SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLES

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 PRESS RELEASE Göttingen, 14.08.2008

Anniversary of the dreadful attack at Sinjar (14.08.2007)
 The Yezidi community in Germany remembers the 336 dead — Head of the
 Yezidi expected from Iraq

The Yezidi living in Germany are commemorating this Saturday in Lollar
 near Giessen the victims of the dreadful attack at Sinjar in the
 north-west of Iraq, in which one year ago 336 Yezidi were killed and 1000
 families made homeless. The Society of the Yezidi living in Giessen, which
 is organising the memorial service, is expecting hundreds of Yezidi from
 all over Germany, many Christian and Moslem guests and as an outstanding
 participant the temporal head of the Yezidi from Iraq, Mir Tahsim Saeed
 Beg.

In the attack on 14th August 2007 two Yezidi estates were completely
 destroyed. Moslem terrorists had filled several lorries with explosives,
 one of which was disguised as a water-carrier, driven them into the two
 towns and set them off simultaneously.

The Yezidi are a religious minority among the Kurds, who are for the most
 part Moslems. They are a religious community, which is thousands of years
 old and neither Christian nor Islamic, speaking a Kurmanci dialect of
 Kurdish. Their total number is estimated by the Society for Threatened
 Peoples at approximately 800,000 in the Near-East and in the European
 diaspora. Most of them live in the north of Iraq, where there are some
 550,000. In Armenia there are about 18,000 Yezidi, in Syria about 5,000
 and in Georgia still 1,200. The approximately 50,000 Yezidi living in
 Germany came mostly as religious refugees from Turkey. Their number there
 today is estimated at something above 400.

In the north-west Iraqi mountainous region of Sinjar the Yezidi make up
 with about 400,000 about 80% of the population. The roads leading from the
 province of Mosul to this north-western mountainous region are mostly
 blocked or only passable at risk of death. The only link which offers a
 degree of safety runs through Dohuk and Al-Rabia, although here too the
 threat of attack by Islamist terrorists is increasing.

The memorial service takes place on Saturday, 16.08.2008 and begins at
 15.30
 in the Justus-Killian-Str. 25 in 35457 Lollar near Giessen.

The GfbV Near-East consultant, Dr. Kamal Sido, is available to answer