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The genocide committed by Daesh must be prosecuted and punished

The Committee on Legal Affairs today called on Council of Europe member and observer states, as well as parliaments with partner for democracy status, to formally recognise that “Daesh has committed genocide, notably against the Yazidi people, Christian minorities and non-Sunni Muslim minorities”.

According to parliamentarians, there is conclusive evidence that Daesh has committed against members of the Yazidi, Christian and non-Sunni Muslim minorities genocidal acts including mass and individual killing, and serious bodily or mental harm, by way of torture, beatings and inhuman and degrading treatment, and that it has done so with genocidal intent to destroy these groups in whole or in part.

The draft resolution adopted unanimously, based on the report prepared by Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), underlines that “there is at present no international judicial mechanism actually capable of trying Daesh”. The primary responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of crimes covered by the Rome Statute “rests with national authorities, especially those of the States where those crimes have taken place”.

States should take “prompt and effective action” in accordance with their obligation under the 1948 Genocide Convention to prevent and punish acts of genocide, as well as with their “general responsibility to act against crimes under international law”.

Amongst other things, the Committee also called on the UN to consider establishing a special judicial mechanism for trying crimes committed by Daesh in Iraq, and also called on Syria and Iraq to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The Assembly will debate the draft resolution during its next plenary session (Strasbourg, 9-13 October 2017).