The UN Declares A New Genocide Is Happening Right In Front Of Us (VIDEO)

The UN Declares A New Genocide Is Happening Right In Front Of Us (VIDEO)

The United Nations condemns Yazidi genocide

A new report issued by the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has determined that ISIS is committing genocide against the Yazidi religious minority in Syria and Iraq. The actions committed by the Islamic terrorist group count as crimes against humanity and war crimes. According to estimates, the global number of Yazidis is around 700,000, with most of them living in northern Iraq, in and around Sinjar. They are ethnically Kurdish and have managed to keep their syncretic religion alive for many centuries — despite decades of oppression under many regimes. The Islamist groups sees Yazidis as infidels, devil-worshippers who can be killed or enslaved without consequence. As Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission stated: 

“Genocide has occurred and is ongoing. ISIS has subjected every Yazidi woman, child or man that it has captured to the most horrific of atrocities. ISIS permanently sought to erase the Yazidis through killing, sexual slavery, enslavement, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, and forcible transfer causing serious bodily and mental harm.” 

The Commission of Inquiry on Syria has collected documents and evidence proving the intent and criminal liability of ISIS’s military commanders, fighters, religious and ideological leaders. Among the findings are interviews with survivors, religious leaders, activists, lawyers, medical personnel, journalists and smugglers. The report focuses on the violations committed against Yazidis inside Syria, including the thousands of women and girls who have been captured and abused, frequently treated as sex slaves. According to The Guardian, ISIS began holding online slave auctions with an encrypted application in order to circulate photos of the captured Yazidi women and girls; one woman said she had been sold 15 timesThe UN has also examined how the terrorist groups has forcibly transferred Yazidis from Iraq into Syria. As explained by The New York Times, among the crimes are also those of:

“mass killings of Yazidi men and boys who refused to convert to Islam, saying they were shot in the head or their throats were slit, often in front of their families, littering roadsides with corpses. Dozens of mass graves have been uncovered in areas recaptured from Islamic State and are being investigated.”

The concept of genocide, which was adopted in 1946 by the United Nations, gave the word a formal definition as the extermination or intent to exterminate an entire group of people. It has been used on limited occasions and allowed other mass killings to occur without receiving the name and legal responsibility of a genocide. This time, however, the UN has declared ISIS violence against Yazidis as an official genocide. As Reuters explains: this designation, which is very rare under international law, marks the first recognized genocide carried out by a non-state actor. As the report also explain, ISIS has sought and is still seeking to destroy the entire Yazidi group in different ways:

“ISIS has sought to erase the Yazidis through killings; sexual slavery, enslavement, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and forcible transfer causing serious bodily and mental harm; the infliction of conditions of life that bring about a slow death; the imposition of measures to prevent Yazidi children from being born, including forced conversion of adults, the separation of Yazidi men and women, and mental trauma; and the transfer of Yazidi children from their own families and placing them with ISIS fighters, thereby cutting them off from beliefs and practices of their own religious community.”

Mr. Pinheiro has also stressed the importance of the international community to demand that there is no impunity to these crimes. The Commission has also called for the UN Security Council to urgently address the issue in front of the International Criminal Court in order to establish an ad hoc tribunal as soon as possible. However, first and foremost, there needs to be international recognition of the genocide that is occurring and urgent action to protect all minorities, and the human rights of all people in the conflict.

WATCH: UN declares genocide

[brid video=”41979″ player=”5260″ title=”ISIL committing genocide against Yazidis UN”]

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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From Mexico City, Carolina has lived in five different countries, experiences she defines as the most enriching. She has focused her studies and work on international conflicts and international security issues, diplomacy and protocol. Carolina holds two MA degrees and hopes to begin her PhD studies soon.