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Yazidi genocide in 2014: PACE rapporteur Pieter Omtzigt demands justice

Dozens of Yazidis, a religious minority persecuted by the Islamic State in 2014, are buried at the cemetery of Sardashti Camp, Sinjar, Iraq.

In August 2014, Daesh committed genocide against the Yazidi community in region of Sinjar in northern Iraq. Reportedly, Daesh killed 5000 Yazidi civilians and sold thousands more into slavery. Hundreds of thousands of Yazidis had to flee their homes. In its Resolution 2091 (2016) on “Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq”, the Parliamentary Assembly recognised the genocidal character of these crimes and demanded justice.

Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), the Assembly’s Rapporteur on “Addressing the issue of Daesh foreign fighters and their families returning from Syria and other countries to the member States of the Council of Europe”, recalled today that “six years on, justice has still not been done, neither at the international level, nor in national courts. During the belated military intervention by the United States and others against Daesh, many possible perpetrators or accessories of these atrocities were captured. But with the passage of time, evidence is being lost. Numerous imprisoned Daesh fighters have escaped or were released since the Turkish military intervention in Kurdish areas in northern Iraq and Syria. Many have returned to their countries of origin, including in Europe, or intend to do so. We must be vigilant and make every effort to hold to account all those who were involved in the Yazidi genocide six years ago. Business as usual is not an option, if we do not want such atrocities to be repeated.”

Pieter Omtzigt also acted as the Assembly’s Rapporteur on “Prosecuting and punishing the crimes against humanity or even possible genocide committed by Daesh” Resolution 2190 (2017). As Rapporteur for Opinion for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, he had been involved in the preparation of Resolution 2091 (2016)”.