photo: Eddy van Wessel


Friday, September 2, 2016

European Friendship Group steps in to help Yezidis in and outside Iraq

Several European parliamentarians have formed a special Yezidi Friendship Group to help attract more attention for the community’s plight, says Yezidi activist Mirza Dinnayi, an adviser to the group.

From the Kurdistan Region, Dinnayi works with five parliamentarians from different European countries and parties to improve the situation of Yezidis inside Iraq as well as those who are stuck in Greece on their flight to Europe.

One of the most urgent issues they try to address is the situation of thousands of Yezidi refugees in Greece, Dinnayi says. “They live in a bad situation, are discriminated against, even within the camps, and some of the Arabs who are with Daesh threatened them.” Deash is the local name for the Islamic State (ISIS).

About 470 Yezidi refugees have found refuge in Idomeni camp in Greece. Dinnayi visited the camp with some members of the Friendship Group last month. One of them, Portuguese Anna Gomez, lobbied to have these refugees accepted in her country for resettlement.

But the plan got stuck in Greek bureaucracy, Dinnayi says. “Greece wants to register all the refugees first. That will take until next year. Only when we asked to make an exception, they eventually promised to do it within the next weeks.”
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