http://diyaruna.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_di/features/2019/07/10/feature-02?di_exp_001=true

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Human Rights |

Iraq recovers 6 Yazidis from Syria's al-Hol camp

By Khalid al-Taie

Medics assist a Yazidi woman after she was freed from ISIS on March 31st. [Photo courtesy of Hussein Qaidi, the director of the Yazidis Abductees Affairs Office]

Six Yazidis who were abducted from Iraq's Sinjar district by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) in 2014 have been retrieved from a displacement camp in north-eastern Syria, an Iraqi official announced Wednesday (July 10th).

"The authorities in charge of al-Hol camp in the Syrian province of al-Hasakeh have handed over to the Iraqi Office for Yazidi Abductees Affairs team five Yazidi women and one child," office director Hussein Qaidi told Diyaruna.

"The women are between 23 and 30 years of age, and the child is 12," he said.

"They were first transferred (from al-Hasakeh) to Sinjar district, and then to Dohuk province, where their relatives received them," Qaidi said.

The survivors were among the thousands of Yazidi women and children abducted by ISIS when it overran Sinjar in August 2014.

"They have suffered from very bad conditions, as the ISIS gangs had trafficked them, moved them around, and tortured and starved them," he said.

After ISIS was defeated in a ground offensive carried out by the Syrian Democratic Forces in co-ordination with the international coalition, they were rescued and taken to al-Hol displacement camp, Qaidi said.

"They will now receive intensive medical treatment in order to reintegrate them into the community and to erase the psychological effects and ideological traces ISIS had tried to instill in their minds," he said.

Retrieving, rehabilitating Yazidis

"The office has a special centre for psychological rehabilitation in Dohuk province, which oversees health treatment and support services for all Yazidi abductees who have been rescued from the terrorists' hands," Qaidi said.

Preparations are under way to retrieve another group of Yazidi survivors from Syria, he said.

"We have information about Yazidi children and women in areas liberated from ISIS control in north-eastern Syria, and great efforts are being made to return them to the country and into the arms of their families," he said.

In the last five years, there have been 3,476 Yazidi recorded survivors of ISIS crimes, most of them women and children, Qaidi said.

But despite the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, "there are some 2,900 Yazidis whose fate is still unknown", he added.

"Our teams, in co-operation with the rest of the supporting authorities, are working at full capacity to investigate the whereabouts of Yazidi survivors, whether in Iraq or in Syria, and to arrange for them to return to their families," he said.

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