How Many Yezidis Must Be Murdered, Enslaved & Raped Before U.N. Admits Crimes Against Humanity & Genocide?

Defend International gives gifts to Yezidi children. (CC BY 2.0)

An ill wind is blowing in Iraq and Syria; a foul storm that has brought the world’s latest genocidal army that calls itself the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

It is an ill wind that portends misery, suffocating enslavement, mass murders, mass rapes and mass executions.

It is a ruthless war waged by an army of brutes with no conscience. Sadly, they explain away their genocide and crimes against humanity as being justified by Islam, by Sharia.

As with all armed radical movements, be they politically and/or religiously motivated, the murderers justify their killing as necessary to cleanse the world of “infidels”. The only infidels are ISIL’s mass murderers. Weak men who rape innocent girls. Weak men who kill innocent boys and girls and others.

Tomb of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir by Jan B. Vindheim. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The crimes of ISIL are many, as noted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in a paper published in 2015. It has yet to update its report which, in part, says:

“{Crimes} included the intentional and systematic targeting of members of ethnic and religious communities in areas seized. This led to a mass exodus of Yezidis, Christians and members of other ethnic and religious groups from the Ninewa plains. The Mosul and Sinjar operations triggered the displacement of a further 1.5 million people.”

While the U.N. report was welcome, the U.N. unbelievably said that a genocide “may” have occurred:

“The mission gathered reliable information about acts of violence perpetrated against civilians because of their affiliation or perceived affiliation to an ethnic or religious group. It is reasonable to conclude that some of these incidents, considering the overall information, may constitute genocide. Other incidents may amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. Ethnic and religious groups targeted by ISIL include Yezidis, Christians, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka’e, Kurds and Shi’a.”

May? There is enough video, photographic and first-person evidence to prove the genocide continues.

Photo courtesy of MikaelF via Wikipedia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

In fact, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner only has to look at the definition of genocide as defined by the United Nations in its Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide that was adopted in 1948:

“… Genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.”

In the document’s Article II, it says:

“Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to

bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

In Article III, it states that the following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide ;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide ;

(e) Complicity in genocide.

The U.N. office did acknowledge the attacks against Yezidis:

“Based on interviews conducted with victims and witnesses, and corroborated by other sources, the mission collected information regarding the killing of members of the Yezidi community and acts that caused serious bodily or mental harm to members of this group. Information also pointed to the intent of ISIL to destroy the Yezidi as a group when perpetrating these acts and to the existence of a manifest pattern of attacks against this community whose identity is based on their religious beliefs.

“If confirmed, such conduct may amount to genocide. Numerous Yezidi witnesses provided credible and consistent accounts, involving separate incidents and attacks, detailing how they were forced to convert to Islam or face death.”

The keywords of “if confirmed” raise troubling questions about the United Nations.

After all, the office’s report itself acknowledges genocide without using the word:

“At the beginning of August 2014, a series of systematic and widespread attacks took place against a backdrop of ISIL incursions into the Ninewa plains and Yezidi populated cities and villages.

“Interviews with numerous victims and witnesses from al-‘Adnaniya, al-Qahtaniya, Barah, Bazwaya, Dogore, Gogjali, Hardan, Khanasor, Kocho, Qani, Sharf ad-Din, Sinjar city, Solagh, Tel Banat, Tel Qasab and Zummar point to a pattern, whereby members of ISIL systematically separated the men from the women and young children; the men were subsequently taken away to nearby ditches and summarily executed.

“Some victims and witnesses added that they had been asked to convert to Islam and that the men who refused were killed, while in other instances even the men who converted were still summarily executed. Men who managed to survive such executions, largely through being shielded by the bodies of other victims, relayed their accounts to the investigation team. Women and children who were held captive near execution sites also witnessed some executions. In some instances, villages were entirely emptied of their Yezidi population.”

The U.N. office even declares further acts of genocide in its report:

“The mission gathered corroborated witness statements indicating clear patterns of sexual and gender-based violence against Yezidi women. When attacking Yezidi villages, ISIL reportedly engaged in the systematic and widespread killing of men, including boys over the age of 14. Women and children were subjected to different violations.

“Accounts indicate that ISIL views captured women and children as spoils of war which they own. Numerous interviews conducted with Yezidi women and girls who fled ISIL captivity between November 2014 and January 2015 provided reliable information of killings, widespread and systematic enslavement, including selling of women, rape, and sexual slavery, forced transfer of women and children and inhuman and degrading treatment. Many of the women interviewed were able to identify the origin of their ISIL captors, belonging to a wide range of countries.

“Following the systematic separation of men, women and young children, Yezidi women were further divided into three groups: married women with children, married women without children, and unmarried women and young girls. Each of these groups was transferred to different locations in ISIL-controlled territory, with some victims transferred to more than 10 different locations during a four-month period. These repeated transfers and displacement were apparently aimed at reinforcing ISIL control over the victims by instilling feelings of fear, insecurity and disorientation.

“Girls and unmarried women who escaped from ISIL captivity consistently recounted the process by which they were raped and sexually enslaved. ISIL members numbered them or recorded names on lists, and inspected them to evaluate their beauty.

“While some were given as ‘gifts,’ others were sold to local or foreign ISIL fighters. Some victims were privy to price negotiations between ‘vendors’ and ‘buyers.’ An ‘emir’ would instruct ISIL fighters to inspect and choose girls for ‘marriage.’ Girls would then be prepared for ‘marriage’ (rape) involving, in some cases, full body searches.

“Mission investigators met with victims as young as 11 years of age. A 30-year-old woman detailed how young girls were prepared for sale at a house in Mosul. They were ordered to stand and remove their headscarves to be inspected. Then they were forced to smile while ISIL fighters took photographs.”

The report also states:

“ISIL fighters abducted Yezidis on a mass scale, and detained many for months. For instance, a group of 196 disabled Yezidis, including elderly, children and ill persons were held captive in Mosul and Tel Afar and only released in January 2015.

“Many victims were forced to convert to Islam during their captivity. Around 3,000 persons, mainly Yezidis, allegedly remain in ISIL captivity. Further investigation is needed to establish the precise number of those who continue to be held by ISIL as well as the numbers killed, estimated to be in the thousands.”

Yezidis are not the only victims of this mass genocide. Christians are as well.

“Although perceived as the ‘People of the Book, a classification that grants them a certain protection in comparison with other ethnic and religious groups, Christians suffered forced displacement and deprivation of property,” the report states.

“…An estimated 200,000 Christians and members of other ethnic and religious groups had fled from al-Hamdaniya, Ba’shiqa, Bartella, Tel Keif, and other towns and villages in the Ninewa plains before they were taken over by ISIL. Among them were 50,000 persons previously displaced from Mosul, mostly Christians, who had fled in mid-June in fear of ISIL threats when they were given the choice to pay a tax, convert or leave. Houses and property of Christians in Mosul have been seized by ISIL.

“ISIL stormed the city of al-Hamdaniya (also referred to as Qaraqosh). Many witnesses stated that ISIL fighters pillaged and destroyed buildings in the city including historic Christian cathedrals and churches.

“Approximately 150 families were unable to flee. Before expelling them, members of ISIL took possession of all their valuables and identity documents. Witnesses also reported that during the attack grenades, mortars and rockets landed in areas still occupied by civilians.”

Even fellow Muslims are not safe.

“Interviews conducted with victims and witnesses, and corroborated by reliable sources, make it reasonable to conclude that attacks were perpetrated against Turkmen, Shabak and other Shi’a groups.

“Victims and witnesses from Amerli (Salah ad-Din), Barawjali, Bashir, Jerdghali, Qaranaz in Diyala governorate, as well as Ba’shika, Bazwaya, Gogjali, Omar Kan in Ninewa governorate consistently reported the same pattern. ISIL surrounded the village, killed the inhabitants who could not escape, burned and destroyed houses and businesses, destroyed Shi’a places of worship, and pillaged private and public properties.”

The U.N. office also said that ISIL “may” have committed crimes against humanity. After reading the U.N. report and multiple first-person accounts and articles in print, there can be no doubt that crimes against humanity are being perpetrated by ISIL.

How could the United Nations cast doubt about what is clearly crimes against humanity?

All the U.N. office had to do was read the International Criminal Court’s definition of crimes against humanity:

Crimes against humanity include murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment, torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity.

The ICC’s definition also says crimes against humanity include persecution against an identifiable group on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds; enforced disappearance of persons; the crime of apartheid; other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.

Perhaps the United Nations should issue a new report because the case for genocide and crimes against humanity is obvious. They have occurred. They are still occurring.