ISIS guilty of genocide, European assembly rules

ISIS guilty of genocide, European assembly rules ICC

Europe’s leading human rights body has called ISIS atrocities “genocide”.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has passed a resolution by 117 votes to 1, which included the statement “States should act on the presumption that Da’ish (ISIS) commits genocide”.

The resolution “Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq” condemned recent terrorist acts in France, Turkey, Lebanon, Russia and elsewhere, noting the role of ISIS behind many of those attacks.

The jihadist group has “perpetrated acts of genocide and other serious crimes punishable under international law,” the resolution stated, adding that states “should be aware that this entails action under the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”.

The vote by the 47-member body, representing 820 million people, was passed in advance of a European Parliament debate on the topic and against a background of the UN’s ruling that ISIS’ actions could only be deemed genocide if identified as such by a properly constituted court.

The genocide resolution is significant because it applies pressure on the United Nations Security Council to issue a genocide resolution of its own. The council has the power to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where the perpetrators could be tried.

Welcoming the vote, Sophia Kuby, director of European Union advocacy for ADF (Alliance for the Defence of Freedom) International said, “It is very important to see that an international institution representing an even larger and more diverse group of countries than the EU has recognised the ongoing persecution of Christians in the Middle East as genocide”.