U.N. Commission urges international community to recognise Ezidi genocide

SULAIMANI – United Nations called on the international community to recognize that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing genocide against the Ezidis in Iraq.

U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria released a statement on Thursday (August 3) calling on all the parties fighting ISIS militants to rescue the Ezidi captives.

“The international community must also … undertake steps to refer the situation to justice, including to the International Criminal Court or an ad hoc tribunal with relevant geographic and temporal jurisdiction as well as to dedicate resources to bringing cases before national courts, whether under the framework of universal jurisdiction or otherwise,” the statement read.

The commission, mandated by the U.N. Human Rights Council to investigate and record all violations of international law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic, added the genocide is still ongoing and remains largely unaddressed, despite the obligation of States Party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 to prevent and to punish the crime.

“Thousands of Ezidis men and boys remain missing and the terrorist group continues to subject some 3,000 women and girls in Syria to horrific violence including brutal daily rapes and beatings,” it continued.

Nearly 3,000 Ezidi women and children remain in ISIS captivity, and control over Sinjar is disputed by rival armed factions and their regional patrons. Justice for the crimes Ezidis suffered, including sexual enslavement, has also so far proved elusive.

Islamic State has systematically killed, captured or enslaved thousands of Ezidis when it overran the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq in August 2014.

The array of forces that drove Islamic State out of Sinjar are now vying for control of the area near the borders of Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

Peshmerga forces retook around half of Sinjar in late 2015, effectively annexing it to the autonomous region they hope to convert into an independent state. A referendum on independence is due to be held in September, which the government in Baghdad opposes.

Image: Reuters/Suhaib Salem

Article: NRT