Yazidis released by ISIL seek religious cleansing - Al Jazeera English

Yazidis released by ISIL seek religious cleansing

Hundreds of Yazidis have gathered in Iraq's holy centre of Lalish, struggling to recover after months in captivity.

Cathy Otten, Ali Arkady | | Humanitarian crises, War & Conflict, Middle East, ISIL, Iraq

Lalish village, Iraq - In the holy centre of Lalish in northern Iraq, hundreds of sick, elderly and weak Yazidis gather, kissing the hand of Sheikh Hussein as he welcomes them home after their ordeal at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Doctors weave among the sick and injured, taking blood samples and trying to reassure them. Some believe ISIL fighters are still holding them, and lash out. One woman cannot remember her own name.

Kidnapped in early August along with thousands of other Yazidis, they were released for unknown reasons last month. ISIL fighters, citing a belief that Yazidis worship the devil, massacred hundreds of members of the minority religion when they swept through northern Iraq last summer.

Yazidi leaders say the new arrivals should come to the holy temple in Lalish and be "cleansed" after ISIL forced them to convert to Islam, but for some, it is clear that adjusting to life as it was before may be impossible.

Recommended

Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.

MORE FROM AL JAZEERA
Nepal: The Maoist dream

Nepal: The Maoist dream

Nepal's bloody civil war ended in 2006 when a Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed between the Maoist rebels and the Nepali state in Kathmandu. Many people have disappeared or got killed during the war. Al Jazeera tells this story through the eyes of the Nepali people.

War & Conflict, Nepal, Asia

MUST-SEE PROGRAMMES