Yezidis turn to European Court to resolve citizenship issues

Knights, Samantha (2009) Yezidis turn to European Court to resolve citizenship issues. EHRAC bulletin (11). pp. 12-13.


This article discusses the problems of the Yezidis living in southern Russia. For a number of years EHRAC and Memorial have been concerned with the situation of about 2,000 Yezidis living in southern Russia. The Yezidis are followers of a religion with ancient origins. They are Kurdish people by background and claim one of the oldest religions in the world. However their belief system has frequently been misrepresented and as a group they have suffered persecution over a long period, with violent attacks most recently in Iraq. A large community was until 1988 living in Soviet Armenia. An earthquake in 1988 caused almost all the community to flee to the Krasnodar region of Soviet Russia. Since relocating to Russia the community has experienced widespread discrimination from the Russian authorities in the region. A large number of the community resident in Russia have no local propiska (registration) and are not recognised as Russian citizens. The problems which follow from the lack of local registration and citizenship are myriad: lack of access to employment, social benefits, health care, education, voting rights, and freedom of movement to name but a few.

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