First, a little background information from Wiki:
The Yazidi or Yezidi (Kurdish: Êzidîtî or Êzidî)(Arabic,يزيدي or ايزيدي) are adherents of a Middle Eastern religion with ancient origins. Yazidi belong to the smallest of the three branches of Yazdânism. The other branches of Yazdânism, Alevism and Yarsanism, differ from Yazidism by recognizing the Islamic practice of taqiyya (dissimulation). The three branches are geographically split and mutual contacts are rare.
Yazidis are primarily ethnic Kurds, and most live near Mosul, Iraq with smaller communities in Armenia (some 40,000 according to 2001 census), Georgia, Iran, Russia (31,273 as per 2002 census), Syria, and Turkey. They number around 500,000 individuals in total, but estimates vary on their population size, partially due to the Yazidi tradition of secretiveness when asked about one’s religious beliefs. Yazidi refugees also live in Europe and the United States.
On to the News article from the Daily Mail:
The moment a teenage girl was stoned to death for loving the wrong boy
Last updated at 18:28pm on 3rd May 2007
A 17-year-old girl has been stoned to death in Iraq because she loved a teenage boy of the wrong religion.
As a horrifying video of the stoning went out on the Internet, the British arm of Amnesty International condemned the death of Du’a Khalil Aswad as “an abhorrent murder” and demanded that her killers be brought to justice.
Reports from Iraq said a local security force witnessed the incident, but did nothing to try to stop it. Now her boyfriend is in hiding in fear for his life.
Miss Aswad, a member of a minority Kurdish religious group called Yezidi, was condemned to death as an “honour killing” by other men in her family and hardline religious leaders because of her relationship with the Sunni Muslim boy.
They said she had shamed herself and her family when she failed to return home one night. Some reports suggested she had converted to Islam to be closer to her boyfriend.
Miss Aswad had taken shelter in the house of a Yezidi tribal leader in Bashika, a predominantly Kurdish town near the northern capital, Mosul.
A large crowd watched as eight or nine men stormed the house and dragged Miss Aswad into the street. There they hurled stones at her for half an hour until she was dead.
The stoning happened last month, but only came to light yesterday with the release of the Internet video.
It is feared her death has already triggered a retaliatory attack. Last week 23 Yezidi workmen were forced off a bus travelling from Mosulto Bashika by a group of Sunni gunmen and summarily shot dead.
An Amnesty International spokesman in London said they receive frequent reports of honour crimes from Iraq – particularly in the predominantly Kurdish north.
Most victims are women and girls who are considered by male relatives to have shamed their families by immoral behaviour.
Kurdish authorities have introduced reforms outlawing honour killings, but have failed to investigate them or prosecute suspects, added the Amnesty spokesman.
Kate Allen, the organisation’s UK director, said: “This young girl’s murder is truly abhorrent and her killers must be brought to justice.
“Unless the authorities respond vigorously to this and any other reports of crimes in the name of ‘honour’, we must fear for the future of women in Iraq.”
The video has been posted and removed twice from YouTube. If you really wish to see the video, it is posted here. If you wish to sign an on-line petition protesting this Human Rights Abuse click here.
For an interesting read, Middle East journalist Michael Totten has an article with photographs of Lalish and more information on the Yezidi religion. (Hat tip: Lawhawk)
LALISH, IRAQ – In Northern Iraq there is a place called Lalish where the Yezidis say the universe was born. I drove south from Dohok on snowy roads through an empty land, seemingly to the ends of the earth, and found it nestled among cold hills. Click here for balance of article…