New Evidence of War Crimes, Genocide against Iraqi Christians, Yazidis

More than 100 witnesses come forward detailing ‘unspeakable brutality.’

Timothy C. Morgan
March 29, 2015
from Christianity Today

“ISIL systematically separated the men from the women and young children. The men were subsequently taken away to nearby ditches and summarily executed. The mission obtained credible reports about the rape of young girls, including nine and six year-olds. Thirteen teenage boys were sentenced to death for watching a football match. ISIL fighters pillaged and destroyed buildings in [Qaraqosh] including historic Christian cathedrals and churches.”

These five sentences are part of a new 8,400 word report that ISIL (also known as ISIS and IS) terrorists have committed war crimes and likely engaged in genocide, targeting Yazidis, Iraqi Christians, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka’e, Kurds and Shi’a.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights sent investigators into northern Iraq last year. They interviewed more than 100 survivors and produced one of the most comprehensive and authoritative pictures of life under barbaric conditions in northern Iraq since last summer. These witnesses told of mass imprisonment, execution by stoning, amputations, forced abortion, forced conversion to Islam, child conscription, murder of young children, sex slavery, and torture.

In the wake of the March 13 report, the U.N. Security Council last Friday held a rare, daylong debate on persecution of religious minorities. “I am deeply concerned about the grave dangers faced by minorities in parts of the Middle East,” said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the start of the session.

“[ISIL] fighters kill systematically members of ethnic and religious minorities, those who do not share their misinterpretation of Islam and anyone who opposes their apocalyptic conception. They prey on women and children with unspeakable brutality. They destroy religious and cultural symbols that are the heritage of humanity.”

U.N. human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius chaired the debate. The leaders urged the Security Council to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate allegations of war crimes in Iraq and Syria. The ICC has the power to prosecute war crimes.

Two top leaders addressed the council. Monsignor Louis Raphael I Sako (Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad and Vian Dakhil (Yazidi member of the Iraqi parliament) shared how ISIL leaders kidnapped thousands of minority women and children.

In her remarks, Dakhil said the U.N. should create a protection force; demand the release of 3,000 kidnapped women and 50 Assyrian families still held hostage; and, find resources to reconstruct the cities, especially houses of worship that ISIL has destroyed

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