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tv   ISIS Threat to Religious Ethnic Minorities  CSPAN  August 6, 2018 10:02am-12:00pm EDT

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court by president ronald reagan in 1987 anthony kennedy is retiring after 30 years on the bench. tonight, his legacy on the supreme court. and you call the horror ski who argued 29 cases the four justice kennedy. eastern on8:00 or listen the free c-span radio app. c-span, where history unfold daily. c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies.
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today we bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house comes supreme court and public policy events around the country. c-span is brought to by your cable or satellite provider. next, a discussion about the aftermath of the isis attacks against religious and ethnic minorities four years ago. their remarks, current security conditions. this was hosted by the hudson institute. it is two hours. >> i direct the center for religious freedom here at the institute. of the working group on christians and religious , onrization -- pluralism
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behalf of our cosponsor today, the religious freedom institute, i welcome everyone. thank you. we are here to observe a solemn commemoration of religious didn't just -- genocide in iraq four years ago. agotly today four years to eventually take over 6000 women and children into slavery, killing 10,000. mass graves are still being uncovered. forcible conversion was also common. , the days later isis terrorist group went on to
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attack the largest christian and continued its siege. president obama initiated thetrikes to defend minority. the christians had been attacked mosulr when isis entered in june and july in the minorities would continue to be untilized through august the area was firmly under the control of isis by the end of the summer. the caliphate was announced.
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there had been a mass exodus. these communities are diminished. the genocide continues to this day. 90% of the christian communities are gone. 100,000, tens of thousands have also left. washington,that those of us in washington following these horrifying events started building a coalition to campaign for the designation of genocide. congress legislated the secretary of state make an official determination by a certain deadline in 2016 whether or not there was genocide. on secretary of state did so march 17, 2016.
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it was repeated again under the trump administration in 2017. this was an official designation . i have heard people say there was no official designation. it was done at the behest of congress, at a press conference called for that purpose in the state department twice. resolutions that declared as a genocide as well. we have drew here who led this fight in the house to get this designated. genocide is the gravest of human rights abuses. this is the second time the united states has declared a genocide while it was going on. the last one was indoor four. it is the only genocide recognized at this time occurring in real time. we will be talking about these
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issues and about the fact the genocide is continuing. isis caliphate no longer exists. it has been defeated. isis is still around in the area. we got word 36 women and children were taken into sexual slavery by isis in syria. aid and reconstruction are occupying us now. for those of us who work on this issue, we will be talking about that today. to start, my pleasure to introduce the ambassador from iraq, representing iraq in washington. as a humanhis career rights researcher and activist. he was a physicist and now is here in washington.
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pleased to welcome you back. >> thank you. as aing on such occasions dubious honor because there is pain attached to it. targetedind isis has everybody. i'm one to start with an , november 2009. eric schmidt came to baghdad and met with my boss at the time. the discussion, he asked what was the most difficult moment you live through as iraqis? the interesting thing is we had different answers. the -- 100,000s
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people disappeared associate with the gassing of thousands of people in villages. others said the quelling of the uprising after the 1991 gulf war were tens of thousands of iraqis disappeared in mass graves. is thatt i want to make the darkest legacy of saddam hussein, he gave us a choice of what is the worst thing he left us with. if somebody asked this question to any iraqi on september of 2014, the answer would have been what happened to the easy these -- two them. 200,000 displaced. almost 10,000 casualties
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disappeared, killed. thousands of women taken hostage made sexual slaves in the 21st century. my god. this is beyond unacceptable. as an iraqi it is beyond unacceptable to me because we are the country who invented the code of law, that invented writing. it hurts. it really does. but, the targeting did not begin with what happened in 2014. in 2007, two villages were attackd in an integrated
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that led to the killing of 500 1500. and the winning of in proportion to iraq these numbers are greater than september 11. what makes it painful is this -- rule targets were not populations. -- they were rule populations just living their life. fate is special to me because of all the iraqi communities they are perhaps those most attached to their ancestral land. readiece of news that i've that affected me, that gives
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tribute to the united states is for the first time in history zitiss the 80's -- i consecrated land to bury their dead. maybe this is globalization. ofase measure the depth sanction. what is my job as an iraq ambassador? compatriots that i know what has happened. life documenting disappearances. it sometimes was lonesome work. there were times where i thought i might need psychiatric help.
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cognizant of the circumstances people in exile have gone through. when i tell them is make your lives but don't forget your home country. it is your home country. assist, ready to help to foster exchanges and support with all the communities that are iraqi. some are older than civilization itself. this, talking about these said things that it might be useful to mention a few names . they are examples that shed light on darkness. the first name, his heart august crime -- cry in
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2014 made us wake up and realize something needed to be done. she was on board and iraqi air ofce helicopter on the 12th 2014., which was laden with refugees jar.sin jar -- san she wrote movingly of her experience. the helicopter crashed. ,he only victim was the pilot who told her before getting on the plane what he was doing was the most important thing he had done in his life.
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was not a junior officer. a major general in charge of training, who left his mr. and to help and died in so doing. there is a statue honoring him in kurdistan. , alissa rubin. the new york times correspondent , pull a surprise winner. i urge you to read her article. incident.s this mention masoud, who shortly after the first wave of the forces, stop the attack of
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isis came to paris. i asked what is the most difficult thing you are facing right now. he paused and said preventing young people from seeking revenge. this is consequential. it is not a casual remark. , 8000 suffered deeply kinsman kinswoman disappeared. mentioned, the first american to die fighting isis. actually he went beyond the mandate of his mission and gave his life for this honorable cause. , tens ofntion
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thousands of iraqi soldiers and volunteers who gave their lives, most of them, they actually came from all parts of iraq and curtis stan with the regular army or counterterrorism service, volunteers. most of the victims came from the south and gave their lives to defeat isis militarily. isis is defeated militarily but it is still a threat. it is still dangerous. the example you mentioned is compelling. but there is a mobilization to go beyond this. the country that has defeated isis is not the same country it
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was in 2014. our armed forces are not the same as they were in 2014. nationwide wason echoed by the international community and we are grateful for that. the establishment of the coalition, without which we would not have been able to defeat isis. efforts,international to bring repair to the country. i will mention secretary kerry, who immediately held a special session of the security council where he quoted for beta him. there is now a global mobilization, even security --uncil
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between all of iraq's communities and the international community. i have to tell you there was a time where we were essential. the international community
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waited a bit before coming to our support. june, julyf july, and august of 2014 were extremely difficult. .onetheless much is being done a few days ago there was a major conference on religious freedom held in this country organized by secretary pompeo. we are grateful for the fact he documents that conference gave a plan of action. in vice president pence, his keynote speech contained elements that can be key factors developing a plan of action to address this issue. only in our region. they are global.
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mosque inthey blew a afghanistan. 25 victims. , we have to prevent by getting to know each other better, holding conferences such as this one. hopefully in iraq as well. one of the things i begrudge my theure is i learned about izitis reading a book in english. there is an effort to maintain memory. we would like to do this. we don't have the means to.
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2003 when the first mass graves were discovered, i wrote an op-ed for the help of the international community to provide tools to preserve forensic evidence so people can find the remains of their loved ones and achieve closure. .e need this all the more rack,l the victims in a and particularly for the zd's. we need the help and support of the united states. i don't think the united states will be reluctant to give us that help. andok forward to a fruitful promising cooperation. i would like to close mentioning can do tonstitutions
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bring people together to discuss this issue. i am here. my iraqi colleagues are here. so, in closing i want to thank you for having invited me to speak here. i hope i have not been too long. this is a topic that merits talking about not being forgotten. thank you. >> i want to thank the ambassador for his poignant words, standing in solidarity with the persecuted minorities of iraq. introduce theo representative in the united states and introduce washingtonk r.g.. to aas been in addition diplomat in her life, 17 years father waslist, her
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a leader for freedom in curtis was -- he andand her brother were both killed in a suicide bombing attack. join me welcoming her to the podium. thank you very much. i also want to say the representative has put out this wonderful booklet, echoes of genocide that encompasses a number of genocides that have occurred. there are copies in the hallway outside the room. thank you.
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>> good afternoon. thank you very much. honored speakers, ladies and gentlemen, i would like to thank you for joining us. i would like to thank the hudson institute for hosting this event. that weportant commemorate and honor the victims of genocide. genocide has been the fate of many groups in curtis stan and iraq. it is important recognize what .appened to them there are many others who
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suffered through terrorism, oppression and violence. the challenge for us is to keep the memory of these tragedies alive, to preserve the dignity of those we have lost, and at the same time move forward without allowing hatred and division to grow. we must never forget the crimes isis committed when it rampage to cross iraq and then august 3 it targeted send john and other places. we must do what we can to restore homes and livelihoods, to seek justice for the victims of isis crimes. when this terrorist organization stroke in the summer of 2014, it hurt all components of our society. no single community in iraq was
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left unscathed. it is the minority who bore the brunt. thousands were killed. thousands forced to abandon their homes. their livelihoods, their dreams. victims ofme the systematic rape and enslavement. the curtis stan regional government welcomes the united states call for countries that believe in religious freedom to establish august 3 as a day to recognize and remember the survive this -- survivors of religious persecution. we welcome this recognition of what happened august 3. this call was made last week as his excellency mentioned at the first ministerial conference to advance religious freedom hosted by the state department.
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they can r.g. has absorbed -- observed the ops -- the anniversary and we will continue to support everyone's right to practice their faith. we commend the commitment of president trump's administration to promote and defend religious freedom as a human right around the world. the k r.g. values the financial assistance to restore and we support the u.s. commitment to promote stability and security through religious freedom. looking at ourselves, it is long overdue for us in iraq to find a way to put an end to the cycles of violence in our country. security,tability, economic opportunity across iraq is the only way to enable every citizen including those from
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minorities to live a reasonable life. , reconciliation and trust cannot be achieved. the steps that need to be taken are many. i made a list and read out the list at a similar event last year. i need to repeat many of those items because little has changed. we need security, stability and reconstruction. we need liberated areas to be decontaminated of mines and for the militias removed so communities can return home. economic opportunities and development. we welcome the pledges of $30 billion of investment that were made at the kuwait conference earlier this year. when will they be implemented? the people cannot wait forever.
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without housing and job opportunities the displaced cannot return home and those once thriving towns and villages will remain rubble. legislation to bring about equal citizenship. we need changes in national law that currently do not treat women and religious and ethnic minorities as equal citizens. the constitution of iraq does recognize as all as equal. the laws do not. that needs to change. local autonomy. many communities have called for their towns and cities to be protected and administered by their own communities. the k r.g. continues to support this but we don't see support elsewhere.
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build in iraqi army. iraq needs to build an army that truly reflects the makeup of the country and not just one ethnic or religious component. andessionalize, train equip. the k r.g. needs to implement a unification and professionalization of our armed forces. the ministry has embarked on this reform program with the technical assistance of the united states, germany and britain. education is an area in critical need of change. our children whatever their background need to be educated about religious freedom, human rights and respect for the other . across the middle east this is rarely the case. justice and accountability.
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they cared she welcomes un security council resolution 2379 to establish an independent investigative team to support domestic efforts to hold isis accountable. committed to assist and support this team but the team and the various u.n. departments must ensure they include the k r.g. in the discussions in the process of gathering evidence and drafting laws. and evidencelished gathering center. many survivors are in curtis stan. many perpetrators are in our custody. it is essential the u.n. does not exclude the k r.g. from this process. the k r.g. has taken several steps to raise international awareness and support survivors and alleviate those suffering.
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there is more we should do. the k r.g. was the first government to recognize isis crimes as genocide. we establish the high committee to gain recognition internationally for this. the k r.g. has encouraged the u.n. and icc to investigate isis and create a hybrid court to put them on trial in addition to local courts. 2018 the k r.g. prime minister's office and security helped 3350 state prices. 3100 and two remain in captivity. refugees fromted million perng 1.8
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we have provided resources to the christian churches. our have made sacrifices. 11,000 have been injured. to all ethnic and my messageomponents to all of bus is to stay in our homeland, stay in your homeland. we can together with the help of our international partners do our best to build a prosperous future for all. we see strength in diversity. we do not claim perfection but we have a coulter of harmonious
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coexistence. we must nurture and protect this. the curtis stan region is one of the last safe havens in the middle east. sodeserves to be supported we can better support, protect and cherish the diverse communities of our society and across iraq. thank you. >> thank you for your thoughtful inspirational words. it is now my pleasure to theoduce my cosponsor from religious freedom institute in washington. in aida long career positions. dating from the cold war where
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you were the executive director of ird, welcome. >> we are honored to cohost this event. not just for cohosting this. we have been in the trenches for a few decades. thanks for helping put together the details for this. i want to thank all of you for .aking time in your schedule the barbaric and tolerance which lies behind the crime of genocide is a mystery of evil that we are here in some form to deal with today. the islamist extremism that isis hostile to most
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muslims as well. so this is islamic extremism, a profound threat. we are here today to talk about the christians and is edie's. i will repeat things that have been said earlier. 3000 of them, we don't know where they are. they are still unaccounted for. i want to see that i think you may know tonight, at the white house, there will be a vigil for
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the izitis. you may want to be there for that. outside here you will find some paintings you might also find interesting. they are painted by young people. a butterfly painted by a young man whose parents were killed in the attacks. it is moving to see this attempt to find hope amidst the despair of what has happened. abouts not just protecting minorities. this is about protecting pluralism. the ambassador as i told him before, i have heard him say there is no iraq without its minorities.
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what does he mean? he means that unless a coulter and country is pluralistic it will never be safe for its own citizens or its neighbors. there is empirical evidence when minorities are safe in a country it is a more peaceful society. it is one that flourishes. of humanicator flourishing will go up. we are here to think about how to protect those who are still in harm's way and to help them be restored. usaidormer member of the and other u.s. governments who worked on international development, our slowness has made it impossible to go back. there are areas that have been taken over.
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we are trying to do better but we have to be vigilant about helping in the restoration. thank you again for coming. >> thank you three thank you for your work to bring this program together. it is important we do not forget . it is time for our panel. we are switching out a little bit. panelists tohe come to the front? thank you.
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we're going to begin our discussion about the genocide and what is happening now. what we can do about it. our speakers today, perry , a brief title. we need to get to our discussion. there are so many of us. i'm thrilled. it would cut into our time. the president of the seed foundation on my right. advising group,
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, office senior adviser of international religious freedom of the state department. and the president of the assyrian aid society who has joined us. welcome. start, ask you to , four years events ago, and what happened to your >> everyone can understand today is difficult for us. contacting me constantly by mail and phone to say i should not come to this event anymore. they are done with constantly talking about genocide.
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not much is being done for my people. feel that thet to government does not empower our people. attackedmy people were and no one even knew who they were. genocide for people to know of our existence. , an you think about it genocide is needed to make people aware of our existence. we do not get fair treatment even after a genocide. women and girls are still in captivity. isis is gone but my people can't borders areuse closed.
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.ass graves are still there ied's are in the area. taken buts are being not much is being done. ar people do not have political voice. we are over a million around the world. .ow 400,000 are displaced we have no voice. says't care who stands and we do have a voice. it is not true. it cost us a lot of effort to make one point clear. we are the last item on the agenda if we are even on the agenda. , my people suffer.
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one talking about those in captivity? if any of you were missing a little girl, amber alerts would go off on everyone's phone. why is no one caring about my family? girls in my17 family. why have to sit here and talk about the genocide? what more do you want to know? family are in a mass grave. no one knows where they are. probably people do not care about them. events takingor
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place to raise more awareness but not much is being done. that needs to be changed. , today is about the yezidis. in the other day if you want to talk about the christians, any minority that suffers in iraq, you can call me and i will say everything. today i will talk about my people. nothing is being done. >> thank you for your courage to join us today. words are not adequate to express how started we are. could you tell us about what
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happened to your community on august 7? yezidis have been targeted many times. 7, they choose the the syrians were targeted. didn't recognize what happened as genocide. most of their land [indiscernible]
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people didn't return back to the region even after liberation. it is the same. 5% of people returned back. the local forces here, other places return back. 60,000 christians in 2003. there is still tension. the situation is totally bad. it is important to give hope to
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and giveo reunite authority to local forces from andregion, to bring out neutralize the region. >> we are going to get into the recommendations. can you describe what happened to the christians? that is not well known. as has been the last girl book , the excellent in brief account of what happened to her. we don't have that equivalent for the christians? for the great remarks they made. i am so aggrieved. this is something we need to be
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speaking about. titlecture behind the itself, what is the position of the christians and other storieses, most of the have been told by the international -- a lot of ngos, , the life was taken from the people because of simply they didn't agree with what isis believed. there was a lack of protection. i'm not saying that there was some problems down there beginning when isis came. we keep talking about genocide.
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1.7 christians. now their numbers drop. we have people in turkey, in beirut. those people have no future. they sought shelter and protection. back.f them tried to come been in the camps, places no one is supporting them. here, we teach -- we keep talking about genocide. i'm grateful to congress passing the resolution saying it is genocide, and the continuation of president trump's administration. it is genocide. we understand that. the cases of about the crucifixions? i heard shocking reports. >> that is true.
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beheadings. is not just attacking people only by continuing the implementation of isis ideology on the ground. saidke a few days ago, i these stories, they need to be told and people need to hear it. if they want to stay, or they have to convert to islam. if they stayed because they leave,have an ability to and they say, hey neighbor, if you don't fully now, i have a right to kill you. those stories are true.
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>> there was a debate in washington the christians weren't victims because isis an option.m i looked into that and researched it and talk to the priest who had dealings with isis. there was not an option. when christians try to pay the tax they were refused, and it stunt.ham, a propaganda that there was no protection physical for them personally, protecting their ability to worship. their churches were destroyed. that is true. when the state department was making the case, the christians can stay. there was a family, nobody was able to reach them.
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nobody heard about them. they stayed there. they ran out of money. they sold their furniture to pay. you don't allow us to vote. that happened. that literally happened. , you areay in mosul not allowed to afford to pay, then your son and daughter will be taken. eventually they will take you as well. family left children behind. they didn't survive. >> thank you. sherry, would you give us more insights.
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>> my organization is based in kurdistan. i lived there for the summer to for includingyou me. you heard the pain here. iraqi started working in it was 10 years, 1998 after the last genocide. .t was fresh and raw my work focuses on rebuilding the inside, the dignity, their souls, coping and functioning. the social needs that the community now has coping with the genocide. genocide.a targeted there was a war against other minorities. injured thousands of women and children, entered them
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into modern-day slavery. hundreds of thousands. there were killings, people watched family members, life displaced and gathered together, and they had no idea at first what was coming august 3, 2014. they separated men and women. and tookuted the men many of the adolescent boys and two b child soldiers. they took women and girls, and young boys into slavery. olds as young as six years were sexually abused, even boys as young as six years old. they never knew what would happen. we call this complex trauma. when you don't know what is going to happen and you have prolonged exposure to horrific
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violence it is different than one incident happening. the people that survive continue to suffer with complex trauma because they don't know about the status of their loved ones. point,ill close with one we need to be not just remembering that worried. the seeds of this continue. sectarian and religious intolerance, lack of rule of law, lack of pluralism, disenfranchised communities. they were long disenfranchised. the sunni community. they defeat seeds here. a culture of institutionalized violence. all of these things remain full in force. you augustere were
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3, 2013. you were at the state department. >> i was the head of our middle east team. august 3 was a sunday. received in ane norm us number of phone calls, text messages any males from friends all over the country and world. our offices had close relationships for a long time as well as with the syrian community and other minority communities in iraq. we have been tracking, as with many people at the state department, my colleagues, we had all been watching the crisis and the harbor unfold ever since the fall of fallujah earlier in the year, trying to understand
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the situation on the ground. we understood the daily distant fries men -- this in french -- .istant we were well acquainted with that. we report on that. we understood that is a condition, a groundwork upon --ch conflict and violence you have a lot of social maladies can come from that including economic deprivation and other things. problems with gender relations. a lot of the problems with their . we'd also been tracking an uptick in violence and we understood isis was getting closer to some of these communities. on august 3, a major day for us we heard about the
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from yazidinjar communities. in an effort to understand clearly what was happening, exactly what people are been taken and what was happening. we continued to meet withyazidis four weeks and weeks all over the country. we began to under stand that working with our colleagues at the dod and white house and places like the office of local criminal justice which handles accountability at the state department we had this opportunity to derive a great deal of information from these communities and understand better the landscape of the unfolding catastrophe.
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.here civilians were hiding where they were safe, where they were not safe and exactly how they were trying to get off the mountain. that relationship that we forged during those weeks after this happened, the ability we had to communicate with one another across the u.s. interagency, cross the u.s. government, ngo partners and with the iraqi government nk argie allowed us to understand the situation and act on it better. on the 15th ofd august so it was almost two .eeks later there were hundreds of murders of the man and hundreds of the .omen taken out the whole town evacuated. how could that happen? how is that possible when the
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u.s. had already initiated airstrikes week before them? >> i'm not an expert in hostage recovery or how that works but i know it's very difficult and those were conversations that were had. it's an extraordinarily difficult thing. underway.already >> we knew these areas were being held by isis. forecast no ability to when an atrocity would happen or where. -- the day that massacre happened was a truly horrific day for nokia and her family -- adia and her family and friends of ours but it was a difficult day as we heard in short order the story that was
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unfolding. the question of how you prevent something like that in real time is of question -- is a very good question. it is extraordinarily difficult. we've seen hostage recovery efforts -- .> this was not even recovery this was already a genocide underway. >> it began on august 3. >> august 15 -- >> they separated the men and shot them in >>. could you each tell us about your organizations and what you are doing to help the recovery at this point? seed works on mental health, copperheads of services for survivors of violence.
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yazidiour clients are survivors. men, women, children. we provided psychotherapy, four to six months is the average client served. comprehensive case management services, helping them get medical care, access to mental health services, housing resettlement, legal and protection. many of the survivors continued to be in danger even after there is violence in the home. they can be exploited. vulnerable people are often exploited. building social support networks . we try to improve people's overall well-being. capacity ofbuilding local service providers through education and training programs. a center for mental health and ,sycho social support services training on trauma psychology and copperheads of care. we work on policies -- comprehensive care.
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we work on policies with the government to improve protections for vulnerable people and improve government services because the ngos alone cannot do this so we must partner with government to address the needs of these communities. we work specifically on trafficking, combating human trafficking, modern slavery. we do that with the yazidi community but we have local trafficking. we'll can opening a shelter for trafficking survivors. >> great. perry, what are the priorities of the free yazidi foundation for the yazidi community? >> our whole community has been traumatized. from young children of to adults. genocide,e effects of sexual violence, for not only the women and those that have come back, all women get treatment from experts outside
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.f iraq we give educational courses to make sure women and girls come stronger and powerful and become a voice for their community. of advocacy making sure we are always with the state department. in the future, change can happen. one thing we do is look for justice. we have a victim centric approach. we explain what justice means to the victims because a lot of things have been promised that are not true. we need to make sure we do not lie and bring up hope because some of the survivors will never get justice because the perpetrator is dead in syria. a lot of them also in jail.
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the road to justice is not yet set. we have been having talks with the kurdish government. they told us they are internally working out how to make sure yezidis can get justice. we are also having talks with the government to make sure that justice does happen. what thing we have to realize, without justice there can never be reconciliation. if the yezidi women and girls point out their neighbor was the one -- the neighbor was the one that rick them, how can we say today easy these you can go back with your family and live in sinjar -- was the one who raped
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them, how can they -- how can we say today, go back with your family and live in sinjar? if they have to live with the people who raped their daughters father's, whoheir get away with these crimes >> -- just this is absolutely>> -- justice is absolute essential. is the free yezidi foundation around taking testimonies? documenting these cases? are you mostly involved in advocacy? >> i think we have to be aware that just taking testimonies will not make sure this is admissible in court. asksree yezidi foundation three or four questions to victims with psychologists and lawyers. the questions, where were you, who did you see, with a high level, mid-level, these kinds of questions.
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with lawyers and other people from our staff we can identify did he have different kinds of names. some of these girls have been living with perpetrators for three years or more. they have a lot of information. they have pictures etc. after we have that information we identify the perpetrators and look around for where they are. we have given names to a couple of governments and getting feedback regarding those names. >> many of our audience are involved in the defense of human rights for the minorities in .raq and elsewhere one of our frustrations is trying to get documentation. where can we all go for case documentation in english? is there such a source? is there anything out there on the internet for example?
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asg, the moment i know that was appointed after the resolution at the u.n., will do a thorough research on what happened to the yezidi community and all the minorities. specifically the attacks of isis . then we will really have something that is admissible in court. >> that process is just beginning. >> i know that organizations have been doing some testimonies and research has been going on. unfortunately this also turns into that some of the women and girls try to make their story to reach thenal top so they can be visible and share the story of. necessary. not be
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>> what about the christian side? is anyone tracking the testimonies? i know a lot of the christians have left the area. they are leaving. maybe you could talk about that a little bit. how they are leaving. the numbers and if anyone is getting their testimony about their experience, what happened to them with isis. even before isis because this is a problem of persecution that preceded isis. , it was violent 2006, 2008, bishops being murdered, priests being murdered. >> there was a crisis when saddam hussein attacked northern iran. the situation was the same.
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after 2003, unfortunately we were still being targeted, all the minorities, indigenous people, syrian christians targeted and -- in mosul and in baghdad, churches being targeted. there was a movement of people from baghdad from other cities -- this movement in the especiallyas like from baghdad and mosul. later it increased to other places. about 1500 people being kidnapped and killed. over 3000 to 4000 kidnapped and released after they paid those militias. >> how many families do you
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think that affected? hundreds, thousands? >> 1,600,000 christians from different churches living in the country. in 2003. now there's less than 300,000 living in the country. aboutd is housing 700,000, now i cannot give you an example. the church is to have several church's now they have three churches in service. these to have 25 churches in baghdad. churches close. >> there's 100,000 christians left in iraq. estimation.o exact depends on the numbers they have from the local churches. >> and they are still leaving? >> yes. i got a message yesterday they said every week there's about 20 families from act that and those
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regions, which are more stable if you compared to other places people are leaving because they lost hope. even with the aid we provide, our people being helped by the churches, local organization more than the government and united nation. i'll give you an example from osul. people trying to return back to their homes. they say why are you returning here. another story from a person who has a home and he wants to return back his home. homes andturing the they have support from the force, the local forces.
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they refused to leave the home. the government established a comedy but there are still thousands of -- especially they have been -- >> what is the syrian aid society doing for them? >> we tried to bring awareness. meeting with the human rights council. helpful?e been >> they write reports but still nothing. reports and we did interviews with people. knights of columbus. >> are your reports available in english? >> most of our reports are english. [video clip] -- >> on your website?
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>> if estimations of how many people left to current situation now. -- may people still living there are camps still in baghdad -- > what percentage of christians have returned to their villages? 50% only.t 150,000 now we have about 65,000 to 70,000. percentage, only a few families turned back. this from other people -- >> is that consistent with your findings? >> that is true. i want to mention, documenting the atrocities and crimes, there
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are a lot of ngos on the ground. they do this work. they don't take it to the level of professionalism. he said those organizations, they need training from the international community. they need american team, u.n. appointed team, anybody can go --re so they can trade them train them how to register, how to talk to families, what type of interview they should have to be able to document this, not only keep it in your computer if somebody wanted, you send it. put it online so anybody goes on their, using these genocide -- so you can come up in a google search. this is the problem, nobody able to do that.
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i hope the security council , that they will be able to, by appointing collect things -- how can we train those ngos that are so important because those ngos on the ground talking to the families in daily basis. >> there's two levels of documentation. the legal admissible in court documentation which is a complex process and flow and expenses and you probably will get the worst cases. just the reporting, the documentation the public understand the
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depth of the genocide. what happened people. the problems they are facing now. >> for the people who want to know more about yezidis, they can read reports made by the commission on syria. your they can read from -- can read about the genocide, who was targeted. >> what about your office? are you involved in this kind of tracking or teaching? >> very much. done -- we have funded for a very long time we
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training and forensics and that kind of thing for years. i believe we still do. we have a number of programs in iraq. , vice president pence announced we would be wrapping up a lot of that funding. genocide recovery and response program and with a $5 million program that will be run out of our global criminal justice office to promote accountability and investigations of these crimes. to the 2079treating fund as it isn't limited. implemented-. >> you hope it is on the -- >> that is actually really good point. our office reports on this.
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, not exhaustively because the report is not intended to be exhaustive, but report on these issues in that report -- >> developing the information. ngos do that. others have reported on it. so there's a number of ways in which we are trying to report on this issue. i will say on the issue of recovery and reconstruction, this is a difficult issue. there are security and structural impediments that remain. it is difficult for people to come from a position of displacement back to their homes. they are blocked by security forces.
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they are simply turned back. received.reports we we are concerned, very grateful for all of the hospitality and all of the work began jackie government and kurdish regional government have shown and done on this problem. we really need to fix some of these issues as they go back. .ne of the issues is ied's we've added another $17 million for de mining, something mike pence announced at the ministerial. those are shorter-term nonproblematic -- it is a verytic -- large program. >> i know there's towns and fields. one of the christian towns. i know the yezidi areas,
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de-mining was a big problem. as people get back not only into their homes but to till the fields. >> i was just in the balkans a few weeks ago and there are fields roped off where you can't go anywhere and this is twentysomething years later. this is a problem and it has to be dealt with. it's a complicated and consuming what -- and time-consuming one. >> are you hearing about isis? is that a serious threat at this point? >> isis is not dead globally. >> in this region in particular? .> it has been beaten down we've all heard reports of attacks and of threats. we have defeated them militarily.
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the political conditions, the social conditions, cultural conditions, the lack of reconciliation, lack of accountability, criminal accountability is an important issue but criminal accountability does not give us communities that can live with one another alone. isis may be gone but something like isis could come back. >> on security issue do any of you want to jump in? people the iraqi that was in isis parade. , the arab tribe spokesperson called on iraqi government to conduct strikes or send forces to stop them. they called on the international
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coalition to conduct strikes immediately because isis is trying to come back at large. -- busy with what's on on in baghdad. i think i may be wrong if this situation goes like this, lack of security, vacuum of power, we will see another -- >> what about beyond isis? i understand that iran has been active in this area. of --re's a lot see flags,you go you
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the sign of iran is on the ground. it's clear to everybody. the point is how can you stop that and what is leverage to change >> -- i would think we have a lot of leverage. >> can we change that reality on the ground? there's no government, nothing over there everybody trying to form a government, nobody is able because you need to bring coalitions together. it's very complicated situation. iraq does not have the tools to do that so they really need the international community's support, state department or u.s. to give them a guide of what to do. >> i would like to know what the panel thanks. should the u.s. stay in iraq? if thehe u.s. leaves -- commission is not there we're going back to the era may be worse than isis.
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for example, he's mentioning there's no reconciliation, -- the u.s. there should stay. without u.s. over there we will face more problems. >> do you all agree? let's go down the line. situation, it's more .ivided and differentces authorities. they've connected to different groups and have different agendas. this is what's affecting the situation of normal life of the beple making some people able to send a student to
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university for example. normal daily life. , babylonituation now brigade, now they have 10% christians and 90% are from different groups. i hear stories that member of isis, they joined this force to cover themselves, to protect themselves. statement onued a iraq saying particularly focused on the security situation calling for the integration of these armed forces, governmental force and to disarm these various militias. is that a practical solution? givee solution is to
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security authority to people on the ground to include all the components from all the communities like christian yezidis to establish one united force with the iraqi government remove other forces including all those liberals. isis enters the region nobody protects this region. they don't have a chance to defend themselves. if our people, local community has their own forces they will protect themselves. we have examples when the local community has a force, they defend and stay. nobody captures the land. we ask everyone to support our people to have local forces.
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we did not succeed to get this. there were other decisions to the region. this needs international protection. if america will not central to the ground we need monetary aid. important to establish this force. >> do you have anything to comment on this? >> sure. i remembered two years ago. agog on a panel two years talking about political .ccommodations nothing's changed since the last rfi panel on this topic. it's so important that the u.s. not just remain but also deepen their commitment. this before. we saw al qaeda in the late 2000. that was the result of a political vacuum.
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politicalfull participation. it's easy to deal with a strong leader in baghdad area iraqis are familiar with that. it's not what going to bring all of the communities of iraq together. the more we empower a single person, i dynamic personality and somebody who seems like they have it together, the less likely we are to build institutions and build a political accommodation that people need to kill safe. we talked last week about early warning systems. we don't have one in iraq. even if we put one in place, who would respond? we need to be a priority for the iraqi government to not only him what's happening but also to be able to alert these mechanisms is actually respond. in the kurdistan region there are things we can do. the kurdistan region doors have been open to people who need
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protection. i think what we need to do is think about mechanisms where international communities can bolster the iraqi response because the warning signs were there. >> i want to add a couple of points. zd's,his happened to the -- happened to that yezidis, they lost trust in everyone. they do not know who to trust and who they can trust. this rebuilding of trust will take many years. my brother himself from holland went on a plane to mount sinjar to fight against isis. zd's want self protection because there is no trust anymore. want self protection because there is no trust anymore. when president obama started to say they will take away the
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boots on the ground and leave iraq and make sure iraq themselves can take care of the country, at that point everything failed because at that point you gave room to hate and violence against minorities. at that point the minorities were left alone, the minorities that suffered afterwards. at that point isis started to grow. isis was not built in one day. isis was already growing for many years and it should have been that america should never have left iraq. stay?want america to yes. minorities will feel safer. you answer the security question . how can we protect minorities at this moment? if no one trusts their own militia, the military, or the
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kurdish one, you leave them at their own state. as we saw in 2014, yezidis cannot do that themselves. >> i think there's an emerging consensus on that point. i'm going to ask one more question and then i'm going to turn to the audience. pence hasce president made it clear stand that he has .hanged u.s. policy that he wants to see the minorities who have often been marginalized, in some cases entirely marginalized in the aid programs of the u.n., to receive direct aid and start receiving effective programs help. i just want to go down the line experienceur own from your own vantage point are you getting aid?
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have you been getting aid? what is your source of aid? >> the u.s. government is a large donor of the seed foundation. we received from the u.s. state department. focused on delivering comprehensive services to survivors of violence, prevention through and building capacity of service providers to respond to the needs that exist. support has been consistent. we are a local ngo. it is extremely challenging. it is challenging for local entities that were created in response to this crisis to receive funding.
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a high level of impact high level of reporting and communication that is required to implement a u.s. government grant. thereos working in iraq required to support local ngos but don't spend enough time there to build capacity. this is one of the things seed is working on. this won't be the last crisis. we know that and we need to transition to a crisis response. >> how can i ever apply for a grant from the u.s. state department?afterthought for years we've been growing and we have managed the people in place to apply for that. so now that we know the state
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department -- >> you are hopeful. u.n.ou seeing the development projects take effect in sinjar for example? is there water, electricity, is the rubble gone? has that basic infrastructure aid gone into a region? if theythe many we hear want to rebuild there is not a chanceprocess. that is a big issue. this will take many years. it will not be in one or two days. when we have not finished the ied's we cannot start the rebuilding process. >> our most of the yezidis in camps? 400,000.
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>> they just want to leave iraq. much -- we will shift our aid directly to the ngos. we have not seen so far a large-scale aid coming to those areas. we've seen grants given to seed foundation and others. but this is not only the thing we are waiting for the u.s. to support. we believe we need to bring private sectors in the area. we want to build special secure .conomic zones this is what we want.
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the aid is not enough. food,t blankets and really not enough for the people. in the front -- saying we need the jobs. you send people 60,000, send them back, what is the point for sending that? they cannot restore their dignity. can't have the job security. forou're saying seed money --iness loans >> you need to start to build the infrastructure. you need to start to create jobs. >> is there a electricity to sustain that economy? put $50 million, $10 million into building special secure economic zones other states like denmark, hungary which is committed to
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doing that. they want to see u.s. leadership on the ground and they will invest. we need to convince others that not only u.s. can do it, we need to bring other donors, internationally from europe and other places to come and invest, to build. >> it might be a hard sell until the security issue. >> building special secure economic zones. we have security plan within that we are part of usaid in baghdad. the asked us to give them proposals that can sustain for long time which we did. unfortunately a lot of ngos were not given grants to do that thing. i hope usaid or state department will look back to those proposals. way of how to create jobs. >> that is all played out i suppose now.
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we welcome the -- sending and delivering funds to local minorities. people in sinjar and other places. we applied but we did not receive the funds from the u.s. .id and different churches, some governments like cannot or , we get funds from usaid . the last few years we get nothing. the important thing is we should understand the situation is
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different. already there was discrimination. give -- it is important to make the allotment. 2014. , discrimination again. --er that iraq's government even the region was more secure than other places if you compare south of mosul and other places. one of the reasons people start leaving the region they depend -- from other places connected to mosul. -- water system in the
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region. isis, they targeting the society destroying as much as they are able. especially in christian villages and towns, more than other places. so we have around 14,000 homes affected. in some partially. all the activities the government and other organizations did until this -- on they targeting church and some organizations connected to churches -- >> i know the light -- the knigs of columbus some of those groups -- i think some of these refugees would have starved to death in places without that. congressman chris smith had hearings on this issue. -- that cares for
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most of the christians displaced testified twice. they said they received no food aid from the u.n.. the u.n. insisted that any christian or use 80 who wants yezidi who wants of can get it in their camp. trip edition on the part of the minorities from going into the camps because they're in for treated by isis. -- infiltrated by isis. it simply for christians there. dormitory. we use it for idp's in the beginning when christians -- >> that this place for mosul. >> a long time we knew we needed room gete dormitory
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funds and rebuild a camp for them. government did not do anything. we built cap and still we have .eople -- it isre of camps important to find a way testified a solution for those people. >> envoy to ask the audience if they have any questions but first think about your questions and who you want to directed to. i received one for perry from the audience. what are the first and most important things -- what can the u.s. do to help? maybe you can answer it's a singly so we can get others? there's a lot of things and
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issues that happened in iraq and kurdistan that affect minorities a lot. speechthem is the hate that's spread by religious leaders. there should be an end to that. getting the wrong signals are pointing at that these things happen, and yezidis have been doing that and i think christians have been doing it. should make an end to that. it all happens there. -- education is very important. young generations should be educated on who lives in iraq and who lives in kurdistan and what kinds of different religions so there can be peace among them and friendship instead of hatred toward each
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other. inequality, of hatred on low levels. if the government hears about this or should be action. if you close your eyes you give the person who's doing this more power to go on with this. this is a big issue within the yezidi community. they are afraid nothing might be done for them. i've had this conversation with their k rg, how can we make sure the yezidis can go to officials and file a complaint against discrimination or inequality at the workplace or anywhere. these are issues that need to be tackled so minorities can live in peace in an environment like iraq or kurdistan. that is one big thing.
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one thing we are concerned about is a political voice for the yezidis. in 2014 we had one member in parliament. she tried to raise the voice of the yezidis in the iraqi parliament. it is still one person. government regional should have peaceful yezidis in place in parliament. giving a voice to yezidis will stress thehey can things that are happening in their communities. >> representative raman mentioned the importance of education and the importance of .olerance i've heard it from all the various religious leaders in minoritiesthe
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persecuted. >> on her point on minority , this, minority members is a really important point. probably a point that a lot of iraqi citizens -- they don't feel like they know where to go if there is a problem that requires a response. it could be mundane, something important and big and dangerous. is no sort of infrastructure. not a very strong infrastructure for minority -- individual minority members to access government in feel safe about that. >> in a democracy your representative is supposed to represent your interests. >> i can also go to my police station and get help.
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>> true but if all else fails you go to your political representative and complain. article about how the recent elections in may were catastrophic for the minorities. one example of how the situation is. they add two persons and when put -- theyse, they will not have a right to vote. they agreed to include and give the right to other minorities are other people but still they did not give them a right to vote. we all watched the election and
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saw how they captured the seats. >> lack of representation. >> some people get those seats. -- they followed those parties. accept to have a -- there was ar protest before a few days in front of k rg. election. the next >> could you please identify yourself and wait for the
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microphone and if you can direct your question to particular -- >> i have a question for pa ri. your comments were strictly moving. i hope they will lead to some real action. , from your for you description of the violence against the yezidis including the women and girls, and sounds like a lot of that was carried out by local iraqis and not by foreigners. is that correct? >> if you look at the papers it says over 5000 foreigners were in iraq and syria committing horrible crimes with isis. some of them have already returned to where they come from . when you say locals do you mean
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exactly sinjar or in the area of iraq? -- blame the violence on some vague ideology carried out by some vague global entity when you look carefully at the people who are committing these acts of rape and pillage which i believe from my understanding in the case of best are iraqi -- are at iraqi. --amnesty international has >> documented that most of the men buying the slaves >> were local boys and men. >> that is true. we should not forget even if there is one foreigner we should point him out. >> there was a question over
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here. >> my question is for mr. padgett. can you give us an update or any more details on what vice president pence announced at the conference? heatherton donors been to this with the private sector or other countries? can we assume that a top priority of this one will be to support the yezidis? >> you can certainly assume that. that is an important priority. the genocide recovery and persecution response program will be implemented by usaid intended to do local grassroots support for the victims of genocide. i don't have any numbers on other donors for the religious
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freedom fund. or how that actually going to work. i know u.s. aid is going to have an implementor for this program. with expertise on isis genocide specifically. and having a demonstrated ability to distribute the funds in iraq. we're not going to get an implementor who has no experience with iraq or with this crisis. it has to be somebody with that experience. i think i said most of what i can say. $17 million extra for de-mining. $5 million for accountability and experience. justice. we are also going to be contributing to the unskilled fund -- there's probably some other things are not remembering. >> one last question. please identify yourself.
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>> can joseph. a positive to lend side. years ago were meeting with foreign minister discussing no one isd he said going to give you your rights, no one is going to help you, you need your land. it's better to have a small dust on your small home that do have desperate to rent a big mansion. the prime minister said to us get an area. the prime minister can establish it as a security zone. get your security, get your infrastructure, bring people -- i take a vote and have possiblenow -- is it an unreasonable dream? >> anybody object to that? 10 or 15 seats for the
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christian yezidis, they still can do nothing. the entire parliament itself is not functioning. for him saying that, why did they allow isis to come to andar with 60,000 forces leaving all the equipment, all the gear, ammunition, they left it. is -- this should be wealth from the iraqi government to be able to create that zone. >> i think we're out of time, over time in fact. i want to ask everyone for thanking my panelist and thank you all for coming. [applause]
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>> coming up livelier today a discussion about the role of -- civild in u.s. society in u.s. foreign policy. starting live at 4:00 p.m. eastern we will have that on c-span. >> nominated to the supreme court by president ronald reagan in 1987, justice anthony kennedy is retiring after 30 years on the bench. tonight, we will take a look at his legacy on the supreme court and his impact on the nation justice clerk for kennedy from 2011 to 2012 and former assistant to the solicitor general, who argued 29 cases before justice kennedy in the court. watch the legacy of supreme court justice anthony kennedy tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span,, or leas
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listen on the free c-span radio app. >> senate confirmation hearings for the supreme court justice that cavanaugh are expected in september. they are likely to question cavanaugh about roe v. wade. on tuesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, c-span's landmark cases presents an in-depth look at roe v. wade and hear from "los angeles times" reporter david savage discussing justice kavanagh's nomination and the abortion issue. >> we take you live now to a discussion about cyber security threats and how the u.s. should respond to hacking and misinformation. it's being hosted by the university of southern california's annenberg center on communication and leadership policy. you're watching live coverage on c-span. introductions underway. >> the best classified


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