Netherlands, Belgium officially recognize Yazidi genocide

The Dutch Parliament has recognized Islamic State (ISIS) crimes against the Yazidis as genocide, almost seven years after the group attacked Iraq in 2014, an NGO advocating for the ethnoreligious minority said on Tuesday. 

“On 30 June 2021, not long after testimony and evidence were presented to the Belgian Parliament, the Members of Belgium Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee officially recognized the Yezidi genocide,” the Netherlands and United States-based Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF) said in a statement sent by the NGO to Rudaw English. 

The Netherlands Parliament voted on July 6 to recognize the ISIS genocide against the Yazidis. ISIS swept across Iraq and Syria in the summer of 2014. Minority groups especially suffered under the terror group's rule, including Yazidis, Shabaks, and Christians. 

“The Dutch have been discussing this for some months but the pressure of watching Belgium pass the bill was very helpful,” FYF’s Executive Director Pari Ibrahim told Rudaw English. Debates regarding the matter were held on Thursday in the Netherlands, almost a week before the passage of the bill according to Ibrahim. 

Belgium approved a resolution to recognize the Yazidi genocide on Wednesday, joining several countries that have officially recognized it. More than 6,000 Yazidis were kidnapped when ISIS attacked their heartland of Shingal in Nineveh province, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yazidis. 

Over 2,000 remain missing. Evidence has established that the ISIS crimes committed against the group “truly” constitute genocide, Karim Khan, head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL (UNITAD) told the UN in May. 

by Layal Shakir

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