The newly arrived Yazidi community in Wagga Wagga gathered yesterday to commemorate the third anniversary of the horrific attack that was carried out by IS on their people in 2014 in Shingal (Sinjar) Kurdistan/Iraq.
On the 3rd August 2014, thousands of Yazidi men were massacred and thousands of young girls and women were taken captive in the brutal attack that saw the Kurdish region of Shingal (the Kurdish name for what most English-speakers know as Mount Sinjar) decimated in a brutal attack by IS.
The attack targeted the Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking religious minority, in order to illuminate that the community are regarded as infidels by IS.
Since then, hundreds of Yazidi families have been resettled abroad in locations including the New South Wales town of Wagga Wagga.
Over 200 Yazidi refugees have been settled there as part of Australia’s commitment to a special intake of 12,000 people affected by the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
This week dozens of these people turned out to a ceremony at a community hall in Wagga to commemorate the solemn occasion.
Nawaf Mirza, an Australian Yazidi who was present at the ceremony in Wagga Wagga tells SBS Kurdish, "on this black day, we gather to mourn our martyrs."
"We ask authorities to help free our captives from Daish [IS] and we want our voices to reach the world,"
The refugees also used the gathering as an opportunity to call on the government to do more to help the vast majority of attack survivors like them who remain displaced in camps.
"We ask authorities to help free our captives from Daish [IS] and we want our voices to reach the world," says Mirza.
"This was our message from this hall [in Wagga Wagga] to the world, bring our captives back, and may god have mercy on our martyrs."
See pictures of the event below: