The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic has today released a report establishing that the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) is committing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes against Yazidis. The report entitled They Came to Destroy: ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis focuses on violations committed against Yazidis inside Syria, where thousands of women and girls are still being held captive and abused, often as slaves.
Genocide has occurred and is ongoing, emphasised Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission. ISIS has subjected every Yazidi woman, child or man that it has captured to the most horrific of atrocities. ISIS sought and continues to seek to destroy the Yazidis in multiple ways, as envisaged by the 1948 Genocide Convention. ISIS has sought to erase the Yazidis through killings; sexual slavery, enslavement, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and forcible transfer causing serious bodily and mental harm; the infliction of conditions of life that bring about a slow death; the imposition of measures to prevent Yazidi children from being born, including forced conversion of adults, the separation of Yazidi men and women, and mental trauma; and the transfer of Yazidi children from their own families and placing them with ISIS fighters, thereby cutting them off from beliefs and practices of their own religious community, the report says. Continue reading