My statement on winning the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize

This morning the Nobel Committee informed me that I was selected as a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. I am incredibly honored and humbled by their support and I share this award with Yazidis, Iraqis, Kurds, other persecuted minorities and all of the countless victims of sexual violence around the world. 

As a survivor, I am grateful for this opportunity to draw international attention to the plight of the Yazidi people who have suffered unimaginable crimes since the genocide by Daesh, which began in 2014. Many Yazidis will look upon this prize and think of family members that were lost, are still unaccounted for, and of the 3000 women and children, which remain in captivity. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis, have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women in particular have suffered greatly as they have been, and continue to be the victims of sexual violence. 

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De-mining Operations Re-start in the Yazidi Homeland of Sinjar

Nadia’s Initiative is excited to announce de-mining operations in Sinuni, a sub-district in the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar have been restarted. This important effort comes after facing months of hurdles to re-establish operations across Nineveh Province. We would like to give special thanks to President Macron of France for acting on his commitment to de-mine the region and the United States Weapons and Removal and Abatement Office, with support from the U.S. Vice President’s Office.

The Yazidis suffered an unimaginable attack in August 2014, despite having lived in Sinjar for thousands of years. IS continues to ruthlessly target the region because of its spiritual and cultural significance. Forcing the Yazidis from the area, destroying their villages, religious sites, and community structures is an attempt to erase them from history - an explicit genocidal program.

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International Conference at Ministerial Level on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East.

I am honored to be here to discuss the plight of minorities who face persecution; I would like to talk about HOPE and REALITY.  

I survived the 2014 Yazidi genocide, as did other Yazidis - but many Yazidis didn’t survive; some were murdered and many remain in captivity.

The story of Yazidis suffering in Iraq did not begin with the arrival of  ISIS. Historically, the Yazidi community have always been deprived of their most basic rights in Iraq. Even today the Iraqi government and the government of Kurdistan impose a siege on Yezidi by closing the roads leading to Sinjar and Bashiqa – the area in which Yazidis live.  Most recently, Yazidis were promised five seats in the Iraqi parliament, according to the decision of the Federal Court of Iraq.  However, the Iraqi parliament refused and gave only one seat to the Yazidis in the elections which took place on May 12th.  So history has repeated itself - once  again The Yazidis is without proper representation in the next Iraqi parliament – one seat is completely disproportionate to the percentage of Yazidis living in Iraq.

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"Çarśema Séré Salé"

This Wednesday, April 18th, Yazidis around the world celebrate the Yazidi New Year, "Çarśema Séré Salé." It is our time to celebrate the creation of our universe, life, and nature. 

On the occasion of this New Year, I know we will continue to rebuild our community in the coming year. We will make progress despite the difficult aftermath of Da’esh's campaign of genocide against us.  

It has been more than three years since our community in Iraq was attacked. Thousands of Yazidi women and children remain in captivity. The majority of Yazidis in Iraq live in IDP camps. The reconstruction of our homeland has not started. 40% of our homeland has not been de-mined, and more than 47 discovered mass graves in Sinjar have not been examined. 

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Iraq Army in Sinjar

We are encouraged that the Iraq Army has moved into Sinjar to improve security on the ground. We are hopeful the Iraqi Army will replace the militias as the main security force . We encourage the Iraq government to include Yazidis as part of the Iraq army in these efforts. 

Nadia Murad Basee
UNODC Goodwill Ambassador
Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking

Afrin conflict foreshadows "ethnic cleansing" and genocide.

Today, I received information that the area of Afrin inhabited by Kurds, Yazidis and Christians is under siege from all sides. There is only one road through which people can leave the city. 200 civilians have been killed, including 3 Yazidi children. Shrines and religious sites have been destroyed or forcibly converted into mosques. People’s homes are being looted and minorities are being shamed by extremist militias. Many of these actions are war crimes and should be documented. This horror is reminiscent of the initial actions of ISIS in Iraq. Medical and healthcare services are urgently needed. This situation foreshadows "ethnic cleansing" and genocide. I appeal to the UN, the EU, and UN Security Council to demand that all sides respect the rights of civilians and work toward a cease fire. I also call on humanitarian organizations and UN agencies to provide support to civilians in the areas where access to food and medical is rapidly disappearing. All sides in Syria should work together for a peace process that will ensure peace, stability, the protection of the rights of all religious and ethnic minorities. Now is the time to heal wounds, avoid further escalations and return to normality for people in Iraq and Syria.