The Iraqi Mass Graves Department announced, on Monday, the postponement of burial ceremonies for victims of mass graves in the village of Kojo of Sinjar district until further notice.
Last Thursday, 5/3/2020, decrees were to take place to return and the remains of 62 victims of the mass graves that were found in the village of Kojo of Sinjar district, who were all Yazidi victims killed collectively by ISIS terrorist organization during the control of this group on Sinjar and the Nineveh Plain and were found by the Iraqi national team of mass graves.
Diaa Al-Saadi, Director of the Mass Graves Department at the Iraqi Martyrs Foundation, confirmed that the burial decrees for the remains of the victims were postponed in implementation of Decision No. 55 and the Iraqi Ministry of Health instructions for the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
Al-Saadi added that the bone samples were taken from the remains by the forensic medicine of the Federal Ministry of Health, and they were 62 victims whose families were identified from a total of 235 victims who were taken out of a mass grave in the village of Kojo in Sinjar district by the national team in the last period.
Regarding the date for organizing the burial decrees, the Director of the Mass Graves Department at the Martyrs Foundation confirmed that the decrees were postponed until further notice and the date will be announced later.
On the other hand, the representative of the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs in the Kurdistan Regional Government, Sirwan Jalal, who is currently in the city of Musol, confirmed that the documents to verify the identity of the victims of the Mass Graves of Kojo has been signed, and said: “I participated as a representative of the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, alongside representatives of both (Martyrs Foundation, Mosul Court, General Prosecutor of Mosul, Institute of Forensic Medicine in Baghdad, representative of Ministry of Interior in Mosul, the High Commission for Human Rights, the Municipal Council of Mosul) in a meeting for signing the documents of 62 victims who were identified in the forensic medicine department in Baghdad.”
Jalal pointed out that a copy of the documents will be delivered to the higher authorities, along with a copy of them to the families of the victims, as they were identified during the initial DNA examination, and after the remains are buried and the funeral ceremonies are carried out, a special code will be put on the grave of each victim, where they will be re-buried in a special cemetery near the village of Kojo, and the code of each victim will be handed over to their family.
He added: “In addition to signing this document, another document was signed today by the concerned authorities to open the largest and most numerous Mass Grave in Badush, which contains an estimated of 1500 victims of ISIS crimes, who are all Yazidis.”
It is worth noting that there is a team of mass graves belonging to the Iraqi Martyrs Foundation in the city of Mosul with the aim of identifying the mass graves that were found in the district of Sinjar and the Nineveh Plain. 45 mass graves out of 67 were fenced in the last period and is working to open a mass grave within the Solagh Technical Institute of Sinjar, which contains 70 yazidi women, whose ages are between 70 to 90 years, and they were found in a fish tank inside the fence of the Technical Institute in Sinjar.
How the genocide started?
ISIS terrorists occupied vast swathes of land in both Iraq and Syria in 2014, including a major Iraqi city 'Mosul' and Sinjar district, main homeland of the Yazidis, declaring a caliphate across both countries.
ISIS took over Sinjar in August of 2014. The militants perpetrated the Sinjar massacre, killing thousands of Yazidi men and taking Yazidi women and children into slavery in an attempt to genocide the Yazidis. According to a United Nations report, 5,000 Yazidi civilians were killed during ISIS's August offensive.
(Reported by Fuan Othman from Erbil, Translated and Edited by H.H.)