Remains of Ezidi victims to be reburied in two cemeteries in Shingal

Ninewa- Forensic team unearth first mass grave in Shingal’s Kojo village, March 15, 2019 Photo: AFP


Remains of Ezidi victims slaughtered by Islamic State fighters are due to be reburied in two cemeteries soon after the remains exhumed from mass graves are identified.

Last June, the Council of Ezidi Victims’ Relatives decided to establish two cemeteries to rebury remains of Ezidi victims.

Dawud Murad Khatari, head of the council’s relations and media office, speaking to KirkukNow, said, "The council convened on June 12 and reached two decisions at regarding the reburial of Ezidi victims."

The meeting has decided that a cemetery would be built west of the Shingal (Sinjar) district, while a second cemetery is due to be in Kojo village, which will be allocated for victims from the same village.

Khatari said that the Kojo cemetery will be built on a plot of land donated by a local resident.

Thousands of Ezidis in Kojo and other parts of Shingal were mass murdered by IS militants and were buried in dozens of scattered mass graves in the area.

The first mass grave in Kojo village was unearthed on March 15, 2019 in a ceremony attended relatives of the victims, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Nadia Murad and Ezidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh.

Sheikhan- Members of the Council of Ezidi Victims’ Relatives after meeting with Ezidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh, May 2019   Photo: the council’s media

Major Falah Hassan, head of the Mass Graves Directorate in Shingal earlier told KirkukNow that the exhumation process is moving on slowly raising the concern of some of the victims' relatives; however, he stressed that the process is “extremely difficult.”

According to latest figures released by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s Directorate of Ezidis Affairs, more than 80 mass graves along with dozens of individual graves, have been found in Shingal.

According to Khatari, So far, the remains of 200 victims have been unearthed.

The Council of Ezidi Victims’ Relatives was founded in May, 2019 and is made up of 15 members, all relatives of victims and survivors of IS brutality.

A delegation from the council is due to visit Baghdad to complete the legal procedures needed for the construction of the two cemeteries.

In August 2014, the IS attacked the Ezidis’ ancestral homeland of Shingal, 120 km west of Ninewa province.

As many as 2,893 people were killed while the fate of more than 3 thousand Ezidis abducted by the group, most of them women, remains unknown.

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