The ISIS (Islamic State) genocide continues. Heartbreaking stories pour out of Mosul even as the battle to retake that devastated city continues to rage. Christians, Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities are targeted, intentionally, because of their religious beliefs. ISIS continues to expand its so-called caliphate beyond the region, and its followers around the world answer its call to barbaric violence and gore.
The United Nations (U.N.) continues to do nothing. They have yet to even formally admit, as a body, that genocide is occurring. The United States, even while admitting that genocide is occurring and that Christians are intentionally targeted, continues to do next to nothing.
The United Nations Security Council has a significant role to play according to the Genocide Convention, but they have yet to meaningfully engage. That’s why, today, we delivered a statement of facts and legal arguments to each and every nation that sits on that Council.
We sent letters to the United Nations representatives for Angola, China, Egypt, France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela. We sent our letters on behalf of over 451,000 people from 172 nations and territories who have signed our petitions.
As we explain in our letter: “The Christian population in both Syria and Iraq has been decimated.” As such:
It is imperative that the United Nations formally recognise that the ongoing atrocities committed by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or Daesh) against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere constitute genocide for purposes of implicating the obligations of the international community pursuant to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the well established responsibility to protect the victims of genocide.
In this letter, we make the threefold case that ISIS is committing genocide implicating the international community’s obligations under the Genocide Convention; that the misguided trend of refusing to recognize Christians as genocide victims is both legally and factually false; and, that the UN declaration and action we seek is consistent with numerous international legal bodies and persons who have already spoken.
We set forth example after example of real-life, first-hand accounts of ISIS genocide survivors, and relatives of victims, telling the story world leaders continually try to ignore, like this Christian woman’s story of how:
Daesh men [sic] named Abo Hasan came to me and wanted to force me to convert to Islam. When I refused, he took me to the Amir and [he] slapped my face and brought a pot and ax and said I’ll slaughter you if you don’t become Muslim. . . . [T]hey took my husband to a room by himself. After 20 days, he tortured us and forced us to leave Baghdida after they took all of our money and goods to the point that the Amir said that he would cut my finger if I don’t give him my ring.
Then there was the mother’s gut-wrenching story of how ISIS men raided her home and “took my baby and threw her against the wall.” Then this story:
[t]here was Khalia, a woman in her fifties, who was captured and held hostage along with 47 others. During her 15 days in captivity, she rebuffed demands to convert, despite a gun being put to her head and a sword to her neck. She literally fought off ISIS militants as they tried to rape the girls, and again later when they tried to take a 9-year-old as a bride. Because of the abuse, 14 men gave in to ISIS’ demands and said they would convert to Islam. Khalia would not.
This latest legal letter follows a series of reports and legal analysis that we have sent to numerous other United Nations offices and leaders, as well as correspondence we have undertaken with leadership in the United States as well as that of other nations – all part of our 7-Point Plan to stop the genocide and protect the victims.
Specifically, we have sent key legal letters to U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, the U.N. Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, the 47 Member States of the U.N. Human Rights Council, and two letters to Secretary of State John Kerry. We’ve submitted key legal documents and made two oral interventions at the U.N. Human Rights Council. We also filed written observations regarding ISIS atrocities against Iraqi Christians in a case before the European Court of Human Rights. We’ve seen results as Congress, the European Parliament, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have passed genocide resolutions, Secretary Kerry recognized the “genocide against . . . Christians,” a representative of the U.N. Secretary General’s office raised the issue at the U.N. Security Council, and numerous countries called for action to protect religious minorities for ISIS genocide at the U.N. Human Rights Council.
We have even taken the Obama State Department to federal court over its failure to take meaningful action against the ISIS genocide. Looking forward, we have already engaged the incoming U.S. presidential administration on the issue.
The ISIS genocide is evil and we have a responsibility to stand against it. We have a duty to speak up for those being mercilessly victimized because of their faith. We are obligated to demand that those in leadership take action, real action, to confront the evil, stop the genocide, and protect the victims. You can join us. Please join us.
Sign our petition (below and) at BeHeardProject.com.
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