Washington, DC- On November 22nd, 2015, IDC Executive Director Kirsten Evans made the following statement:
“Last week, as the world was shaken by the Paris terrorist attacks, Kurdish forces backed by British and American air strikes liberated from ISIS control Sinjar and its surrounding villages in northwest Iraq. ISIS militants had overrun the Yazidi majority communities in August of 2014, resulting in the forced conversion, mass execution, and enslavement of thousands of innocent civilians. Among them were more than one thousand Yazidi women and girls herded like cattle to the ISIS sex-slave trade.
In the little over one week since the liberation, hundreds of bodies of have been unearthed in mass graves around the region, evidence of the calculated genocide that besieged these communities. Women, grandmothers, girls, men and boys, all sent to their graves by ISIS in an attempt eradicate all ethnic and religious diversity from the region.
On November 19, Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the Religious Minorities in the Middle East Caucus, called upon the Obama administration to officially recognize the treatment of all ethno-religious minorities under ISIS as crimes of genocide, emboldening the international community to more decisive action in the defense of these communities. “We’re witnessing the systematic extermination of Iraq and Syria’s entire ethno-religious minority populations and the atrocities perpetrated against each of these vulnerable groups shock the conscience of civilized humanity.”
In Defense of Christians stands in solidarity with the Yazidi community, and calls upon our national and international leaders to put immediately into action a full investigation of these crimes and the pursuit of justice against their perpetrators.
We also urge the administration and the international community to include in any designation and investigation all the ethno-religious minorities whose communities have suffered similar atrocities under ISIS, including Yazidis, Christians, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka’e, and Kurds, as defined in House Con. Resolution 75.
We unite our voice to those of Reps. Fortenberry and Eshoo asking the administration to act in defense of all of these imperiled communities, “The United States must condemn the act of genocide as the most barbaric and criminal act of humankind and must do so for all those who are suffering.”