SHAFAQNA – Crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq’s Sinjar in 2014 may be considered as war crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday in a statement on the second anniversary of Sinjar’s tragedy.
The Secretary General strongly condemned “the heinous crimes that continue to be committed by ISIL against the diverse ethnic and religious communities of Iraq” and expressed deep concern “about the safety of the people who remain in ISIL’s captivity, in particular the thousands of Yezidi women and children.”
He called upon “all those engaged in the fight against ISIL to make their release a prime objective in their military operations.”
“The Secretary-General stresses that the crimes committed by ISIL in Iraq may constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide. He calls on the Government of Iraq and the international community to continue to support the survivors. The Secretary-General calls on the Government of Iraq to continue identifying ways to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice without delay, based on fair trial and due process. This could include the option of a referral to the International Criminal Court,” the document says.
The Sinjar region located near the border with Syria some 400 kilometers northwest of Baghdad is populated mostly by Yezidi Kurds. The city was seized by extremists in August 2014 and liberated by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in late 2015. During occupation, radicals were forcing the Yezidi to covert to their so-called Islam on pain of death.
About 40,000 Yezidi fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, more than 50,000 found shelter in neighboring mountains. Thousands went missing. Hundreds of Yezidi women were captured as slaves, many are still kept in territories occupied by ISIS.
On June 16, an independent commission of the United Nations Human Rights Council ruled that self-proclaimed Islamic State is guilty of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide against the Yezidi community.