World

UN Finally Raises Possibility Of Genocide Charges Against ISIS

Jude Abeler Contributor

The United Nations human rights office recommended that the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecute and hold ISIS accountable for suspected genocide in Iraq in a report released Thursday.

“It is reasonable to conclude that some of these incidents, considering the overall information, may constitute genocide,” said the report.

Information “pointed to the intent of ISIL to destroy the Yezidi as a group … whose identity is based on their religious belief.”

The report said there were numerous accounts of incidents where victims were forced to convert to Islam or face death.

“Yezidi populations rounded up, with men and boys over the age of 14 separated from the women and girls. The males were led away and shot by ISIL, while the women were abducted as the ‘spoils of war.'”

“In some instances, villages were entirely emptied of their Yezidi population.”

The findings in the report are based on “an analysis of first-hand information obtained through in-depth interviews conducted with over 100 victims and witnesses.”

The Yezidi is a small Kurdish-speaking group in Northern Iraq that likes to remain private in order to protect its religion, according to Religion Facts. The group is syncretist, in that it borrows practices from multiple religions, though it has been accused of worshiping the devil.

However, it is certainly not the only group in the area facing genocide-like treatment.

The report estimated that 200,000 Christians had fled villages and towns before they were taken over by ISIS, and “many witnesses stated that ISIL fighters pillaged and destroyed buildings in the city including historic Christian cathedrals and churches.”

The full report details many more instances of brutality on top of these mentioned.

“No community has been spared in Iraq from ISIS’ violence. … Essentially what we are seeing is the rich ethnic and religious diversity in Iraq that has been shattered completely,” Suki Nagra, chief U.N. investigator said in a news briefing.

She added that mass graves are still being discovered in areas recently retaken from ISIS by Iraqi government forces.

The report calls on the UN Security Council to address “in the strongest terms, information that points to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” and consider referring the situation to the ICC.