U.N. warns Yazidis facing ‘attempted genocide’
‘The evidence strongly indicates attempt to commit genocide,’ a top U.N. official said
Strong evidence suggests that Iraq’s ethnic and religious minority, the Yazidis, face what could amount to “attempted genocide,” a top U.N. rights official said on Wednesday.
“The evidence strongly indicates attempt to commit genocide,” Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said after meeting with more than 30 displaced Yazidis across Iraq in a week-long visit.
In an offensive launched in August, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) actions, which now controls large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, he added.
Additionally, hundreds of women and girls were abducted by the militants, who later boasted in an online magazine that they have been selling their captives as slaves.
Thousands were displaced as they fled for their lives from ISIS’ ultimatum which forced them to convert to Islam or face certain death.
Simonovic interviewed Yazidis who described harrowing accounts including the execution of a group of Yazidis who were rounded up in a school and refused to convert, Agence France-Presse reported.
Almost 7,000 Yazidis remained in their towns, only after they were forced into converting to ISIS’s extreme interpretation of Islam.
A Human Rights Watch report released earlier this month said the abducted Yazidi women were subjected to sexual assault and were being sold by ISIS militants.
“The systematic abduction and abuse of Yazidi civilians may amount to crimes against humanity,” the New York-based watchdog said in a statement.
[With AFP and AP]
- ISIS besieges 700 Yazidi families in Mount Sinjar
- Bearing the brunt of ISIS, Yazidis carry on with a tale of survival
- U.S. slams ‘abhorrent’ ISIS slavery of Yazidis
- ISIS jihadists boast of enslaving Yazidi women
- Iraqi Yazidi girl tells of captivity in ISIS group
- Iraqi Yazidi woman MP awarded Anna Politkovskaya prize
- In squalid exile, Iraqi Yazidis hope for return
- Yazidi girl tells of escape from ISIS kidnappers
- Dozens of Yazidi women ‘sold into marriage’ by ISIS
- ISIS fighters aim to wed captured Yazidi women
- At least 80 killed in northern Iraq ‘massacre’
- U.S.: more airdrops on Iraq’s Sinjar mountain may be unnecessary
- Iraqi religious persecution hits home in U.S.
- U.S. Special Forces 'meet' besieged Yazidi refugees