Isis ‘may have committed genocide’ against Yazidis in Iraq

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May 05, 2017
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Tens of thousands of Yazidis fleeing Isis were trapped on Mount Sinjar in Iraq, where thousands were killed or starved to death before they were freed

Rodi Said/Reuters

Alleged Islamic State atrocities allegedly perpetrated against the Yazidis in Iraq could legally constitute genocide, human rights researchers have said.

Isis fighters are alleged to have trapped up to 50,000 people on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, close to the Syria border, in 2014. Analysts maintain that thousands died through hunger and dehydration before armed forces from a coalition of western countries began aid drops and an air campaign against the jihadis. The military action eventually allowed the Yazidis to escape.

Research published in the Human Rights Law Review yesterday claimed to provide “strong evidence” to support a prosecution for genocide against IS. “In view of the limitations of our sources and, in particular, the lack of access to information on individual perpetrators, we have not been able to reach a view on whether individuals had the specific intent necessary to commit the crime of genocide,” said Aldo Zammit Borda, a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University and one of the report’s authors. “However, we have uncovered a pattern of conduct which may be seen as indicative of the existence of a genocidal plan on the part of ISIL, as a body, against the Yazidis.”

Last year, the US House of Representatives and the secretary of state at the time, John Kerry, described Isis’s actions against the Yazidis as well as other religious and ethnic minorities as genocide.

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