Nadia Murad's statement on the occasion of the Armenian Genocide

On behalf of the Yazidi community, I wish to extend our compassion and understanding to our Armenian sisters and brothers, who are today commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Just over a century ago, the Ottoman Turkish authorities perpetrated a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Yazidis. Millions were killed or perished on death marches without food or water, just as our Yazidi people were murdered on Mt Sinjar in 2014 at the hands of ISIS. Armenian women and children were abducted, forcibly converted, raped, trafficked and forced to marry their perpetrators, tortures that thousands of our Yazidi women and children are enduring now. Yazidis and Armenians have been neighbours for centuries. The Armenian Genocide, which began on 24 April 1915, displaced so many. Yazidis numbered more than half a million people in Turkey a century ago. Now there are only a few hundred. In contrast, Armenia is home to tens of thousands of Yazidis and grants them freedom to practise their religion and culture, and to participate fully in political and social life. Turkey still today denies the genocide of the Armenians, a denial that is entrenched in the Turkish establishment and compounds the intergenerational trauma for Armenians. As Yazidis, we call on the global community to recognise the heinous crimes committed against the Armenians and other minorities by the Ottoman Turks. And let this also be a reminder to the world of the importance of recognition and perpetrator accountability. I hope that in 100 years, Yazidis are not still asking for acknowledgement of the crimes they endured under ISIS, but rather, that the history books will tell of perpetrators being prosecuted and a Yazidi community that is surviving and flourishing, like the Armenians are today.