News / USA

    US Pressured to Reach Genocide Decision on IS

    FILE - Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, fleeing from Islamic State militants, head toward the Syrian border Aug. 11, 2014. The Obama administration must determine whether the IS group has been conducting a genocide campaign.
    FILE - Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, fleeing from Islamic State militants, head toward the Syrian border Aug. 11, 2014. The Obama administration must determine whether the IS group has been conducting a genocide campaign.
    VOA News

    Pressure is growing for the Obama administration to formally determine whether the Islamic State group is committing “genocide” against Christians, Yazidi and other religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East.

    The U.S. State Department faces a Thursday deadline set last year by Congress, whose lower House of Representatives on Monday will vote on a Republican-led resolution on the violence in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

    Secretary of State John Kerry is said to be leaning toward the rare, fraught determination, according to The Associated Press, but likely will miss that deadline while awaiting the results of a legal review. Such a designation – which the United States previously has invoked just once during an ongoing conflict – carries unclear political and legal implications.

    FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry promises a decision soon on whether the Islamic State is committing genocide.FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry promises a decision soon on whether the Islamic State is committing genocide.
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    FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry promises a decision soon on whether the Islamic State is committing genocide.
    FILE - Secretary of State John Kerry promises a decision soon on whether the Islamic State is committing genocide.

    International focus

    "A genocide designation will raise international consciousness and compel the international community of responsible nations to act, setting the preconditions for the reintegration of ancient ethnic groups and faith traditions into their ancestral homelands," Nebraska Republican Jeff Fortenberry said in a statement last week. He had introduced the House legislation in September.

    A 1948 United Nations treaty on genocide requires signatories, including the United States, to "undertake to prevent and to punish” acts intended “to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group...."

    In 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell determined that the mass rape and slaughter in Sudan’s Darfur region was genocide. He reached that finding after State Department lawyers determined the United States was not legally compelled to prevent genocide occurring outside its own boundaries, the AP reported. Powell urged the U.N. Security Council to create a commission to investigate whether the crimes constituted genocide and to act accordingly. 

    Defining the legal standard

    With a genocide determination against the Islamic State, Kerry also probably would refer the matter to the Security Council for possible prosecution by an international tribunal, according to the AP.

    Kerry last month testified before Congress that the atrocities must meet the legal standard of genocide and that he’d asked State Department lawyers to evaluate and re-evaluate evidence. He promised a response "very, very soon."

    Detailed report on atrocities

    Last week, the international Catholic fraternal group Knights of Columbus and the U.S.-based nonprofit In Defense of Christians released a report citing witness accounts of atrocities such as beheadings, crucifixions, rapes and sexual enslavement.

    The report listed 1,131 Christians killed in Iraq and 125 churches attacked there from 2003 to 2014, according to the Religion News Service. RNS noted support for the report's findings from groups such as Genocide Watch and the Hudson Institute.

    An unnamed State Department official was quoted by RNS as saying that, "regardless of whether Da'esh’s conduct satisfies certain legal definitions, including genocide and crimes against humanity, the United States has been clear that our interest in accountability for perpetrators remains undiminished."

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    by: kanaikaal irumporai
    March 14, 2016 12:15 PM
    Yes!, when things suit the policies of the US, they would come up with all sorts of things to discredit the opposing party, but if the perpetrators acts as agents(the Sinhala Buddhist state of Sri Lanka for instance) for the US and the West, then the whole setup changes into giving the perpetrator the right and the necessary means to further the Genocidal project and to shield them from scrutiny from outside. The guilty are, the view of US and the West, competent enough to act as investigates and judges, to decide whether there is any wrong doing on the part of the accused. UN, that better suited for mosquito eradication and polio vaccination, is being used to shield the culprits, and to crucify without trial anyone who doesn't comply with the neocolonial agenda of the West.

    All the talks of framing IS of committing Genocide is not going to work unless IS recognizes the role of the UN or any other so called international body, for these militants obey only their God, none else. The matter then is either to ignore or eliminate them. That can happen without such indictments.

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