European Parliament Calls ISIS Atrocities Against Religious Minorities ‘Genocide’

Lauretta Brown | February 4, 2016 | 2:10pm EST
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Yazidi Kurdish women chant slogans during a protest against the Islamic State group's invasion on Sinjar city, in Dohuk, northern Iraq, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. Thousands of Yazidi Kurdish women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery and forced to marry Islamic State militants, according to Human Rights organizations, Yazidi activists and observers. (AP Photo)

( – The European Parliament passed a resolution Thursday designating atrocities committed by the Islamic State terrorist group against religious minorities as “genocide.”

“The persecution, atrocities and international crimes amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity; stresses that the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’ is committing genocide against Christians and Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities, who do not agree with the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’ interpretation of Islam,” the resolution stated.

“This therefore entails action under the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” it stated.

The resolution calls on 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.”

The European Parliament website noted in a statement on the passage of the resolution that the EP’s Members urge “all countries in the international community to prevent war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide within their territory. All EU member states should update their legal and jurisdictional systems in order to prevent their nationals and citizens travelling to join ISIS/Daesh and other terrorist organisations and also ensure that, should they do so, they face criminal court proceedings as soon as possible.”

The resolution, in addition to the designation of genocide, calls on the EU to establish “a permanent Special Representative for Freedom of Religion and Belief.”

The European Parliament is the parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU) and is comprised of 751 members from 28 member states, the second largest democratic electorate in the world.

The U.S. has not yet formally labeled ISIS atrocities as genocide, however, there has been a push from lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate, to recognize the ISIS targeting of Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities as genocide.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton most recently called ISIS atrocities against religious minorities “genocide” in response to a question by a voter in New Hampshire.

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