Yazidi NGO Says Iraq HQ Closed By Kurdish Forces

Yazidi NGO says Iraq HQ closed by Kurdish forces

ARBIL, Iraq, Jan 4 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 04th Jan, 2017 ) : Kurdish security forces closed the Iraqi headquarters of an organisation that aids members of the Yazidi religious minority, which has been brutally targeted by militants, the group said on Wednesday.

The move by the Iraqi Kurdish asayesh forces to close the Yazda organisation's offices in the northern city of Dohuk drew criticism from Human Rights Watch (HRW) as well as Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor of enslavement by the Islamic State group.

"A force from the asayesh raided the main Yazda headquarters in Dohuk on Monday afternoon... and ordered the closure of the headquarters and all Yazda projects in camps" for displaced people, the group said in an online statement.

According to Yazda, the government of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region accused it of illegal action or "engaging in political activities," and said that its work permit was expired. "The Yazda organisation is not political and is not a political entity; rather, it is an organisation defending Yazidi rights in all places," it said, rejecting the accusations against it.

Kurdish authorities could not immediately be reached for comment. The Kurdish government's "authorities need to think hard about the consequences of Yazda's closure and reverse its decision in accordance with its international obligations to facilitate, not obstruct, humanitarian assistance," Belkis Wille, Iraq researcher at HRW, said in a statement.