“We Will Not Stop”: The Yazidis’ Visions on Transitional Justice
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Exactly seven years after the Islamic State committed genocide against the Yazidi community in north Iraq (3 august 2014), justice has not been achieved for the Yazidis. The transitional justice (TJ) framework of the United Nations aims to address these kinds of gross human rights violations. In recent TJ scholarship, the focus has been on the involvement of the affected community in the TJ strategy and its different mechanisms. Their participation would allow for a TJ process that responds to their interests. This thesis therefore researches the visions of justice of certain Yazidis. More specifically, it analyzes the perceptions of the Yazidis on the current TJ process and mechanisms and examines their wishes for the future TJ process. To this end, I interviewed 20 Yazidis and four experts who have worked closely with Yazidis in Iraq. I asked the Yazidis questions about the current TJ process and how they would like to see this improved. I found that the Yazidis I interviewed have a broad conception of justice: justice for the genocide should inevitably entail prosecutions of the perpetrators of the genocide, but also focus on their current priorities and needs and include assurances that the genocide will not be committed again. These results suggest that the notion of justice contains punitive and social concerns and future-oriented elements for the Yazidis I interviewed. More research needs to be done, however, as this was an exploratory study.