EU Parliament accuses Islamic State of "genocide" in Syria, Iraq

The Islamic State extremist group has committed genocide by persecuting religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, the European Parliament said in a resolution voted Thursday.

"This is the first time the European Parliament has recognized an ongoing genocide," said conservative EU parliamentarian Lars Adaktusson, who spearheaded the initiative.

"This is ... a decision that aims to help restore the dignity of the millions of victims affected by ISIS' barbaric crimes," he added using an acronym for Islamic State.

The group, also known as Daesh, has deliberately targeted Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen, Shiites, Shabak, Sabeans, Kakae and Sunnis "who do not agree with their interpretation of Islam," the legislature said.

The radical jihadists had made international headlines in 2014 when they attacked the Yazidi minority in Iraq, killing and taking people hostages, including women allegedly used as sex slaves.

The Yazidis, followers of an ancient faith, are regarded by Islamic State as infidels.

The European Parliament called on the international community to take "urgent action" against the "mass murder" of religious minorities perpetrated by the Islamic State, saying they amount also to "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity."

The United Nations has also said that Islamic State violence such as killing people in public spectacles "may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide."

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
Author: 

More from Europe

Series of four earthquakes takes no lives, Italian PM Gentiloni says

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said no lives were lost after four powerful tremors shook central Italy on...

Slovenia looks to capitalize on its connection to Melania Trump

As Donald Trump campaigned for the Oval Office, his Slovenian-born wife Melania did not receive much love and...

EC recommends Croatia's gradual integration into Schengen Information System

The European Commission on Wednesday made a recommendation to the Council of the European Union to gradually...

German president marks end of term with warning of risks to nation

German President Joachim Gauck marked the end of his term as the nation's largely ceremonial head of state by...

Biden: US, EU must fight Russian plan to destroy liberal world order

Russia is intent on dismantling the liberal world order, and the best way to stop it is a strong alliance between...