Belgian parliament recognizes ISIS crimes against Yazidis as genocide

Genocide‌‌ 11:44 AM - 2021-07-16


The majority of lawmakers in the Belgian parliament voted to officially recognize ISIS crimes against the Yazidi (Ezidi) religious community in Iraq beginning in 2014 as genocide, local Belgian media reported.


In a resolution submitted by two Belgian opposition MPs – Koen Metsu, member of the New Flemish Alliance and chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, and Georges Dallemagne of the Humanist Democratic Center party – their parties called on the government to declare that the brutal acts against the religious minority met the specific and high bar of genocide.


By a majority of 139 votes out of 139 MPs who attended the session, the Belgian parliament approved this non-binding resolution, which calls on the federal government to "prosecute and punish" the perpetrators of these crimes and support any initiative in this direction by the international community.


The resolution was supported by both the ruling parties and others from the political opposition.


In June, the Belgian parliament heard from Yazidi activist and Nobel laureate Nadia Murad and Pari Ibrahim, executive director of the Free Yezidi Foundation, to discuss the mass human rights violations that occurred in the district of Sinjar at the hands of the extremist group, which sees Yazidis as heretics.


Earlier this month, the Dutch parliament also approved a similar motion to formally designate ISIS crimes against Yazidis as genocidal.


The 2014 ascendance of the Islamic State and the subsequent violent assault on the Yazidi-majority city of Sinjar led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of members of the community. Most of them fled to the Kurdistan Region, while others resettled to neighboring countries in the region or to Western states.


Others were not as lucky and remained stranded in the war zone, where they were subjected to atrocities and mass executions at the hands of the extremist group for years. ISIS militants forced women and girls into sexual slavery; kidnapped their children; forced religious conversions; executed scores of men; and abused, sold, and trafficked women and girls across the areas they controlled in Iraq and Syria.


According to the text of the resolution, the Belgian Parliament “recognizes and condemns the crime of genocide committed by the terrorist organization ISIS in Iraq and Syria against the Yazidis as of 2014.”


Thus, the Belgian parliament joins several parliaments (Canada, Armenia and the European Parliament based in Strasbourg) that recognized the crimes committed by ISIS terrorist organization against the Yazidis as "genocide".


In 2017, the US administration under President Donald Trump confirmed that the terrorist organization was "clearly responsible for perpetrating genocide against the Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims" in the areas it controlled.


When the terrorist organization ISIS took control of Mosul and its surroundings, the terrorists invaded the area of ​​Mount Shingal (Sinjar), which is the main land of the Yazidis, killing thousands of members of this sect and enslaving its women and children.


According to the United Nations, terrorists have kidnapped thousands of Yazidi women and teenage girls who have been subjected to horrific atrocities, such as rape, beatings, torture, enslavement and other forms of inhumane treatment.


According to the Kurdistan Regional Government, the terrorists kidnapped more than 6,400 Yazidis, only half of them managed to escape or survive, while the fate of the rest is still unknown.


In its resolution, the Belgian parliament called on the federal government to support "efforts to free the Yazidi women and their children who are still being held" by the terrorist organization ISIS.


The text also calls on the Belgian government to carry out an "active campaign" at the United Nations for the Security Council to adopt a resolution to refer these crimes to an international court.


The resolution also calls on the government to "encourage the Iraqi government to join the International Criminal Court," which is based in The Hague.





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