Scottish Parliament recognizes genocide against the Yezidi people

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Yezidi civilians flee Shingal area in northern Iraq following attacks by militants of the Islamic State. File photo

ARA News

The Scottish Parliament on Thursday recognized the genocide against the Yezidi people in northern Iraq at the hands of Islamic State’s (ISIS) extremists. The recognition followed a debate about justice for the Yezidi minority.

“The Parliament is mindful that genocide is a crime under international law and the law of all civilised nations,” a motion by the parliament said. “[The Scottish Parliament] recognises and condemns the genocide perpetrated against the Yezidi people by Daesh [ISIS]; acknowledges the great human suffering and loss that have been inflicted by bigotry, brutality and religious intolerance.”

It also condemned ISIS crimes against various communities in Iraq and Syria. “[The Parliament] further acknowledges and condemns the crimes perpetrated by Daesh against Muslims, Christians, Arabs, Kurds and all of the religious and ethnic communities of Iraq and Syria; welcomes the actions of the US Congress, the European Parliament, the French Senate, the UN and others in formally recognising the genocide.”

Moreover, the Scottish parliament drew attention to the calls on the UK Government to request that the UN Security Council refer the genocide committed against the Yezidi people to the International Criminal Court.

“I want to put on record the Scottish Government’s condemnation of the crimes that have been perpetrated against the Yezidi people—a condemnation that has been voiced by members today and which is clearly the view of this Parliament,” Dr Alasdair Allan, the Minister for International Development and Europe said during the debate.

“Ours is a Government and a Parliament that stand in solidarity with the Yezidi people. Indeed, ours is a nation that recognises its duty to stand in defence of human rights, equality, human dignity and minority communities around the world,” he added.

“However, in its campaign of hatred against the Yezidi people, Daesh [ISIS] has gone even further and has exceeded even its own record of brutality. It has committed the ultimate and unforgivable crime. In its fanatical desire to impose a corrupt and twisted interpretation of one of the world’s great religious traditions, it has sought to destroy an entire minority culture, an entire faith and an entire people,” he stated.

“What the Yezidi people have suffered merits condemnation in the strongest possible terms, and today’s debate has demonstrated that the Scottish Parliament is in no doubt about the matter. Daesh has committed, and is continuing to commit, genocide against the Yezidi people and against other religious and ethnic minorities. As we have heard, there is robust and unequivocal evidence that Yezidi men, women and children have been the victims of a campaign of murder, rape, abduction, sexual slavery, brutality and terror at the hands of Daesh in Iraq and Syria,” he concluded.

According to the UN 5,000 Yazidi men have been executed and thousands are still missing. Furthermore, more than 3,500 Yazidi women have been kidnapped by ISIS (also known as Daesh), and there have been multiple reports of sexual violence against women in detention and women living in ISIS-controlled areas.

Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yezidi human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, thanked the Scottisch parliament for their support.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all members of the Scottish Parliament for recognizing the Yezidi Genocide and for standing with my people. I am grateful to the people of Scotland for their immense support,” she said.

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