The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has finally adopted a resolution calling ISIS killing of minorities in Syria and Iraq “genocide.”
The council of Europe body passed the resolution on Wednesday, and on the 4th of February- Wednesday, the European Parliament will also weigh in on this issue and vote on a similar resolution on the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
The council voted overwhelmingly,117-1 vote, only one against.
“The Parliamentary Assembly . . . notes with great concern that many of these recent terrorist attacks are claimed by, and may be attributed to, individuals who act in the name of the terrorist entity which calls itself Da’ish and who have perpetrated acts of genocide and other serious crimes punishable under international law. States should act on the presumption that Da’ish commits genocide and should be aware that this entails action under the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” read a statement passed by the Parliamentary Assembly.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is an international organisation made up of a group of 47 member states.It is dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It speaks on behalf of a population of 820 million Europeans. Its recommendations on human rights issues carry significant weight with governments.
Addressing members of the parliament after the resolution had been passed, Sophia Kuby, director of European Union advocacy for ADF International said, “It is very important to see that an international institution representing an even larger and more diverse group of countries than the EU has recognized the ongoing persecution of Christians in the Middle East as genocide.”
“We hope that members of the European Parliament will pay due regard to the clear message signaled by the votes of their colleagues in the Parliamentary Assembly,” she added.
“Fighters who may have perpetrated acts of genocide and/or other serious crimes prohibited under international law, and who seek international protection upon their return to Europe, should under no circumstances be granted refugee status,” the resolution stated.
Genocide is a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings; such denial of the right of existence shocks the conscience of mankind, results in great losses to humanity in the form of cultural and other contributions represented by these human groups, and is contrary to moral law and to the spirit and aims of the United Nations.
The punishment of the crime of genocide is a matter of international concern.
A genocide resolution is greatly important because it would further coerce the United Nations Security Council to adopt a genocide resolution of its own. The council would have the power to refer the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where the perpetrators would be tried.
During his three-nation South American tour, Pope Francis called on the world’s leaders to finally recognize the slaughter of thousands of Christians a genocide.
“Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus,” he declared. “In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.”