Islamic State/Isis Accused of Attempted Genocide by United Nations.
(Reuters) – The campaign of Islamic State militants against Iraq’s Yazidi minority may be attempted genocide, U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for human rights Ivan Simonovic said on Tuesday.
Simonovic was speaking as Islamic State, often referred to as ISIL or ISIS, advanced on Iraq’s Sinjar mountain, tightening a siege of thousands of stranded Yazidis, who called on the United States and its allies to act to avert more bloodshed.
Thousands of Yazidis have been shot, buried alive or sold into slavery by Islamic State militants, who regard them as devil-worshippers.
U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes in Iraq in August, citing the duty to prevent an impending genocide of Yazidis at the hands of Islamic State militants after they overran a vast swathe of northern Iraq.
The 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as an intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethical, racial or religious group.
The convention says this can be done by killing members, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members, deliberately inflicting conditions on the group calculated to bring about its physical destruction, preventing births within the group or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Simonovic said that Islamic State was forcing Yazidis to either convert to Islam or be killed with the intent of destroying the religious group.
Islamic State originally attacked the area around Sinjar, in northwestern Iraq, in August. A renewed assault began at dawn on Monday, when militants driving Humvees and civilian vehicles attacked several Yazidi residential compounds, forcing the Yazidis to retreat up the mountain.
The same story is now running in the French media.
L’ONU accuse l’EI de « tentative de génocide » des yézidis en Irak (le Monde)
This is what the Islamists have also done (Huffington Post),
Islamic State fighters have captured, enslaved and sold Yazidi women and children, and claim the act is justified in Islam to prevent men from feeling “tempted” by other, non-enslaved women.
According to a piece in the group’s full-colour magazine, which is published in English and evidently aimed at a Western audience, confirms the long-rumoured atrocities committed by the group in Iraq, where Yazidi women have reported being kidnapped, sold for a few dollars and repeatedly raped.
The Islamic State’s magazine
Anyone opposing slavery in such circumstances is not a Muslim, the piece says. “Enslaving the families of the kuffār [non-believers] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharia that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur’an… and thereby apostatizing from Islam.”
A Human Rights Watch report, which came out on Sunday, claimed hundreds of Yazidi men, women and children from Iraq are being held captive in makeshift detention facilities by the group.
Yazidi families are now sold by the Islamic State soldiers.” It added, “the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations.”
The report follows two UN officials issuing a joint statement on the “barbaric acts” of sexual violence committed by ISIS fighters.
“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control, and we remind all armed groups that acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Nickolay Mladenov, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Iraq and Zainab Hawa Bangura, special representative of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict, said.
The statement, reported by Newsweek, cited evidence of “savage rapes” being used as weapons of war against women and teenage boys and girls belonging to the Yazidi, Christian, Turkomen and Shabak minority groups in Iraq.
Academic and Middle East expert Haleh Esfandiari has said IS allow their followers to rape captured girls and women as a “reward”.
“ISIS has received considerable world attention for its savage beheadings, executions of captured soldiers and men in conquered towns and villages, violence against Christians and Shiites, and the destruction of non-Sunni shrines and places of worship,” she blogged for the Wall Street Journal.
“But its barbarity against women has been treated as a side issue. Arab and Muslim governments, vocal on the threat ISIS poses to regional stability, have been virtually silent on ISIS’s systemic degradation, abuse, and humiliation of women.
“To the men of ISIS, women are an inferior race, to be enjoyed for sex and be discarded, or to be sold off as slaves.”