory matching and DNA testing at the mass graves section of the Forensic Medicine Department.”

Two Yazidi women weep for their relatives among the 41 killed by ISIS militants during a funeral in front of the Martyrs' Monument in Baghdad (AFP)

Abdel-Ila Al-Neili, head of the Martyrs' Foundation, who attended the ceremony, said: “The funeral took place thanks to the efforts of the mass graves and forensic departments in the Ministry of Health. Martyrs' bodies are moral rights and our foundation continues to provide material rights to martyrs' families.

He called on all the families of the victims who have not filed their financial rights in Sinjar and elsewhere to visit the Martyrs Trust and start pursuing their rights.

Last week, the Ministry of Health handed over the remains of 172 people killed in Anfal operations against Kurdish civilians in the 1980s by the “defunct Baath” regime to a group from the Kurdistan Region. Al-Muthanna (South) in the Sheqiya area of ​​the Samawa desert in the governorate, most of them infants and women.

Official funerals for 41 victims of the Yazidi minority executed by ISIS militants in front of the Martyrs' Monument in Baghdad (AFP)

Although almost 9 years have passed since the liberation of the district in November 2015, the issues related to the moment of ISIS occupation, identifying the remains of the disappeared and knowing the fate of the captives and the disappeared, besides related issues. Displacement and many residents who did not return, still remain.

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Hussain Ghaidi, director of the Office for the Rescue of Abducted Yazidis and an adviser to the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region, said that 3,576 Yazidis have been rescued so far, while about 2,600 remain missing.

Two Yazidis mourn for their relatives during a funeral in front of the Martyrs' Monument (AFP) in Baghdad, among the 41 executed by ISIS militants.

Hussain Ghaidi told Rudaw media network yesterday: “Since opening our office in October 2014, we have been able to rescue 3,576 Yazidis, including 1,208 women, 339 men, and the rest are children of two. genders.”

According to the office's statistics, 135,000 Yazidi citizens still live in displacement camps in the Kurdistan Region, compared to more than 120,000 people who have migrated to European countries and the United States since 2014.

Official funerals for 41 victims of the Yazidi minority executed by ISIS militants in front of the Martyrs' Monument in Baghdad (AFP)

In March 2021, the Iraqi parliament voted on a law for Yazidi women who had escaped ISIS. The Act includes financial and moral rights and compensation for survivors.

For his part, Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil, who attended the funeral, told Agence France-Presse that “there are still many unidentified” victims of ISIS. He added: “There is a slow pace in the government's procedures regarding DNA testing,” confirming that “there are 68 mass graves” of Yazidi victims.

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