Iraq News

ISIL still committing genocide against Yazidis: UN

UN rights investigators say "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) fighters are still committing genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq and Syria, AFP reported Thursday (June 16th).

"Genocide has occurred and is ongoing," Paulo Pinheiro, head of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) for Syria, said in a statement.

"ISIL has subjected every Yazidi woman, child or man that it has captured to the most horrific of atrocities," he said.

In 2014, ISIL massacred Yazidis in Sinjar in northern Iraq, forcing tens of thousands to flee, and capturing thousands of girls and women as spoils of war to be used as sex slaves.

The UN warned last year that the group appeared to be committing genocide against the Yazidis, but the COI's report, published Thursday, was more conclusive.

The evidence collected by the COI can serve "as a roadmap for prosecutions", said commission member Carla del Ponte, adding that she would be able "to prepare an indictment" for genocide against ISIL commanders based on the testimony in the report.

Commission member Vivit Muntarbhorn said ISIL fighters of multiple nationalities could be guilty of genocide.

The COI will not release names of potential suspects, but is sharing information with some countries other than Iraq and Syria in an effort to identify foreign perpetrators of violence.

Based partly on interviews with survivors, the report found that ISIL "sought to erase the Yazidis through killings, sexual slavery, enslavement, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment".

The evidence indicated that ISIL commanders had laid out clear plans to decimate the Yazidis even before the assault on Sinjar, the COI said.

According to the report, some 3,200 Yazidi women and children are currently being held by ISIL, mainly in Syria, where the females were used as sex slaves and the young boys were being indoctrinated and trained as fighters.

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