Dilan Yesilgöz (1977) is sinds 23 maart 2017 lid van de Tweede Kamerfractie van de VVD. Zij was eigenaar/senior adviseur van Bureau DNW in Amsterdam en raadslid in de hoofdstad. Eerder was zij bestuursadviseur veiligheid en zorg van het College van B&W van Amsterdam. Mevrouw Yesilgöz is woordvoerder politie, veiligheid, rampenbestrijding, grensbewaking, cyber security, terrorismebestrijding en drugsbeleid.
De doodstraf kan niet worden opgelegd.
Onze verworvenheden, met onze normen en waarden, is het alles of niets het is geen cafetaria model.
Onze manier van leven, we hadden het net over homosexualiteit, we hebben het in Nederland over man en vrouw.
We hebben het over onze verworvenheden, die voortkomen uit humanisme, uit Verlichting, die we in honderden jaren hebben
ZOMERGASTEN IN VIJF MINUTEN-MARK RUTTE
””Voor een oorlog was het vanochtend opvallend rustig op straat. Geen militairen, geen sirenes en geen paniek. Gewoon: mensen op weg naar hun werk, kinderen op weg naar hun school.
We zijn in oorlog, sprak premier Mark Rutte zaterdag zijn Franse collega François Hollande na, nog geen etmaal na de gruwelijke aanslagen in Parijs. ‘En Isis is onze vijand.’
HELPT HET WEL OM TE ROEPEN, DAT HET OORLOG IS?
16 NOVEMBER 2015
ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST
NOOT 5 VAN
NOSONENIGHEID IN COALITIE: VVD VINDT DOODSTRAF NEDERLANDSE IS’ERS ACCEPTABEL
6 NOVEMBER 2019
ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST
MINISTER BLOK ONEENS MET VVD OVER DOODSTRAF VOOR IS’ERS
8 NOVEMBER 2019
ZIE VOOR TEKST
NOOT 48 VAN
”Maar zijdelingse ondersteuning van de doodstraf ondersteunt de JOVD niet. Nu niet, nooit niet!”
ZIE VOOR GEHELE TEKST
”We also seek rights-respecting approaches toward the spouses and children of ISIS members, so they do not face collective punishment or other forms of discrimination.”
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
RACISME IN DE POLITIEK/VERONTRUSTENDE UITSPRAKEN EN VOORSTELLEN VAN NEDERLANDSE POLITICI
1 NOVEMBER 2019
The extremist armed group Islamic State (ISIS) has committed widespread and systematic abuses in in areas under its control in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. ISIS has also claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in nearly 20 other countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Tajikistan, and the United Kingdom. Human Rights Watch documents these abuses and their impact on the general population.
The extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq. Human Rights Watch conducted research in the town of Dohuk in January and February 2015, including interviewing 20 women and girls who escaped from ISIS, and reviewing ISIS statements about the subject.
Human Rights Watch documented a system of organized rape and sexual assault, sexual slavery, and forced marriage by ISIS forces. Such acts are war crimes and may be crimes against humanity. Many of the women and girls remain missing, but the survivors now in Iraqi Kurdistan need psychosocial support and other assistance.
“ISIS forces have committed organized rape, sexual assault, and other horrific crimes against Yezidi women and girls,” said Liesl Gerntholtz, women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Those fortunate enough to have escaped need to be treated for the unimaginable trauma they endured.”
ISIS forces took several thousand Yezidi civilians into custody in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province in August 2014, according to Kurdistan officials and community leaders. Witnesses said that fighters systematically separated young women and adolescent girls from their families and other captives and moved them from one location to another inside Iraq and Syria.
The 11 women and 9 girls Human Rights Watch interviewed had escaped between September 2014 and January 2015. Half, including two 12-year-old girls, said they had been raped – some multiple times and by several ISIS fighters. Nearly all of them said they had been forced into marriage; sold, in some cases a number of times; or given as “gifts.” The women and girls also witnessed other captives being abused.
Human Rights Watch also interviewed more than a dozen international and local service providers, medical workers, Kurdish officials, community leaders, and activists who corroborated these accounts. A local doctor treating female survivors in Dohuk told Human Rights Watch that of the 105 women and girls she had examined, 70 appeared to have been raped in ISIS captivity.
All of the women and girls interviewed exhibited signs of acute emotional distress. Many remain separated from relatives and sometimes their entire families, who were either killed by ISIS or remain in ISIS captivity. Several said they had attempted suicide during their captivity or witnessed suicide attempts to avoid rape, forced marriage, or forced religious conversion.
In October 2014, ISIS acknowledged in its publication Dabiq that its fighters had given captured Yezidi women and girls to its fighters as “spoils of war.” ISIS has sought to justify sexual violence claiming that Islam permits sex with non-Muslim “slaves,” including girls, as well as beating and selling them. The statements are further evidence of a widespread practice and a systematic plan of action by ISIS, Human Rights Watch said.
ISIS commanders should immediately release all civilian detainees, reunite children with their families, and end forced marriages and religious conversions, Human Rights Watch said. They should take all necessary action to end rape and other sexual violence by ISIS fighters. International and local actors who have influence with ISIS should press the group to take these actions.
In 2014 the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) absorbed more than 637,000 displaced people from Nineveh province alone, and made significant efforts to provide health and other services to Yezidi women and girls who have escaped ISIS. However, there have been flaws and gaps in health care, Human Rights Watch said. Some of those interviewed said they underwent medical tests but did not know the purpose and were never told the results.
The director general for health in Dohuk told Human Rights Watch that local authorities had identified fewer than 150 women and girls who had escaped from ISIS and that only about 100 had received medical treatment. According to the KRG Directorate of Yezidi Affairs, 974 Yezidis had escaped ISIS as of March 15, 2015, including 513 women and 304 children.
The women and girls need trauma support and ongoing counselling, Human Rights Watch said. Not all had immediate access to treatment for injuries; emergency contraception; safe and legal abortion services, including sexual and reproductive health access; and psychosocial support.
KRG authorities should try to close gaps in medical care and psychosocial support for the Yezidi girls and women and ensure that doctors provide survivors with results of tests they undergo and information on the services available to them, Human Rights Watch said. The KRG should also develop a plan to assist children born from rape to ensure adequate services and protection for them and their mothers. In addition, the KRG should invest in employment skills training and livelihood schemes to help reintegrate women into daily life.
“Yezidi women and girls who escaped ISIS still face enormous challenges and continuing trauma from their experience,” Gerntholtz said. “They need urgent help and support to recover their health and move on with their lives.”
ISIS Violations of International Law
Abduction and Detention
Since ISIS attacks in and around Sinjar began on August 3, 2014, more than 736,000 Iraqis, primarily Yezidis and other religious minorities, fled their homes in Nineveh province, most to the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to the International Organization for Migration. ISIS fighters executed hundreds of male Yezidi civilians and then abducted their relatives, the United Nations and local and international human rights organizations reported. A recent UN report stated that further investigation is needed to establish the number of those held captive or killed by ISIS, which is “estimated to be in the thousands.”
Although several hundred Yezidis have since escaped, according to KRG officials, many are still in captivity in various parts of Iraq and Syria. Escaped abductees that Human Rights Watch interviewed said ISIS is holding Yezidis in multiple locations across northern Iraq, including Mosul, Tal Afar, Tal Banat, Ba’aj, Rambusi, and Sinjar, and in areas it controls in eastern Syria, including Raqqa and Rabi’a. They said that ISIS is holding female captives, including girls, in houses, hotels, factories, farm compounds, schools, prisons, military bases, and former government offices.
Young women and girls told Human Rights Watch that ISIS fighters first separated them from men and boys and older women. The fighters moved the women and girls several times in an organized and methodical fashion to various places in Iraq and Syria. While most of the ISIS fighters appeared to be Syrian or Iraqi, survivors said that some of their abusers told them that they came from other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including from Libya, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as from Europe and Central Asia.
The precise number of Yezidis still captive is unknown because of continuing fighting in Iraq and Syria and because significant numbers of Yezidis fled to areas across Iraq and neighboring countries when ISIS attacked. On March 13, 2015, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated in its report that about 3,000 people, mainly Yezidis, allegedly remain in ISIS captivity. Local officials, service providers, and community activists estimate that the number of Yezidis still held is much higher.
In September 2014, a Yezidi group provided Human Rights Watch with a database with 3,133 names and ages of Yezidis they said ISIS had kidnapped or killed, or who had been missing since the ISIS assaults of early August. The database was based on interviews with displaced Yezidis in Iraqi Kurdistan. The group said that as of late March 2015, the number of dead, abducted, and missing Yezidis had risen to 5,324.
Sexual Violence and Other Abuse
The women and girls who spoke to Human Rights Watch described repeated rape, sexual violence, and other abuse in ISIS captivity.
Jalila (all survivors’ names have been changed for their security), age 12, said that Arab men whom she recognized from her village north of Sinjar accosted her and seven family members on August 3, 2014, as they were trying to flee ISIS. The men handed the family over to ISIS fighters, who separated Jalila, her sister, sister-in-law, and infant nephew from the other family members and took them to Tal Afar. Later, the fighters took Jalila and her sister to Mosul. Thirty-five days later they separated Jalila from her sister and took her to a house in Syria that housed other abducted young Yezidi women and girls. Jalila said:
The men would come and select us. When they came, they would tell us to stand up and then examine our bodies. They would tell us to show our hair and sometimes they beat the girls if they refused. They wore dishdashas [ankle length garments], and had long beards and hair.
She said that the ISIS fighter who selected her slapped her and dragged her out of the house when she resisted. “I told him not to touch me and begged him to let me go,” she said. “I told him to take me to my mother. I was a young girl, and I asked him, ‘What do you want from me?’ He spent three days having sex with me.”
Jalila said that during her captivity, seven ISIS fighters “owned” her, and four raped her on multiple occasions: “Sometimes I was sold. Sometimes I was given as a gift. The last man was the most abusive; he used to tie my hands and legs.”
Another 12-year-old, Wafa, told Human Rights Watch that in August ISIS fighters abducted her with her family from the village of Kocho. The men took the family to a school in Tal Afar filled with other Yezidi captives, where the fighters separated her from her family. From there they took her to several locations within Iraq and then to Raqqa, in Syria. An older fighter assured Wafa that she would not be harmed but he repeatedly raped her nevertheless, she said.
“He was sleeping in the same place with me and told me not be afraid because I was like his daughter,” she said. “One day I woke up and my legs were covered in blood.” Wafa escaped three months after her abduction, but her parents, three brothers, and sister are still missing.
The women and girls who said that they had not been raped said they endured constant stress and anxiety when witnessing the suffering of other women, fearing they would be next.
Dilara, 20, said ISIS fighters took her to a wedding hall in Syria, where she saw about 60 other Yezidi female captives. ISIS fighters told the group to “forget about your relatives, from now on you will marry us, bear our children, God will convert you to Islam and you will pray.” She told Human Rights Watch she lived in constant fear that she would be dragged away like so many women and girls before her:
From 9:30 in the morning, men would come to buy girls to rape them. I saw in front of my eyes ISIS soldiers pulling hair, beating girls, and slamming the heads of anyone who resisted. They were like animals…. Once they took the girls out, they would rape them and bring them back to exchange for new girls. The girls’ ages ranged from 8 to 30 years… only 20 girls remained in the end.
Two sisters, Rana, 25, and Sara, 21, said they could do nothing to stop the abuse of their 16-year-old sister by four men over several months. The sister was allowed to visit them and told them that the first man who raped her, whom she described as a European, also beat her, handcuffed her, gave her electric shocks, and denied her food. She told them another fighter later raped her for a month and then gave her to an Algerian for another month. The last time they saw her was when a Saudi ISIS fighter took her. “We don’t know anything about her since,” Sara said. The two sisters said they were also raped multiple times by two men, one of whom said he was from Russia and the other from Kazakhstan.
Some women and girls told Human Rights Watch that ISIS fighters beat them if they resisted or defied them in any way.
Zara, 13, said that ISIS fighters accused her and two other girls of desecrating a Quran while holding the girls captive on a farm. “They punished the three of us by taking us to the garden and tying our hands with wire,” she said. “We were blindfolded and they said they would kill us if we didn’t say who had done this. They beat us for 10 minutes and they fired a bullet in the air.”
Leila, 25, managed to escape from the house where she was held captive, but because she was behind ISIS lines, she realized she was trapped and felt compelled to return. The commander, an Iraqi, asked her why she had tried to escape. She said she replied: “Because what you are doing to us is haram [forbidden] and un-Islamic.” He beat her with a cable and also punished the guard who had failed to prevent her escape attempt. The guard beat her as well. “Since then, my mental state has become very bad and I’ve had fainting spells,” she said.
Women and girls told Human Rights Watch that ISIS fighters told them they had been bought for as much as US$2,000 from other ISIS members.
In some instances, ISIS fighters forcibly married their Yezidi captives rather than buy them. Narin, 20, said that when a fighter named Abu Du’ad brought her to his home, his wife left in protest. He brought a religious judge to perform a marriage ceremony but Narin refused to participate. Abu Du’ad persisted by trying to get permission from Narin’s family and called her brother in Germany. “But [my brother] said no to the marriage and offered to pay $50,000 for my release,” Narin said. “Abu Du’ad said no.”
Nadia, 23, said she was separated from the men in her family when ISIS fighters abducted them in her village near Sinjar in August. She tried to convince the ISIS fighters that she was married to escape being raped, because she had heard that ISIS fighters preferred virgins. However, after they took her to Syria, one of the men said that he would marry her. “The other girls with me said it’s forbidden to marry married women,” Nadia said. “He replied, ‘But not if they are Yezidi women.’”
ISIS has publicly acknowledged enslaving women and children. In an article entitled “The revival of slavery before the hour” in Dabiq, the group’s online English-language magazine, ISIS said it was reviving a custom justified under Sharia (Islamic law):
After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations, after one fifth of the slaves were transferred to the Islamic State’s authority to be divided as khums [a tax on war spoils].
A question-and-answer document, issued by what appears to be ISIS’s Research and Fatwa Department, states:
It is permissible to buy, sell, or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property, which can be disposed of.… It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse.… It is permissible to beat the female slave as a [form of] darb ta’deeb [disciplinary beating].
The women and girls who spoke to Human Rights Watch described their own suicide attempts or attempts of others as a way to avoid rape, forced marriage, or forced religious conversion. They described cutting their wrists with glass or razors, attempting to hang themselves, trying to electrocute themselves in bathtubs, and consuming what they thought was poison.
Rashida, 31, managed to speak to one of her brothers after her abduction by secretly using a fighter’s phone. She told her brother that ISIS fighters were forcing her to convert and then to marry. He told her he would try to help her but if he couldn’t, “I should commit suicide because it would be better than the alternative.” Rashida said:
Later that day they [ISIS fighters] made a lottery of our names and started to choose women by drawing out the names. The man who selected me, Abu Ghufran, forced me to bathe but while I was in the bathroom I tried to kill myself. I had found some poison in the house, and took it with me to the bathroom. I knew it was toxic because of its smell. I distributed it to the rest of the girls and we each mixed some with water in the bathroom and drank it. None of us died but we all got sick. Some collapsed.
Leila said she saw two girls try to kill themselves by slashing their wrists with broken glass. She also tried to commit suicide when her Libyan captors forced her to take a bath, which she knew was typically a prelude to rape:
I went into the bathroom, turned on the water, stood on a chair to take the wire connecting the light to electrocute myself but there was no electricity. After they realized what I was doing, they beat me with a long piece of wood and with their fists. My eyes were swollen shut and my arms turned blue. They handcuffed me to the sink, and cut my clothes with a knife and washed me. They took me out of the bathroom, brought in [my friend] and raped her in the room in front of me.
Leila said she was later raped. She said she tried to commit suicide again and showed Human Rights Watch the scars on her wrists where she cut herself with a razor.
About half the women and girls who spoke to Human Rights Watch said the ISIS fighters pressured them to convert to Islam. Zara, 13, said she was held captive in a three-story house in Mosul with girls ages 10 to 15:
When they came to select the girls, they would pull them away. The girls would cry and faint, they would have to take them by force. They made us convert to Islam and we all had to say the shahada [Islamic creed]. They said, “You Yezidis are kufar [infidels], you must repeat these words after the leader.” They gathered us all in one place and made us repeat after him. After we said the shahada, he said you have now been converted to our religion and our religion is the correct one. We didn’t dare not say the shahada.
ISIS fighters held Noor, 16, in various places including Mosul. “The leader of this group asked us to convert to Islam and read the Quran,” she said. “We were forced to read the Quran and we started to pray slowly. We started to behave like actors.”
War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
Rape and other forms of sexual violence, sexual slavery, cruel treatment, and other abuses committed during an armed conflict violate the laws of war. International criminal courts have ruled that rape and other sexual violence may also amount to torture.
Those who commit serious violations of the laws of war with criminal intent are responsible for war crimes. Commanders and civilian leaders may be prosecuted for war crimes as a matter of command responsibility when they knew or should have known about the commission of war crimes and took insufficient measures to prevent them or punish those responsible.
The mass rape and other serious abuses by ISIS against Yezidi civilians may be crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity are serious offenses, including rape, sexual slavery, enslavement, unlawful imprisonment, persecution of a religious group, and other inhumane acts intentionally causing great suffering, that are part of a widespread or systematic attack on a civilian population.
“Widespread” refers to the scale of the acts or the number of victims. “Systematic” concerns “a pattern or methodical plan.” ISIS public statements concerning enslavement, forced marriage, and abuse of captured women, as well as the organized sale of Yezidi women and girls, indicate a widespread practice and a systematic plan of action by ISIS.
Provision of Health Services
KRG authorities have made significant efforts to provide health and other services to Yezidi women and girls and have designated a health committee in Dohuk to coordinate the identification and referral of survivors to services. The director general for health in Dohuk, Dr. Nezhar Ismet Taib, who heads the committee, said that some families do not wish to reveal that their female relatives were abducted and this has made it difficult for the committee to identify and support those in need.
Almost all of the women and girls who spoke to Human Rights Watch said they had received medical examinations. A local doctor said the medical tests included blood tests for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. In some cases, medical workers provided emergency contraception and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
It is not clear that doctors have always obtained informed consent before conducting examinations. Narin, the 20-year-old woman from Sinjar, told Human Rights Watch that she was abducted on August 3 and given as a “gift” to an ISIS fighter, who tried to force her to marry him:
I wasn’t raped – [the ISIS member] didn’t touch me because I told him I was sick.… I got a forensic gynecological exam in Dohuk, which cleared me of abuse. I wasn’t comfortable during this exam, and [the doctor] didn’t explain what she was doing to me beforehand.
Those who take the medical tests do not always receive the test results. The two sisters, Rana and Sara, said that they spent five months in ISIS captivity and that ISIS fighters raped them multiples times. They said that soon after they escaped in December they received medical treatment and tests, but six weeks later, they had still not received any test results.Eighteen-year-old Arwa, from Kocho, managed to escape in December after ISIS fighters raped her. She told Human Rights Watch that she was still waiting for her test results seven weeks later.
Local authorities should ensure that health workers inform women and girls of the purpose of each test and that they consent to each procedure. The World Health Organization has provided guidelines for carrying out such tests and obtaining informed consent.
Withholding test results, whether positive or negative, can compound women’s and girls’ fears about the state of their health. Health workers should ensure that there is follow up for such women and girls, including providing test results and any further treatment and information they need.
Psychosocial support for women and girls who escaped ISIS is a crucial service that is largely lacking in Iraqi Kurdistan. All the women and girls interviewed showed signs of trauma. Jalila, the 12-year-old raped by four ISIS fighters, said she “can’t sleep at night because I remember how they were raping me. I want to do something to forget about my psychological problems. I want to leave Iraq until things get better, I don’t want to be captured again.” She had not received professional counselling.
Sixteen-year-old Noor told Human Rights Watch that ISIS fighters abducted her on August 3 from Tal Afar and held her until September, when she escaped. An ISIS fighter raped her multiple times over a period of five days, she said. In the first two months after her return, she said she remained traumatized and cried most of the time.
Noor did manage to get psychosocial support. A local activist arranged for her to visit a psychotherapist in the hospital three or four times and visited her frequently to encourage her to get regular psychosocial counselling. Noor was undergoing regular psychosocial treatment as well as attending a handicrafts course and leaving the camp for social activities with activists from local organizations.
However, representatives of international agencies and nongovernmental groups told Human Rights Watch that there was not only a lack of available psychosocial support, but also reluctance by the community to accept such help. One activist said that he had to visit girls and their guardians repeatedly to encourage the girls to participate in psychosocial counselling before they would agree.
Several of those Human Rights Watch interviewed stated that they would like to receive psychosocial therapy. Narin, the 20-year-old from Sinjar, said:
No one has offered me one-on-one counselling of any kind. I’d be interested in receiving professional counselling to help me process my experiences if it was available.… I have trouble sleeping at night, and only sleep a few hours at a time. When I sleep, I often see my parents and siblings in front of my eyes, especially the image of my brothers being forced to kneel on the road, and my mother’s face.
International and local groups agreed that there are not enough psychosocial therapists available to the women and girls to meet the need, given the number of escaped women and girls and the prospect of more to come.
Dr. Taib told Human Rights Watch that although he was not aware of any suicides of women or girls who had escaped, many were suicidal. He said that women and girls who sought treatment with local officials were assessed by a psychologist at the same time they received medical treatment. The health team designated to help Yezidi women and girls has two psychologists and two psychosocial therapists but plans to increase the number of psychosocial therapists to ten. In addition, some groups and international agencies are providing psychosocial support. A psychosocial therapist at Jian Centre for Human Rights said she and her colleague had provided support to 20 Yezidi women and girls who had escaped.
In the short term, psychologists and social workers, particularly those who speak the local Yezidi dialect, need training on counselling methods. This should be in addition to recruiting psychosocial therapists to deal with the urgent cases. More efforts are also needed to encourage and educate people who might need the services about how the services can help them.
Pregnancy and Children Born as a Result of Rape
The KRG has no comprehensive plan for addressing pregnancies or children born from rape. Dr. Taib told Human Rights Watch that the local health committee had agreed that the authorities should protect women who keep their children, including providing shelter for them and their children as well as prenatal and maternal health care. In cases where the women do not want to care for their children, personal status courts will have to make decisions about the welfare of the child.
Where the child’s biological mother and close family relinquish or abandon the child, or are unable to provide adequate care, the authorities should ensure appropriate alternative care, with or through competent local authorities and authorized nongovernmental groups. In cases in which the child’s biological mother and close family do not relinquish the child, authorities should direct efforts first at enabling the child to remain in the mother’s care, or when appropriate, the care of other close family members unless it is not in the child’s best interests. If women do choose to raise the children, there should be a plan for providing them with assistance, including psychosocial and financial support.
Officials should ensure that information about services is available to women and girls and can be accessed confidentially.
Abortion is illegal in Iraq. Local officials told Human Rights Watch that it is not permitted in the Kurdistan region even for rape cases unless a doctor considers it a medical necessity, such as a risk to the mother’s life. The KRG should urgently clarify for healthcare providers the circumstances in which they may legally perform abortions for women and girls who have escaped from ISIS captivity, including for women and girls at risk of suicide or “honor”-related violence. The Iraqi government should also urgently consider amending the penal code to allow safe and legal abortions for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.
In addition, KRG officials should encourage religious and community leaders to welcome children born from rape if the mothers freely choose to raise them in the Yezidi community and to provide the social support the women need.
Stigma and Reintegration
Baba Sheikh, a Yezidi religious leader, issued a statement on September 6 welcoming escaped women back into the community and stating that no one should harm them. On February 6, 2015, he reissued the appeal, saying:
These survivors remain pure Yezidis and no one may injure their Yezidi faith because they were subjected to a matter outside their control.… We therefore call on everyone to cooperate with and support these victims so that they may again live their normal lives and integrate into society.
These statements appear to have helped protect Yezidi women and girls from harm and have encouraged their families to seek treatment for them.
Ismail Ali, the KRG director general for combating violence against women in Dohuk, told Human Rights Watch that officials were not aware of any Yezidi girl or woman at risk from her family since returning, but should there be such cases, a shelter is available for them. In addition, authorities should provide programs that guarantee long-term rehabilitation and housing solutions for all women victims of violence who do not have the support of their families or who are under threat, and training for officials, local activists, and social and health workers to identify cases of women who are at risk of violence from their families. The authorities should also, in coordination with religious and community officials, raise awareness and provide education, particularly for men and boys, to prevent violence against women.
In addition, investment in skills training and livelihood schemes would help to reintegrate women into daily life. One organization is providing sewing and arts-and-crafts courses in the camps.
Many women and girls said that they wanted jobs so that they could financially assist their families. They also said that having nothing to do in the camps and being surrounded by family members who are also traumatized increased or exacerbated their own trauma.
Arwa, an 18-year-old from Kocho, said, “What I want more than anything is to work, so I can keep my mind off everything that happened.”
The Association for Crisis Assistance and Development Co-operation (WADI), a German-Iraqi nongovernmental organization, is seeking funding to build a center where Yezidi women and girls can get skills training. Women and girls who escaped ISIS told Human Rights Watch that they would use such a facility. WADI case workers have taken some of these women and girls out of the camps for social activities, which appeared to help occupy them and provide a semblance of a normal life.
UN PANEL REPORTS ON ISIS CRIMES ON YEZIDI’S
The “unimaginable horrors” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing against the minority Yezidis, documented in a report released on June 16 by the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic, shows the urgent need for concrete steps to ensure justice for these crimes.
In August 2014, ISIS fighters overran Yezidi towns and villages around Sinjar, in northwestern Iraq, executing many men and capturing women and girls. Their intent soon became clear in slave markets ISIS set up in Mosul and elsewhere, where they sold the women and girls to their fighters into sexual or domestic slavery.
The COI report found that the crimes against the minority Yezidis amount to genocide.
Human Rights Watch has found that the abuses against Yezidi women and girls, including abducting them and forcibly converting them to Islam and/or forcibly marrying them to ISIS members, amount to war crimes, may be crimes against humanity and may be part of a genocide against Yezidis. Women also reported that ISIS members took their children from them, physically abused their children, and forced the women and girls to pray or take Islamic names.
The commission says that ISIS still holds about 3,200 women and children, most in areas it controls in Syria. The report says that separating men and women, inflicting mental trauma, taking children away from their families and forced conversions, are among methods intended to destroy Yezidis as a people.
There has been considerable attention to the plight of Yezidi women in the media, but little discussion on how to provide justice for these terrible crimes. The commission says the UN Security Council should “refer the situation to justice, possibly to the International Criminal Court (ICC) or an ad hoc tribunal.”
The ICC has a mandate over crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Iraq, like Syria, is not a party to the Rome Statute, which set up the court. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told Human Rights Watch in March that Iraq has no plans to join the court—out of apparent concern that the court would also be able to examine grave abuses by government security forces.
Both the Iraqi government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), where hundreds of thousands of Yezidis have sought safety, says they have ISIS fighters in custody. In fact, the government says it has captured scores of ISIS fighters since the start of its Fallujah offensive. But to Human Rights Watch’s knowledge, no criminal justice authorities in KRI or the rest of Iraq are investigating or prosecuting ISIS members for war crimes or crimes against humanity, including crimes against Yezidis.
A “Genocide Committee” in Dohuk, a major city in Iraqi Kurdistan, which was established by the Kurdish government, is attempting to document these crimes. But its head investigator, Judge Ayman Bamerny, told Human Rights Watch the committee has no link to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s judiciary.
Similarly, in Baghdad, Judge Abd al-Sattar Bir Qadar, spokesperson for the judiciary, told Human Rights Watch in March that there have been no judicial investigations against captured ISIS members for war crimes or crimes against humanity The only exception has been a patently unfair trials, in July 2015 and February 2016, each lasting all of two hours, that convicted 24 men for the mass killing a year earlier of up to 1,700 Shia military cadets.
In March 2015, Iraq’s Council of Ministers declared ISIS crimes against Yezidis to be genocide, but Iraq has no provisions in its domestic law for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Yezidi victims of human rights abuses have a right to justice, not just government declarations with no consequences. Iraq should incorporate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide into its penal code and start investigations into credible allegations of abuses by ISIS. Iraqi authorities should also hold their own forces to account for their serious crimes. Iraq should also join the ICC, as membership could provide an impetus for Iraq to ensure accountability for the worst crimes by all sides. The US should press Iraqi authorities to make that a priority.
Countries that support Iraq’s war against ISIS, including Iran, Russia, the United States, Canada, Australia and European states should support Iraqi efforts to investigate these crimes and provide redress for its victims. They should urge Iraq to pursue impartial investigations of serious crimes by all sides, and offer Iraq technical assistance and judicial cooperation. Judicial authorities in Baghdad and Erbil told Human Rights Watch that there have been no exchanges of information in either direction with European countries that that have suspected ISIS fighters in custody.
Letting grave crimes against Yezidis and others go unpunished is a stain not only on the Iraqi government, but on all countries that have vowed to protect groups like the Yezidis against threats of extermination and that have committed themselves to supporting justice for grave abuses whenever and wherever they occur.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
THESE YEZIDI GIRLS ESCAPED ISIS/NOW WHAT?
Last August, the world watched in horror as the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, attacked Iraq’s Yezidi community. Thousands fled without food or water into the nearby Sinjar mountains, but ISIS fighters waylaid many, executing men and abducting thousands of people, mainly women and children. Rumors of forced marriage and enslavement of Yezidi girls and women swirled, and were later confirmed as a trickle of women and girls – now numbering into the hundreds – escaped. Human Rights Watch researchers Samer Muscati and Rothna Begum interviewed 20 of these women and girls and shared their findings with Amy Braunschweiger.
WHO ARE THE YEZIDIS?
Samer: The Yezidis live in Iraq’s Nineveh province on land claimed by both the Kurdistan regional government and the Iraqi central government. They practice an ancient monotheistic religion, and Yezidis say they have been persecuted for hundreds of years because many consider them “heretics.” Violent attacks against Yezidis by Sunni Arab extremists escalated after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. On August 14, 2007, four simultaneous truck bombings killed more than 300 Yezidis and wounded more than 700 in Sinjar district communities. Some Yezidi activists also faced intimidation and threats from Kurdistan government forces. Kurdistan authorities consider Yezidis to be Kurds and, therefore, Yezidi lands part of the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Thousands of Yezidi families have fled to Syria, Jordan, and elsewhere. Since 2003, but before the latest attack by ISIS, their numbers in Iraq had dropped from about 700,000 to 500,000. There are probably fewer now.
No one knows how many Yezidis have been killed by ISIS – they’re still uncovering mass graves. Very little information comes out of ISIS-controlled areas. Every family has been affected, has had a husband or son killed, a daughter abducted, or has had to flee. We visited informal settlements and the main camp, Khanke, near Dohuk, which houses more than 18,000 Yazidis, mainly from around the city of Sinjar, about a two-and-a-half hour drive away. The Yezidis are living in a virtual sea of displaced person tents and nearby unfinished buildings, which lack doors and heat, perched on windswept hills. The views from the hilltops are stunning on a sunny day, but there’s little to protect the people there from the cold.
In the camps you interviewed women and girls who escaped ISIS and made their way back home. What happened to them at the hands of ISIS?
Rothna: We heard stories of abuse ranging from being forced to wait on ISIS members hand and foot, to beatings, rape, electric shocks, forced marriage, and sexual slavery.
Samer: One girl said ISIS members, wanting to find out who “desecrated” their Quran, handcuffed and blindfolded her and two other girls, beat them with a cable, and then fired a gunshot into the air. Apparently, the girl told us, one of the many cats in the house had ripped the Quran.
Most of the girls we spoke with said they were transferred from one place to another, ultimately living in big houses or halls with between 5 and 60 other girls. During the course of the day, ISIS fighters would come in, pick a girl to take, and if she refused, she’d be slapped or beaten.
What happened to these girls when they returned home, especially considering the moral weight placed on their virginity?
Rothna: Virginity is a huge issue across the region. There is a stigma attached to the abducted women because they could have experienced sexual violence from the ISIS fighters – and it extends to their families. We know that in conflicts around the world, communities retaliate against women who are victims of sexual violence. Husbands leave wives, families abandon daughters. One of our biggest concerns was, would these women be treated violently after returning home?
That’s not what we found – in part thanks to the Yezidi religious leader, Baba Sheikh, who instructed the community to welcome back and not harm those who were abducted, forced to convert, or raped. Because of this, most families have welcomed back their female relatives. We didn’t interview Baba Sheikh, but we spoke with another religious leader, Baba Chawish. He welcomed us, and spoke calmly and with dignity, despite the chaos surrounding him. He told us how, over centuries, Yezidis have had to flee numerous attacks. This was just another crisis, he said, and his goal was to keep the community together as much as possible and, frankly, to survive.
The families we met just wanted to be reunited. They already had so many family members killed or abducted by ISIS, they just want their families back.
How are these girls doing?
Samer: It’s difficult for them, they’ve endured terrible abuses. For me, the hardest part was when they talked about their missing parents, or about how ISIS men separated them from their sister, and where could she be? It’s terrible to be a young girl and be abducted and endure horrific abuses, but then to also lose your family on top of that? One of the most common sentiments I heard was that their biggest wish is to be reunited with their families, as they don’t know how to be whole without them.
As a group, these were among the worst cases I have ever documented for Human Rights Watch, and that says a lot as I’ve documented a wide range of abuses for years in war-plagued Iraq – everything from torture in secret prisons to abuses against people displaced by the fighting.
One 12-year-old girl really stood out to me. Her shy disposition reminded me of my 12-year old cousin. The man who abducted her told her not to worry, that he’d treat her as he’d treat his own daughter. Then he drugged her and she woke up to see blood between her legs.
Was it difficult getting the girls to share their experiences? Samer, was the fact that you are an Iraqi Arab man an impediment?
It wasn’t helpful – many of the ISIS fighters there are Iraqi Arabs. But we worked with local activists who already knew the women and girls, which put everyone at ease. We are also extremely sensitive and careful not to re-traumatize survivors.
Had any of these girls become pregnant?
Rothna: We spoke to one who was pregnant at the time she escaped, but there are others that we heard of, and there will be more cases as more women and girls escape. Abortion is illegal in Iraq, but it’s allowed in certain circumstances, such as when a woman’s life is at risk. The law should be interpreted to cover cases of pregnancy as a result of rape. If the women choose to have the children, there should be a plan for them to keep the baby or not.
Now that they’ve returned to their community, what would you like to see for these girls?
Rothna: We want everyone who comes back to receive adequate medical and psychosocial treatment, as well as schooling for girls and employment skills training for women.
Additionally, doctors need to be better trained in examining women who have been sexually assaulted. The purpose of the examinations needs to be explained to the women and girls to get informed consent from them, and doctors should ask for consent both before and during the examination. Otherwise, the exams could be harmful and humiliating for women and girls, and make them feel like they have no control over their bodies – which is what they felt when they were abducted by ISIS.
Samer: We also found some nongovernmental organizations and journalists with no experience interviewing trauma victims documenting their stories. Some recorded their statements on video, which leads to the risk of them being identified publicly.
Rothna: One girl I spoke with, we call her “Noor,” seemed so much better adjusted than the others – despite being the only child left in her family. She smiled, joked around with us, and talked to us about her future. But she had an awful story. She was abducted at 15, and after being moved from place to place she lived in a house with other girls who were forcibly married off or sold one-by-one. She and a friend attempted suicide together – she showed me the scars on her wrists – but an ISIS member caught them and stopped them. When her friend was picked to be taken by an ISIS member, the girl begged the men to take her too, so she could stay with her friend. They agreed and took both girls to another house. There, two other men told them, “You are sold to us.” They then beat and raped them for five days until they escaped, breaking through the door while the men were away fighting.
When she first came to the camp, she looked like a ghost, people told us. She was reunited with her parents, who were traumatized after their only son, Noor’s brother, was executed in front of them. But Noor had her parents’ support. She said that she’d been to the hospital a few times, is receiving regular counseling, and is taking a sewing class. Her friend that she escaped with lives in a separate camp, and her father has taken her there to visit. Sometimes NGO activists take her out of the camp for social activities like going to the mall. She says she still has nightmares, but she’s healing. She’s going to be someone who can identify herself as a survivor, not just as a victim.
In some ways, Noor has come back to life.
Yes. And life in general is taking shape in the camps. You can see market stalls selling chewing gum, and you see the lengths people have to go to make these tents feel like home with rugs and pillows. Keeping their spaces clean. They’d survived the winter and were dealing with cold rains. It’s likely they’ll be there for months or even years to come.
Why haven’t all the girls received the same type of treatment as Noor?
Rothna: Of the 300 women and girls who have returned, only 100 have been identified by health authorities. The other 200 or so, their families likely don’t know these services are available. People need to get the word out.
The Yezidi camps are in Iraqi Kurdistan, and they are protected by Kurdistan’s forces. The local Kurdistan officials we spoke with have been trying to help get women and girls treatment and to aid those who escaped to return home safely. They told us that they want expert help in handling rape cases and trauma, and they need expert assistance and training, particularly in psychotherapy. They want to know how to help.
Samer: The Yezidis stopped dominating the news six months ago, but the crisis still exists. Needs are going unmet. And there is an enormous number of people that need help – especially as more and more women and girls escape ISIS.
Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), highlights the savagery of IS rule, said Amnesty International in a new briefing today.
Escape from hell- Torture, sexual slavery in Islamic State captivity in Iraq provides an insight into the horrifying abuse suffered by hundreds and possibly thousands of Yezidi women and girls who have been forcibly married, “sold” or given as “gifts” to IS fighters or their supporters. Often, captives were forced to convert to Islam.
“Hundreds of Yezidi women and girls have had their lives shattered by the horrors of sexual violence and sexual slavery in IS captivity,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Advisor, who spoke to more than 40 former captives in northern Iraq.
“Many of those held as sexual slaves are children – girls aged 14, 15 or even younger. IS fighters are using rape as a weapon in attacks amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
The women and girls are among thousands of Yezidis from the Sinjar region in north-west Iraq who have been targeted since August in a wave of ethnic cleansing by IS fighters bent on wiping out ethnic and religious minorities in the area.
The horrors endured in IS captivity have left these women and girls so severely traumatized that some have been driven to end their own lives. Nineteen-year-old Jilan committed suicide while being held captive in Mosul because she feared she would be raped, her brother told Amnesty International.
One of the girls who was held in the same room as Jilan and 20 others, including two girls aged 10 and 12, told Amnesty International: “One day we were given clothes that looked like dance costumes and were told to bathe and wear those clothes. Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself. She was very beautiful; I think she knew she was going to be taken away by a man and that is why she killed herself.” The girl was among those who later escaped.
Wafa, 27, another former captive, told Amnesty International how she and her sister attempted to end their lives one night after their captor threatened them with forced marriage. They tried to strangle themselves with scarves but two girls sleeping in the same room awoke and stopped them.
“We tied the scarves around our necks and pulled away from each other as hard as we could, until I fainted… I could not speak for several days after that,” she said.
The majority of the perpetrators are Iraqi and Syrian men; many of them are IS fighters but others are believed to be supporters of the group. Several former captives said they had been held in family homes where they lived with their captors’ wives and children.
Many Yezidi survivors are doubly affected as they are also struggling to cope with the loss of dozens of their relatives who either remain in captivity or have been killed by the IS.
Randa, a 16-year-old girl from a village near Mount Sinjar was abducted with scores of her family members, including her heavily-pregnant mother. Randa was “sold” or given as a “gift” to a man twice her age who raped her. She described the impact of her ordeal to Amnesty International:
“It is so painful what they did to me and to my family. Da’esh (the IS) has ruined our lives… What will happen to my family? I don’t know if I will ever see them again.”
“The physical and psychological toll of the horrifying sexual violence these women have endured is catastrophic. Many of them have been tortured and treated as chattel. Even those who have managed to escape remain deeply traumatized,” said Donatella Rovera.
The trauma of survivors of sexual violence is further exacerbated by the stigma surrounding rape. Survivors feel that their “honour”, and that of their families, has been tarnished and fear that their standing in society will be diminished as a result.
Many survivors of sexual violence are still not receiving the full help and support they desperately need.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government, UN and other humanitarian organizations who are providing medical and other support services to survivors of sexual violence must step up their efforts. They must ensure they are swiftly and proactively reaching out to all those who may need them, and that women and girls are made aware of the support available to them,” said Donatella Rovera.
Such services should include sexual and reproductive health services as well as counselling and trauma support.
”Fighters with the armed group calling itself “Islamic State” (IS) have systematically targeted members of non-Arab and non-Sunni Muslim communities. Despite worldwide condemnation, the IS has shown no intention of putting an end to the war crimes and crimes against humanity which its fighters have been committing on a large scale, including against the Iraqi women and girls they have abducted and continue to hold captive. Any party, in Iraq or outside, with any influence over the IS should use that influence to secure the release of these captives.”
IRAQ: ESCAPE FROM HELL: TORTURE AND SEXUAL SLAVERY IN ISLAMIC STATE CAPTIVITY IN IRAQ
SEE FULL REPORT
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Bij de aanvaarding van hun ambt leggen de leden der Staten-Generaal in de vergadering van de kamer waarin zij zijn verkozen, de volgende eden of verklaringen en beloften af:
“Ik zweer (verklaar) dat ik, om tot lid van de Staten-Generaal te worden benoemd, rechtstreeks noch middellijk, onder welke naam of welk voorwendsel ook, enige gift of gunst heb gegeven of beloofd.
Ik zweer (verklaar en beloof), dat ik, om iets in dit ambt te doen of te laten, rechtstreeks noch middellijk enig geschenk of enige belofte heb aangenomen of zal aannemen.
Ik zweer (beloof) trouw aan de Koning, aan het Statuut voor het Koninkrijk en aan de Grondwet.
Ik zweer (beloof) dat ik de plichten die mijn ambt mij oplegt getrouw zal vervullen.
Zo waarlijk helpe mij God almachtig!”
(Dat verklaar en beloof ik!”).
MATTHEUS 5: 45
Dat IS-vrouwen vanuit Turkije terug naar Nederland konden komen, was voor de Nederlandse instanties geen verrassing. Ze treffen al een tijd lang voorbereidingen om zo’n terugkeer zo goed mogelijk te regelen. Gisteren gebeurde het; Turkije zette twee IS-vrouwen en twee kinderen op het vliegtuig naar Schiphol.
Als het telefoontje uit Ankara komt, weten alle betrokkenen wat er moet gebeuren. Terwijl de vrouwen en kinderen in het vliegtuig zitten, bepaalt de kinderrechter dat de kinderen worden toegewezen aan Jeugdbescherming. De ouder wordt op dat moment geschorst van het ouderlijk gezag.
Medewerkers van de Raad voor de Kinderbescherming staan op Schiphol te wachten om alles in goede banen te leiden. De moeder moet na aankomst meteen afscheid nemen van haar kinderen.
Gisteravond gebeurde dit bij de 23-jarige Fatimah H. uit Tilburg. Haar kinderen van 3 en 4 werden overgedragen aan een voogd van Jeugdbescherming, terwijl zij in hechtenis werd genomen. De voogd neemt vanaf dat moment alle beslissingen.
Berecht in Nederland
De afgelopen jaren meldden zich zo’n tien Syriëgangers bij een Nederlandse diplomatieke post in Turkije. In alle gevallen werden ze door Turkije aan Nederland overgedragen, om vervolgens in Nederland te worden berecht.
Met H. is vooraf afgesproken wat haar op Schiphol te wachten staat. Haar wordt geadviseerd om aan de kinderen te laten merken dat ze het goed vindt dat ze met de Kinderbescherming meegaan. Zo is een mogelijk trauma het minst hevig voor het kind, is de gedachte.
Vanaf Schiphol rijdt gespecialiseerd personeel met de kinderen naar een opvanggezin. Dit is de eerste, tijdelijke, opvang. In de eerste drie maanden worden de kinderen vaak onderzocht; onder anderen een radicaliseringsdeskundige en een psychiater gaan met ze in gesprek. Er wordt van uitgegaan dat de kinderen getraumatiseerd zijn. De voogd van Jeugdbescherming heeft daarom veel contact met de kinderen en het opvanggezin.
Terwijl de kinderen worden opgevangen in het pleeggezin, gaat de moeder de Penitentiaire Inrichting Vught of gevangenis De Schie in Rotterdam. Daar zijn de enige zogenoemde Terroristenafdelingen van Nederland. Ze wordt daar vastgezet en extra beveiligd binnen een speciaal programma, om haar ideologisch te beperken.
Vrijdag wordt ze in Rotterdam voorgeleid aan de rechter-commissaris in Rotterdam. Die bepaalt of hij het voorarrest met 14 dagen verlengt.
Fatima H. had zich eind oktober gemeld bij de Nederlandse ambassade in Ankara. Ook de 25-jarige Xaviera S. zat op de vlucht. Zij is in in 2014 naar Syrië gereisd. Ook S. is vastgezet in een van de penitentiaire inrichtingen en wacht vervolging.
De straf die H. boven het hoofd hangt, is afhankelijk van de verdenking en het bewijsmateriaal. Het Openbaar Ministerie zegt er al zeker van te zijn dat ze na 2015, toen het kalifaat werd uitgeroepen, naar Syrië is gereisd. Ze wordt daarom verdacht van “deelname aan een terroristische organisatie”.
De straf die daar in Nederland op staat is zes jaar cel. Ook als de vrouwen zich erop beroepen dat ze alleen voor hun man en kinderen zorgden, kunnen ze bestraft worden. In eerdere zaken is dat al gebeurd. Volgens het OM hoeft een verdachte geen oorlogsmisdaden te plegen om berecht te worden. De vrouw heeft het voortbestaan van IS met haar daden verlengd, is de argumentatie. Dat is voldoende om een straf opgelegd te krijgen.
De straf van zes jaar staat los van wat iemand verder gedaan heeft. Mocht iemand bijvoorbeeld iemand hebben vermoord, dan is er een levenslange celstraf mogelijk, maar zoiets is in Nederland nog niet voorgekomen.
Komen er nog meer IS-vrouwen naar Nederland?
Zeker is dat er nog groepen IS-vrouwen en -strijders in het buitenland zitten. Ze bevinden zich met name in Syrië, Turkije en Irak. Volgens de AIVD zijn er uit Nederland de afgelopen jaren in totaal ongeveer 300 mensen met “jihadistische intentie” afgereisd naar Syrië en Irak. Een derde van hen is vrouw.
Op dit moment zitten er 95 kinderen, 35 vrouwen en 15 mannen met de Nederlandse nationaliteit in Syrische kampen. Volgens de AIVD zijn er nog 20 volwassenen en 30 kinderen in Turkije. Slechts een aantal van hen zit vast en zou dus nog kunnen worden uitgezet.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
IRAQ: KEY COURTS IMPROVE ISIS TRIAL PROCEDURES
But changes needed in laws, response to torture, Other Courts
13 MARCH 2019
ZIE VOOR TEKST:
NOOT 15 VAN
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
IRAQ: KEY COURTS IMPROVE ISIS TRIAL PROCEDURES
But changes needed in laws, response to torture, Other Courts
13 MARCH 2019
ZIE VOOR TEKST:
NOOT 15 VAN
Ik zie me dus gedwongen het op te nemen voor jihadisten
Het was, zo kopte het NRC, misschien wel Ahmed Aboutaleb’s ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’-moment. Aangemoedigd door duizenden demonstranten trok de Rotterdamse burgemeester op de solidariteitsbetoging met Charlie Hebdo een scheidslijn tussen ‘de Rotterdammers’– ‘niet verdeeld, maar samen’ – en de apologeten van jihadistisch geweld. Voor die laatsten had Aboutaleb, eerder die week, een andere boodschap: ‘pak je koffer, en vertrek. Er is misschien een andere plek in de wereld waar je toch je recht kan komen.’ En: ‘ja, mag ik het zo zeggen: … rot toch op.’
Het lijken misschien holle oneliners, maar tegelijkertijd is er wel degelijk een wet in de maak die het gemakkelijker moet maken om niet alleen jihadgangers maar ook hun helpers hier, de Nederlandse nationaliteit te ontnemen. Er is één uitzondering: voor jihadisten die niet over een dubbel, maar slechts over een Nederlands paspoort beschikken, gaat de regel niet op. Stateloosheid zou dan immers het gevolg zijn, en dat is volgens internationale wetgeving ontoelaatbaar. Toch zouden VVD, CDA en SGP ook die laatste optie serieuzer willen onderzoeken: zij bepleitten vorige week het intrekken van staatsburgerschap voor álle jihadisten – ook van diegenen, die alleen Nederlands burger zijn.
Opstelten zag juridisch weinig mogelijkheden, maar zegde toe het desondanks aan de Raad van Europa voor te leggen. Allicht dat ook andere Europese landen worstelen met dit probleem, aldus de (inmiddels ex-)minister.
Discours van bestaansrecht ontkennen
Zowel politiek als juridisch schuift men zo langzaam maar zeker op naar een discours dat niet alleen afstand neemt van de plegers of bepleiters van extremistisch geweld, maar hen zelfs hun bestaansrecht als persoon in onze samenleving ontzegt. Het trekt een resoluut onderscheid tussen de burger – die deel uitmaakt van een politieke gemeenschap en aanspraak kan maken op civiele rechten – en de rechteloze buitenstaander. Natuurlijk: ook formeel burgerschap biedt geen enkele garantie tegen uitbuiting en onderdrukking op basis van ras, gender, klasse, of geloofsovertuiging – laten we ons daarover geen illusies maken.
De één gelijker dan de ander
Maar een specifiek deel van de bevolking zowel discursief als juridisch hun burgerschap ontnemen, is slechts een stap verder in dezelfde dynamiek, waarbij sommigen categorisch ‘gelijker’ zijn dan anderen. Degene die daarmee zelfs tot buiten de marges van de samenleving wordt verdreven rest, om met de Italiaanse filosoof Giorgio Agamben te spreken, slechts het ‘naakte leven’: ontdaan van recht en plicht, lidmaatschap en verantwoordelijkheid, verwordt zij of hij tot een a-politiek lichaam dat in wezen vogelvrij is. Wie tot die categorie behoort kan dan dus net zo goed “oprotten”, sterven… zelfs straffeloos gedood worden.
‘Onze’ westerse samenleving
Volgens Rutte volgt dat nu eenmaal uit de keuze die jihadisten zelf maken om zich te engageren met een gewapende strijd tegen ‘onze’ westerse samenleving en de daarin verankerde waarden. Bovendien, zo benadrukt hij, is een heel groot deel van “ons” het roerig met hem eens. De vraag is natuurlijk: wie zijn ‘ons’ in dit geval? Want hoorden ook de ‘Syriëgangers’ daar – in ieder geval in eerste instantie – niet evengoed bij? Per slot van rekening hebben we het vooralsnog over medeburgers.
Zou het echt zo gemakkelijk moeten zijn om met een beroep op de meerderheidsstem, of met het oog op veiligheidsrisico’s, een deel van de eigen gemeenschap ieder recht te ontzeggen? Om, bij monde van de minister-president, tegen medeburgers te zeggen: ‘ga maar dood?’
Ik heb geen enkele voeling of sympathie voor de misogyne, homofobe, en antisemitische ideeën die de IS pleegt te verspreiden – laat staan voor de brute en gewelddadige manier waarop ze dat doen. En ik geef toe dat ik niet graag zou samenleven met iemand die oprecht dit soort denkbeelden onderschrijft. Maar de werkelijkheid is wel dat ik die keuze helemaal niet heb: we praten hier wel degelijk over onze eigen buren, klasgenoten, collega’s, stadsgenoten, leerlingen, of zelfs familieleden. Het zijn misschien jihadisten, maar het zijn wel ónze jihadisten. Of ze nu één of twee paspoorten hebben; ze zijn getogen en vaak geboren in ónze stad, gingen naar ónze scholen. De onvrede of vervreemding die hen in de armen dreef van radicale imams en jihadronselaars was een onvrede met ónze samenleving. En – of we het nu leuk vinden of niet – “onze” betekent in dit geval evengoed: ‘hun’.
Platvloerse agressie gemeengoed
De platvloerse agressie die inmiddels gemeengoed lijkt te zijn geworden in Den Haag, confronteert me dus met een moeilijk dilemma. Aan de ene kant zie ik geen enkele reden om het überhaupt voor jihadisten en hun sympathisanten op te nemen. Dit is niet simpelweg een onderhoudend debatje over de vrijheid van meningsuiting of de “kernwaarden” van een burgerlijke samenleving. Maar aan de andere kant: niet alleen wordt gesteld dat sommige medeburgers net zo goed kunnen sneuvelen. Tegelijkertijd wordt ook juridisch de baan bereid voor hun vogelvrijverklaring. Zodoende tekent men met holle “rot maar op”-retoriek impliciet het doodsvonnis van een – vooralsnog klein – deel van onze samenleving.