Manchester's Lucy Powell on Iraq Genocide Vote


I believe the persecution of Christians and, indeed, other religious groups is entirely unacceptable, and I agree that all people should be able to practice and profess their religious faith free from persecution. 

The work of charities and human rights organisations in highlighting reported human rights abuses reminds us, however, that in certain parts of the world religious freedom is still ruthlessly oppressed, and that Christian persecution is prevalent and growing in a number of fragile states where extremist groups operate. 

Many charities and human rights organisations have expressed strong beliefs that the severity of human rights abuses by Daesh in Iraq and Syria constitute genocide, and I am aware that bodies such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the US House of Representatives and the US Department of State have all resolved that Daesh is responsible for genocide. 

Daesh has perpetrated the most heinous of crimes including mass murder, torture, enslavement and unimaginable sexual violence. There is no doubt that Daesh is killing people because they belong to ethnic, racial or religious groups, and as such it has all the hallmarks of genocide as well as crimes against humanity and war crimes. 

On 20 April 2016 the House of Commons spoke with a clear and unanimous voice in agreeing that Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are suffering genocide at the hands of Daesh, and I supported this motion. 

The Tories must now urgently push the United Nations Security Council to immediately refer these crimes to the International Criminal Court to enable the perpetrators to be held to account for their crimes. 

Lucy Powell is a Member of Parliament for Manchester Central. Lucy is affiliated to the Labour Party.  Lucy Powell sent this letter to the Iraq Solidarity Campaign UK, which runs Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra).

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