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

Mattarella looking to usher in functioning Italian government quickly

Following crisis talks in Rome on Saturday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said he will be taking steps soon to...

Austria to veto further EU accession talks with Turkey

Austria will block the continuation of EU talks with Ankara over Turkey's future membership in the bloc, Austrian...

Diplomats call for ceasefire in Aleppo at Paris meet

Foreign ministry officials from the West and the Middle East meeting in Paris Saturday for talks on Syria have...

French government seeks to extend state of emergency to July 2017

The French government said Saturday it would ask parliament to approve an extension to the country's state of...

No agreement reached between Russia, Ukraine on gas deliveries

Russian and Ukrainian officials failed to reach an agreement on gas deliveries this winter in a first round of EU-...