Baghdad (IraqiNews.com): Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of expelling Yezidi families from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to Sinjar as their relatives joined al-Hashd al-Shaabi.
The KRG had expelled at least four Yezidi families and threatened others since June because their relatives’ joined al-Hashd al-Shaabi, HRW said on Sunday.
HRW stressed that the expulsion of Yezidi families from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region because a relative joined al-Hashd al-Shaabi ‘amounts to collective punishment in violation of international law’.
Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said, “Kurdistan Regional Government authorities should stop expelling Yezidi families because of their relatives’ actions, a form of collective punishment,”
“These displaced families have the right not to be forcibly returned to their still-damaged home villages,” she added.
The HRW said that it spoke to three Yezidi commanders who said that Yezidi forces had been merged into al-Hashd al-Shaabi under the name Yezidi Brigades Kata’ib Ezidkhan, and control four areas in Sinjar.
In 2016, HRW had documented cases in which the KRG’s security forces, Asayish, force families to leave the camps and areas in and around Dohuk and threatened to expel others from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region after knowing that their children had joined forces affiliated with the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sinjar.