Since the emergence of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) in 2003, the terrorist militia has carried out targeted campaigns to annihilate many ethno-religious minorities, including Christians, Shiite Muslims, Shiite Turkmen, Shiite Shabaks, as well as the Yazidis. The persecution of the Yazidis was particularly cruel. On August 3 and 15, 2014, ISIS attacked about 20 villages and towns in the region of Shingal, the Yazidi’s ancestral homeland in Iraq. All men and boys over the age of 14, including the elderly, the sick, and the disabled, were executed in mass graves. The younger boys were used as child soldiers. Women and girls were separated from each other, many were raped and then sold into sexual and domestic slavery. More than 5,000 Yazidis were killed during the genocide in the cruelest possible way – the number of unreported cases is even higher. Half a million people became refugees overnight, hundreds of thousands fled to the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, where many still live in camps for internally displaced persons today.Show more
HÁWAR.help chairman and founder Düzen Tekkal travelled to Iraq at the time to report as a journalist on the atrocities committed against her community of faith. Düzen Tekkal is a Yezidi herself, her parents fled to Germany in the late 60s. Her trip to Iraq resulted in the film: HÁWAR – My Journey into Genocide in 2015. These images show how quickly genocide can become a reality 75 years after the Holocaust and in front of the eyes of our interconnected world. It begins with the dehumanization of people because of their faith, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. In 2015 Düzen Tekkal and her siblings founded the human rights organization HÁWAR.help. In the Kurdish language HÁWAR means “cry for help” – and it is exactly what Düzen Tekkal followed. With its projects, HÁWAR.help wants to give hope and live humanity. On the ashes of a genocide.