Thursday, February 4, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Overwheling majority in the European Parliament voted for protection of religious minorities against the genocide of Daesh (ISIS)

On Thursday 4 February 2016, the European Parliament adopted the Resolution on systematic mass murder by ISIS condemning the ongoing atrocities in the Middle East as genocide. It stresses that the “so-called ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ commits genocide against Christians and Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities.” By unequivocally recognizing the systematic persecution as genocide, the European Parliament urges the international community to act to stop the killing.

The resolution “urges the members of the UN Security Council to support a referral by the Security Council to the International Criminal Court in order to investigate violations committed in Iraq and Syria by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’ against Christians, Yazidis and religious and ethnic minorities”.
”Determined action at the UN on this genocide is long overdue. We hope that the clear language that members from all political groups agreed upon in this resolution will accelerate these important next steps and help to save lives.

Establishment of a Special EU Representative for Freedom of Religion in the world
Paragraph 10 of the resolution “calls for the EU to establish a permanent Special Representative for Freedom of Religion and Belief”. “We are excited to see that the resolution calls for the establishment of a permanent Special Representative for Freedom of Religion in the World. This new high-level position will help the EU to respond in a better way to increasing violations of freedom of religion in many parts of the world”, added Kuby.

Event at Parliament on 17 February
The situation of Christians and members of other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq is complex. In order to provide authentic insights to Members of Parliament, ADF International will co-host a presentation at the European Parliament in Brussels on 17 February at 5.30 p.m. CET.

Swedish MEP Lars Adaktusson, the initiator of the resolution and co-sponsor of this event, has asked experts and victims of the ongoing genocide to give testimony and share their experiences of the current situation for minorities in the Middle East. (Requests for interviews with victims, delegates or legal experts on genocide and international law can be submitted before the event to:

The crime of crimes
Genocide has been described as the crime of crimes and has a specific legal definition. According to the UN Genocide Convention of 1948, it refers to acts committed with the intent to “destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

The resolution was drafted in response to the targeting of religious minorities in the Middle East. The number of Christians has dropped from 1.25 million to 500,000 in Syria and from 1.4 million to under 275,000 in Iraq in just a few years. The adopted resolution of the European Parliament follows an almost unanimous vote at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 27 January condemning the atrocities committed by ISIS as genocide.

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