Irresponsible journalism on Ezidi women

v2-yazidi1-ap-v2The coverage of Kurdish news agencies on Shingal has been appalling because of the lack of ethical guidelines followed. In the beginning of the war against ISIS, Kurdistan Region’s presidency issued preliminary guidelines restricting its military personnel from issuing public statements or speaking to the press without permission.

Recently, a video surfaced online showing a teenage girl, who had fled ISIS. The video shows the teenager having what seems to be a panic attack, screaming uncontrollably as her mother tries to comfort her. It is distressing and heartbreaking at the same time.

The Ezidi community faced humiliation at the hands of ISIS, but they rose up dignified in the face of an undignified threat. What’s saddening in the video, is the lack of privacy, respect, dignity and personal space given to those that have managed to escape ISIS.

It seems, the fight for “likes” and “shares” on Facebook has superseded the judgement of many news outlets. There is no doubt that this footage has surfaced without the victim’s consent or understanding of where it will be uploaded.

It is irresponsible for news agencies or outlets with a huge following to publish pictures, footages, or recordings that show the Ezidi women at their lowest. There should be legal measures sought to restrict these outlets from publishing footages without consent.

The element of consent is essential. Most of these women that have escaped ISIS are still suffering from the ordeal they were forced to ensure. They need therapy, counselling and years of help to overcome the trauma they experienced.

The video was posted on Roj Gull, Qandil Post and dozens of other Facebook pages, news outlets. For the sake of making the above point(s) the video can be found here, but for the sake of upholding ethical standards, avoid watching.

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