Iraq News

Children born to ISIS fathers not considered Yazidi: council

Children born to Yazidi women as a result of rape by “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) fighters will not be permitted to join the community in northern Iraq, the faith's Supreme Spiritual Council said.

Those children have been the subject of fierce debate in the community, which only recognises children as Yazidis if both their parents hail from the sect, AFP reported Sunday (April 28th).

Supreme Spiritual Council head Hazem Tahsin Said last week issued what appeared to be a landmark shift, with an order "accepting all survivors (of ISIS crimes) and considering what they went through to have been against their will".

This was hailed as "historic" by Yazidi activists, who understood it to mean that children born of rape would be allowed to live among their Yazidi relatives.

But on Saturday, the council published a clarification that the decision "does not include children born of rape, but refers to children born of two Yazidi parents".

The Yazidi community had long considered any women marrying outside the sect to no longer be Yazidi, initially including those assaulted by ISIS in 2014.

But Yazidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh issued a decision the following year welcoming those women back home, without resolving the fate of their children.

Earlier this month, Iraqi President Barham Saleh proposed a bill to parliament that would provide reparations for Yazidi female survivors of ISIS crimes and establish a court to clarify "civil status" issues.

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