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Published On: Tue, Feb 9th, 2016

EU holds vote, calls out genocide of Christians in the Middle East

The European Parliament voted on a resolution addressing the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq.

“What we witness in the Middle East is clearly genocide aimed at the destruction of Christians and other religious minorities. This vote gives the European Parliament the opportunity either to respond appropriately to these systematic attacks or to stand idly by,” said Sophia Kuby, director of EU advocacy for ADF International.

“There is undeniable evidence that ISIS has assassinated church leaders and committed torture, mass murders, kidnapping, sexual enslavement, systematic rape of Christian and Yazidi girls and women, and the destruction of churches, monasteries, and cemeteries,” Kuby added. “To date, the European Union has refrained from officially recognizing these atrocities as genocide. In light of this evidence, and considering public statements of ISIS which boast of targeting Christians and other minority groups, it’s incomprehensible for Parliament to describe these crimes as anything short of genocide.”

photo Guest2625

photo Guest2625

Genocide has been described as the “crime of crimes” and has a specific legal definition. According to the United Nations Genocide Convention of 1948, it refers to specific acts committed with the intent to “destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” It must involve intentional killing of members of this group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, or deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. The statistics provide grave confirmation of the genocidal intent of members of ISIS. The number of Christians has dropped from 1.25 million to 500,000 in Syria and from 1.4 million to under 275,000 in Iraq in just a few years.

The vote on the resolution at the European Parliament follows another, nearly unanimous vote at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last week, which did condemn the atrocities committed by ISIS as genocide.

By unequivocally recognizing the systematic persecution as genocide, the European Parliament urges the international community to act to stop the killing.

“We applaud the European Parliament for having responded to clear and compelling evidence that Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East are victims of intentional destruction and genocide. The overwhelming majority who voted in favor of this recognition is remarkable and shows that Europe supports action against this intolerable and ongoing genocide,” said Sophia Kuby, director of European Union advocacy at ADF International. “It was high time that the EU responded to the undeniable evidence of this genocide, which includes assassinations of church leaders, torture, mass murders, kidnapping, sexual enslavement, systematic rape of Christian and Yazidi girls and women, and the destruction of churches, monasteries, and cemeteries.”

The resolution “urges the members of the UN Security Council to support a referral by the Security Council to the International Criminal Court in order to investigate violations committed in Iraq and Syria by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’ against Christians, Yazidis and religious and ethnic minorities.”

“Determined action at the UN on this genocide is long overdue,” Kuby said. “We hope that the clear language that members from all political groups agreed upon in this resolution will accelerate these important next steps and help to save lives.”

 

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