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German parliament recognizes Yazidi genocide in Iraq

The German Bundestag recognized the massacre of Yazidis by jihadists from the so-called Islamic State in Iraq as "genocide."

[Zaid Al-Obeidi | AFP | Getty Images]

Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, recognized on Thursday the 2014 massacre of Yazidis by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in Iraq as a "genocide," and called for measures to assist the besieged minority.

In a move hailed by Yazidi community representatives, deputies in the Bundestag passed the motion by the three parliamentary groups in Germany's ruling centre-left-led coalition and conservative members of parliament.

The Bundestag "recognizes the crimes against the Yazidi community as genocide, following the legal evaluations of investigators from the United Nations," the resolution said, after similar moves by countries including Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Calls to ensure historical record

The resolution condemns "indescribable atrocities" and "tyrannical injustice" carried out by IS fighters "with the intention of completely wiping out the Yazidi community".

The motion urges the German judicial system to pursue further criminal cases against suspects in Germany and the government to increase financial support to collect evidence of crimes in Iraq and boost funding to help rebuild shattered Yazidi communities.

It also calls for Germany to establish a documentation center for crimes against Yazidis to ensure a historical record and to press Baghdad to protect the minority group's rights.

Reign of terror

The extremist militant group seized the Sinjar Mountains in northern Iraq, where Yazidis have lived for centuries, in 2014. The Yazidis follow an ancient religion rooted in Zoroastrianism, which IS considers heresy.

The jihadists forced women and girls into slavery, recruited boys as child soldiers, and killed many of the community's men. Since then, thousands of Yazidis have fled the region.

Around 5,000 people are believed to have been killed and another 7,000 kidnapped. Many were taken to areas of Syria where IS held territory at the time.


(c) 2023, Deutsche Welle

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