Today marks one year since the barbaric terrorist attack against the civilians of the town of Kojo. Days after the massacre at Sinjar, the attack on Kojo was not unpredictable. But the civilians had no place to hide, surrounded by terrorists. Kojo is a small Yezidi-majority town, peaceful and self-reliant, not far from Sinjar.

Unfortunately, local, state, regional, and global actors failed in the fundamental duty to protect acts of genocide and crimes against humanity. Hundreds of men, some say as many as 800, were executed in the village of Kojo. Hundreds of women and young girls were abducted and most remain in the hands of terrorists, who can also legitimately be considered child molesters and rapists based on their own accounts of their behaviour.

The abject failure to protect civilians in Iraq and Syria – Yezidis but also other minorities, such as Iraqi Christians – is a shame upon the international community. Today we ask all friends of the Free Yezidi Foundation to think about the hundreds of victims of the Kojo massacre, the hundreds of women who remain in the hands of terrorists, and the survivors that have escaped and are now in camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The Free Yezidi Foundation is dedicated to the memory of our fallen civilians. In their memory, we work to provide assistance to the survivors.