Iraq, ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi minority

 A young Yazidi woman sits with her three children inside a tent in Sharya camp in northern Iraq. A young Yazidi woman sits with her three children inside a tent in Sharya camp in northern Iraq. Photo by Joel Carillet

11 May 2021

The United Nations investigation team has established that ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi religious minority

The United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh (UNITAD) found evidence that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) committed genocide against the Yazidi religious minority in 2014. The Yazidis are an ethno-religious minority living in the Sinjar region, in  northwestern Iraq, accounting for 550,000 members whose belief combines elements of several ancient Middle Eastern religions. Considering the Yazidis heretics, ISIS committed several atrocities against the group in the attempt to convert or eliminate them. Indeed, the UNITAD found that ISIS intent was “to destroy the Yazidi physically and biologically”. Moreover, investigations revealed that the extremist group manufactured chemical and biological weapons, especially in laboratories at Mosul University, in Iraq’s second city which they occupied in 2017 and which became the epicentre of their chemical weapons program. Thus, the group began “weaponizing” chlorine from water treatment plants and testing biological agents on prisoners. 

The investigations showed how all the communities have been affected by ISIS’s brutality. Thousands have been executed en masse or shot as they fled, thousands more were enslaved, with women and children abducted from their families and subjected to rape and sexual violence. Evidence of the goup's brutality and incitement to genocide has circulated through a propaganda video of the massacre of mainly Shia Muslims cadets at the Tikrit Air Academy. Since it is not sufficient to simply document ISIS’s crimes and atrocities, UNITAD is supporting Iraq’s legislative developments to adopt legal bases to prosecute ISIS members for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

To know more, please read: 

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/05/1091662

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/11/isil-committed-genocide-against-yazidis-un-investigation

https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sc14514.doc.htm

https://www.unitad.un.org/

 

Author: Eleonora Gonnelli; Editor: Carla Leonetti

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