Iraq: Yazidis

Home Office written question – answered on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will take steps to ensure that his Department's country guidance on Iraq recognises that Yazidis face persecution across that country.

Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to his Department's Iraq: country policy and information notes, updated in November 2018, what assessment his Department has made of the safety of (a) Yazidis and (b) other religious minorities in Basra.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

Our position on handling claims made by religious minorities in Iraq, including Yazidis, is set out in the Home Office’s country information and guidance document of August 2016 published on gov.uk website.

Each case is considered on its individual facts against relevant country information and relevant caselaw. The country information is taken from a range of reliable sources, including reputable media outlets; local, national and international organisations, including human rights organisations; and information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Consideration of an individual’s personal circumstances, including their ability to relocate, would be considered as part of an assessment.

Our conclusions are that, in general religious minorities, including Yazidis, are not at risk of persecution or serious harm from the state authorities in Iraq. However, a person from a religious minority is likely to be a risk of persecution from Daesh in the ‘contested’ areas (Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewah and Salah al-Din), and from armed groups, including the Shia militia, in Baghdad.

A person from a religious minority may not be able to obtain protection from the state in areas outside the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). However, decision makers would consider whether there are any circumstances, including family, tribal or political links, in which a person can obtain effective protection.

A person from a religious minority at risk can relocate to the southern governorates (including Basra), and the KRI, if not unduly harsh for them based on their individual circumstances.

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