Mission

The Free Yezidi Foundation is designed to assist Yezidis in need. The Foundation was established shortly after terrorists attempted to eradicate the Yezidi people in August 2014. The Free Yezidi Foundation seeks to implement projects to protect and support the most vulnerable members of the Yezidi community.

The Foundation

  • The Free Yezidi Foundation is a politically independent, non-profit organisation
  • The Free Yezidi Foundation is an officially registered charity in the Netherlands and is designed to operate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
  • The Free Yezidi Foundation will operate under the guidance of a Supervisory Board and will be led by an Executive Director
  • The Free Yezidi Foundation operates under the following guiding principles:
    • Community
    • Responsibility
    • Growth
    • Commitment
    • Professionalism

Areas of Primary Focus

  • Child Protection
  • Support for victims of gender-based violence
  • Support for minority communities
  • Recognition of crimes against humanity and acts of genocide
  • General civil society organisation support for minority communities

Supervisory Board

Pari Ibrahim left Kurdistan with her family when she was three years old, fleeing attacks by the Saddam Hussein regime. She had lived outside the city of Duhok in the town of Khanke. She now resides with her family in the Netherlands, and leads the efforts to raise funds for the Foundation and awareness of the plight of the Yezidis.

After the ISIS attacks on Sinjar and the Yezidi population in August 2014, Ms Ibrahim founded the Free Yezidi Foundation to help Yezidi civilians in need and raise awareness of the situation. On behalf of the Foundation, she has spoken at the United Nations Security Council, the British Parliament, and a number of prominent universities and think tanks in the United States and elsewhere. Pari has also been active in organising protests and speaking with the media, including Al-Monitor, the BBC, and the Dutch news show Brandpunt. After the first fact-finding missions to meet with survivors, Ms Ibrahim understood that the Foundation would be most effective by providing services and assistance to survivors in the IDP camps. She has spearheaded FYF efforts to establish women's and children's centers in one such camp, leads the FYF justice project, and conducts general advocacy to promote greater humanitarian and human rights support to Yezidi civilians.

Ms Ibrahim studied at the University of Amsterdam. She speaks Kurdish (Kurmanji), Dutch, English, and German.
Rolf C. Carriere studied development economics at Groningen State University in the 1960’s. From 1971 he served in the UN system for the next 34 years (mostly with UNICEF and World Bank, and mostly in Asia). His last field postings were as UNICEF Country Representative in Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indonesia, and he also served for 7 years as UNICEF’s Head of Health and Nutrition in India. Immediately before retirement he was the first Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a new public-private-people’s partnership based in Geneva. In retirement Mr Carriere advises civil society organizations, mainly in unarmed civilian protection, trauma healing and global governance. He is currently Senior Adviser (pro bono) to the Nonviolent Peaceforce, Adviser to EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program (trauma treatment), and also Board Member of the Union of International Associations in Brussels.

A development economist by training, Mr Carriere has focused on the development and scaling up of programmes of malnutrition control, selective primary health care, maternal mortality, elimination of child labor, trauma recovery and educational reform.
Allyson Nelson is a licensed attorney with an extensive professional history in the fields of women’s and children’s rights, as well as counter-terrorism. Ms Nelson began her career as a prosecutor of sex crimes, domestic violence, and child abuse in a large, metropolitan city, utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach that encompassed work with the Child Advocacy Center, Child Protective Services, and other advocacy groups.

Subsequently, Ms Nelson worked on anti-human trafficking initiatives in Moscow, Russia. She then served as an advisor on women’s issues to the Kurdistan Regional Government, and was a member of the High Commission on Violence Against Women. While in Kurdistan, Ms Nelson worked with both government and non-government officials, as well as law enforcement, women’s shelter staff, and medical professionals, to implement effective strategies and solutions to address the unique concerns faced by women and children impacted by acts of violence, including honor killings and domestic and sexual violence. Ms Nelson also served as an advisor with the United States Department of State, assisting Afghan prosecutors with cases of terror suspects at the Justice Center in Parwan, the National Security Court of Afghanistan.
Gay Rosenblum-Kumar worked with the United Nations for 25 years, and in her last post leading the Secretariat of the UN Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action (FT), an informal, interagency mechanism that supported UN Headquarters agencies and Country Teams to deepen their work in conflict prevention and transformation. In that capacity, she played a major role in developing new conceptual and operational approaches to early conflict prevention policy and practice in the UN system.

She has been involved in early warning, conflict analysis and response development, facilitation, capacity-building for mediation and dialogue, support to electoral violence prevention campaigns, and promoting conflict-sensitive policy and practice. Ms Rosenblum-Kumar has conducted educational and skills training workshops on conflict transformation for the UN at Headquarters, in field offices, for Pearson Peacekeeping Center in Canada and at a number of schools and universities. Since leaving the UN in July 2014, she is teaching courses on the UN and on peacebuilding at New York University, assisting the Nonviolent Peaceforce as a Senior Advisor for Advocacy and Outreach in NY, overseeing a research project on reconciliation in the Western Balkans, and working on an intergovernmental initiative to develop a knowledge network and resource centre on atrocity prevention and ‘dealing with the past’ after violence.
David Sklar worked for six years as an advisor to the Kurdistan Regional Government in the Department of Foreign Relations and in the Office of the Prime Minister. In that capacity, he advocated for greater and stronger diplomatic presence in Erbil, for the KRG to better communicate its activities and decision making to citizens, and to improve the transparency of private sector job opportunities, also writing speeches and providing policy and communications advice.

Two months after ISIS took over Shingal in 2014, David left the KRG and began working on the Yezidi cause as a board member of the Free Yezidi Foundation (pro bono).

David studied at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Catherine van Kampen, an American-trained and licensed attorney, has focused her legal career on commercial litigation, government investigations, healthcare compliance and securities law. Ms. van Kampen is certified in Healthcare Regulatory Compliance and E-discovery. Catherine is fluent in Dutch and understands basic German.

Since 2010 Ms. van Kampen has practiced at a prestigious international securities firm in New York as a team leader of large attorney teams litigating complex securities, healthcare and financial fraud cases from case inception through trial preparation. Ms. van Kampen has worked on numerous trans-border Dutch language document reviews on behalf of Dutch and Belgian banks, investment firms, pension funds and corporations.

Prior to pursuing a full-time career in law, she served as a Vice President at InterPublic/FCB New York, a global advertising agency and In-house Counsel for Centric Communications Worldwide, a New York-based media and marketing agency she co-founded. Ms. van Kampen’s clients included the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, the Berlin Tourist Board, the City and Port of Rotterdam and the Amsterdam Diamond Center. Her work on behalf of the British Virgin Islands, including establishing the New York-based British Virgin Islands Press Office, received numerous industry awards including the Forbes American Business Award for Advertising. During her PR career, Catherine worked with thousands of journalists to develop stories about her clients which have appeared in major media outlets throughout the world.

Ms. van Kampen attended Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, New Jersey, where she was honored as a Distinguished Alumni for her volunteer and humanitarian work. She is a graduate of Indiana University and the Seton Hall University School of Law. During law school, Ms. van Kampen interned at the Seton Hall University Center for Social Justice Immigration Law Clinic, working for indigent clients seeking asylum and focusing on violence against immigrant women. After law school, Ms. Van Kampen clerked for the Honorable Margaret M. McVeigh in New Jersey Superior Court, Civil Division, and was trained as a court-certified mediator. Ms. van Kampen is also a graduate of the Inns of Court.

Ms. van Kampen has lived and studied in Zwolle, Netherlands as an American Field Student. She has traveled extensively throughout North America, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe. She has served on the Board of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, Saint John’s Academy and been active in organizations to promote global tourism and cultural exchange. Ms. van Kampen is currently a volunteer for several international, humanitarian, educational and professional development associations, focusing on women and children. She has been a pro-bono attorney since 1998.

Ms. van Kampen wrote Yezidi Girl, a poem dedicated to Pari Ibrahim and the Free Yezidi Foundation, which can be found online at www.yezidigirl.com
Naomi Kikoler is an expert on conflict and mass atrocity prevention. She leads the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum policy engagement with the United States government, Congress and the United Nations. Previously she led the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect’s global policy and advocacy work, including its UN Security Council advocacy on crisis situations. She is currently leading a project on Iraq and the Islamic State to assess threats and craft policy recommendations for civilian protection. Her 2015 report on ISIS’ atrocities helped to galvanize the US government’s to recognize ISIS’ commission of genocide against religious minorities. A leading strategist, Naomi is a lecturer on international human rights advocacy at the New School University, a board member of the Canadian Centre for R2P, and an adviser to NGO’s working on atrocity prevention. Prior to joining the Global Centre in 2008, Naomi worked on national security law and policy for Amnesty International Canada. She has also worked for the UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Brookings Institution’s Project on Internal Displacement and as a Carter Center election monitor in Kenya. Naomi is a graduate of McGill’s Faculty of Law, Oxford University and the University of Toronto. She also loves East African markets, Kurdish food, all things Canadian and is finally learning how to run.

Naomi joins the Free Yezidi Foundation board strictly in a personal capacity, advising FYF leadership on a number of objectives regarding the pursuit of justice, international and domestic legal options for survivors, and advocacy strategies.
Rebecca Tinsley is a former BBC journalist who founded Network for Africa, an NGO which provides training in trauma counseling to survivors of genocide and conflict. Following a visit to Darfur at the height of the killing, she also started Article 1, an NGO helping people fleeing the Sudanese regime. She was a trustee of the Bosnian Support Fund which helped survivors of the Balkan wars; a founding trustee of the Carter Centre in Europe, and was a member of Human Rights Watch’s London council. Rebecca writes about Africa, genocide, and development for several online publications. Her commercially-published novel, When the Stars Fall to Earth, takes place in Sudan.

Rebecca’s team visited the Free Yezidi Foundation in Kurdistan in 2018, training a brigade of women in counseling skills. She has a law degree from the London School of Economics.

www.RebeccaTinsley.com
Simon Minks is a National Senior Public Prosecutor of the Netherlands, specialising in counter terrorism and war crimes. Since 2015, he has (also) resumed position as Liaison Magistrate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY, now MICT: Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals), and the Embassies. As sole liaison magistrate in the Netherlands dealing with a host of international situations involving conflict of interests, Minks has an established reputation as an expert accomplished in highly effective diplomatic skills. Previous to his position as (senior) public prosecutor, he was a practising lawyer for ten years and a (substitute) judge in Haarlem for three years.

Simon Minks’ list of successful prosecutions (most of them in the appeal stage) includes five members of the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for their role in the armed conflict in Sri Lanka (April 2015). In December of that year, nine members of an international terrorist group related to Syria and Iraq, which included recruiters and fighters for IS and Jabhat al-Nusra were also brought to trial. Also in 2016 he prosecuted foreign terrorist fighters and is currently dealing with new cases. He is also one of the two prosecutors investigating the suicide of the ICTY convict Mr Praljak who took his life at the premises of the YCTY in November 2017. Three years in near succession, he prosecuted (in appeal) Somali pirates.

Trafigura, the world’s third largest private oil and base metals trader involved in several scandals, was successfully prosecuted (in appeal) by Minks in 2011 for exporting illegal toxic chemical waste to Ivory Coast causing death and injury to more than 30,000 inhabitants. Prosecuted in appeal, seven members of a terrorist organisation known as the Hofstad group were convicted by the court of appeal and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment. An extremely sensitive, complicated and highly controversial case worth mentioning is Minks’ involvement as one of the prosecutors in the decision not to prosecute three former UN Dutchbat commanders for their role in the Srebrenica massacres. According to the Court of Appeal, the prosecutors had made the right decision.

Earlier, in 2004, one of his most noteworthy prosecutions was the arrest of Frans van Anraat, the first man convicted in connection with alleged war crimes committed against Kurds in Iraq and Iran. Following an international investigation, Anraat was found guilty of supplying Saddam Hussein with chemicals in the full knowledge that they would be used in the manufacture and deployment of chemical weapons.

In 2013, 2014 and 2017 he attended as expert speaker an UN expert meeting in Geneva, which dealt with the prosecution of companies accused of human rights violations. Minks gives workshops, training sessions/ presentations for prosecutors, judges and police/public officials about prosecuting warcrimes and terrorism both national and international. Equipped with significant expertise in legal forensic matters, Minks attended as participant and trainer at a mock trial for nuclear global experts, organised by the Dutch Forensic Institute. Currently, he is a member of the Master of Forensic Science Advisory Board of the University of Amsterdam.

Staff

  • Silav IbrahimCountry Director
  • Hewan OmerCountry Coordinator
  • Mamo HajiCamp Center Manager
  • Tiffany ProegerAdministration and Finance
  • Eelke HalbertsmaWebsite and Communications