Last month, a mass grave was found in ISIS-occupied territory in Baghuz, eastern Syria. In it were the headless bodies of 50 Ezidi women, used as sex slaves then murdered.
Armidale's Ezidi refugee community and their Australian friends - neighbours, teachers, counsellors - gathered in Central Park on Wednesday evening to grieve.
- Jennifer McMahon holds "The Refugee Journey" workshop next month
- Resettling Ezidi refugees say Armidale experience has been good
- Refugee resettlement: Armidale gives Ezidi people a chance to rebuild
- EXCLUSIVE: Barnaby Joyce: I'd be straight to my feet if leadership spill was called
- Crown Lands debate sparked for Northern Tablelands
More than 200 people held placards protesting against the atrocity, and photographs of their loved ones, abducted or killed by ISIS.
"Today they slaughtered 50 innocent women," read one placard, "and they will repeat the same thing tomorrow." "In the name of humanity, we call for liberation from the jails of the terrorist," said another.
Similar rallies were held in Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour, and Toowoomba, and around the world, to denounce the crime against women.
"We want the Australian government to save the other Ezidi people who are in danger - to help them live in a safe place and have a bright future, because they have no future in Iraq," refugee Eedo Muhi told me, speaking through interpreter Rami Simoki.
Fifty candles were lit, one for each of the victims.
And the air was rent with the sound of mourning. Women, their bodies wracked with sobs, pressed the ends of their headscarves to eyes and lips. Men's faces were masks of anger or grief, some weeping.
This is a people who have suffered. The Ezidi, who claim to be one of the world's oldest religions, have been persecuted for centuries, called devil-worshippers and infidels by Islamic extremists. Today, only around 800,000 of this Kurdish-speaking people survive in the Middle East.
ISIS invaded their homelands in Iraq and Syria in 2014, and forced them to choose between death and forcible conversion to Islam. Ezidi women and girls were sold into slavery; children were trained to use guns; and thousands have died.
"We considered our Muslim neighbours in our city Sinjar [Şingal] as our friends," Mr Muhi remembered. "When ISIS attacked our region, they joined them in destroying our houses and kidnapping our girls. If your neighbour attacks you, you have no hope in that country; we cannot trust those people again.
"I believe that if [the Ezidis] continue living there, they will be subject to the same attacks… We expect it to happen again and again,"
By the Ezidis' reckoning, this is the 74th attempted genocide of their people.
Nearly 3000 Ezidi refugees have come to Australia since 2016 as part of a government humanitarian resettlement program. Two hundred arrived in Armidale last year, and more will come this year.
Many still have relatives in captivity; others have lost parents and children. Some have not heard from their daughters in four-and-a-half years.
"What the Armidale community has done for the Ezidi people is incredible," Hasan Saffuk said; "they welcomed us, took us in their arms, and offered us all we need, with education and houses."
"We are just here to live, not asking anyone for anything," Mr Muhi said. "We seek peace, and to live with others, accepting them as they are, giving them the right to believe what they see is correct.
"We are very happy and honoured to be part of the multicultural Armidale community, and we hope people will accept us as well."