There is no end to the misery: on February 14, 2021, the Syrian Ministry of Justice issued a decree subjecting Yazidis with Syrian citizenship to Islamic law, the Sharia. Yazidis without Syrian citizenship in Syria remain subject to civil law – this makes them foreigners whose rights have been massively curtailed without further ado since the founding of the republic.

The vast majority of Yazidis in Syria do not have Syrian citizenship.

But what does this judicial push mean for the few Yazidis who do have Syrian citizenship? It means that they are subject to Islamic law and are de facto forced to convert to Islam against their will. Thus, Yazidis are faced with the choice of continuing to live in their homeland without full rights or embracing Islam.

The Yazidis of Syria have been stateless since they were stripped of their citizenship by the Syrian government in the 1970s in a campaign of Arabization that violated international law and turned them into foreigners in their own country.

We strongly condemn this and urge all human rights institutions to help.