Sunday, August 30, 2015
'Jewish Schindler' 'has nothing to hide'
The Montreal Moroccan Jew who says that he and his non-profit group have rescued 128 Yazidis and Christians from enslavement by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq is fighting back against those questioning his claims. The Forward reports:
The attorney for Steve Maman, president of the Montreal-based group The Liberation of Yazidi and Christian Children of Iraq (CYCI), has sent the group of Yazidi activists and spiritual leaders that is demanding an inquiry into his claims a cease and desist letter ordering them to stop talking to or about him — and threatening to sue them for $5,000,000 if they don't.
Read article in full
Extract from Steven Maman's public statement:(with thanks: Michelle)
"During recent days, CYCI has been the target of accusations and scrutiny founded on poor journalism and lack of proper research. We have also seen deep activities of corruption within groups that claim to protect this oppressed religious group that are the Yazidis. I would like to publicly address the issues around this and make it known that CYCI has nothing to hide.
- First and foremost, I believe it to be a reckless request from the so called Yazidi representatives to demand CYCI for proof that would compromise our channels because identifying the victims is going to, by extension, identify the brokers that give us this unparalleled access to these victims and result in compromising our mission and our future ability to continue its execution.
- The allegations made are astonishing considering all the good will seen by CYCI, its volunteers and its avid supporters. This seems to hint of resentment at the success and not representative of a true expression of skepticism.
- We call on VICE News/VICE to get into contact with Non-Yazidi organizations (such as the International Committee of the Red Cross) to whom we will disclose evidence without further publication. Once this evidence is deemed satisfactory, we will ask Vice News to retract or edit its previous unfounded statements.
- VICE News has reported about a letter calling on CYCI to stop taking donations until it proves that it is doing what it claims. Let it be known that Vice decided to report about a letter that was not signed by any of its claimed participants. The letter had no official letterhead either. Basically, we received a letter lacking proper form with defamatory statements not based on facts but on assumptions.
- A cease and desist letter has been issued as our response. CYCI will not deal with pressure groups - we will deal only with authorities who have jurisdiction in the matter."