Procedure : 2016/2529(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0154/2016

Texts tabled :

B8-0154/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 04/02/2016 - 8.10
CRE 04/02/2016 - 8.10

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0051

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 355kWORD 83k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0149/2016
27.1.2016
PE576.515v01-00
 
B8-0154/2016

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the systematic mass murder of religious minorities by ISIS (2016/2529(RSP))


Charles Tannock, Mark Demesmaeker, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Karol Karski, Arne Gericke, Angel Dzhambazki, Marek Jurek, Raffaele Fitto, Peter van Dalen, Kosma Złotowski, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Andrew Lewer, Beatrix von Storch, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski, Timothy Kirkhope, Stanisław Ożóg, Mirosław Piotrowski, Bolesław G. Piecha, Czesław Hoc, Branislav Škripek, Jana Žitňanská on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the systematic mass murder of religious minorities by ISIS (2016/2529(RSP))  
B8-0154/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Iraq and on Syria, on ISIS/Daesh and on religious persecution,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 16 March 2015 on the EU Regional Strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the ISIL/Daesh threat, of 20 October 2014 on the ISIL/Daesh crisis in Syria and Iraq, of 30 August 2014 on Iraq and Syria, of 14 April 2014 and 12 October 2015 on Syria, and of 15 August 2014 on Iraq,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2003/335/JHA of 8 May 2003 on the investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,

–  having regard to: the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief; the EU Guidelines on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law; the EU guidelines on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them; the Guidelines to EU Policy towards Third Countries on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatment; the EU Guidelines on children and armed conflict; the EU Guidelines for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child; and the EU Human Rights Guidelines on freedom of expression online and offline,

–  having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Iraq and Syria and the ISIS/Daesh threat,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989, and its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict of 2000,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief of 1981,

–  having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984,

–  having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, in particular Articles 5 to 8 thereof,

–  having regard to the Analysis Framework by the Office of the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention on Genocide (OSAPG),

–  having regard to the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Iraq in the light of abuses committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups, of 27 March 2015, in particular its paragraph 16 on ‘Violations Perpetrated by ISIL’, Attacks against religious and ethnic groups,

–  having regard to the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, of 25 August 2014 on ‘Iraqi civilians suffering “horrific” widespread and systematic persecution’,

–  having regard to the recent UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq and Syria, in particular Resolution 2249 (2015) condemning recent terrorists attacks by ISIS,

–  having regard to Resolution S-22/1 adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on ‘The human rights situation in Iraq in the light of abuses committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups’, of 3 September 2014,

–  having regard to the statement by the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect on the escalation of incitement to violence in Syria on religious grounds, issued on 13 October 2015,

–  having regard to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on ‘Technical assistance provided to assist in the promotion and protection of human rights in Iraq’, of 27 July 2015, in particular paragraph 18 thereof,

–  having regard to the Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, presented in the Human Rights Council on 13 August 2015, in particular its paragraphs 165 to 173,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, signed and ratified by all EU Member States, affirms that the most serious crimes of greatest concern for the international community as a whole, including in particular genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at national level and by enhancing international cooperation;

B.  whereas the international legal definition of genocide, in accordance with Article II of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, includes the words: ‘any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and (e) forcibly transferring children of one group to another group’; whereas Article III of that Convention considers punishable not only genocide, but conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, and complicity in genocide;

C.  whereas several UN reports indicate that in territories under ISIS/Daesh control, war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide, are being committed against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities;

D.  whereas, for example, on 15 July 2014, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, stated that in Iraq ‘there are also reports that ethnic and religious minorities have been targeted for physical assault, including sexual violence’; whereas the UN Special Representative stated on 3 August 2015, on the first anniversary of the Sinjar tragedy, that: ‘In the days that followed, amidst horrific killings, ISIL hunted down and caught hundreds of women and girls from ethnic and religion minorities, instituting a pattern of sexual violence, slavery, abduction and human trafficking that continues to this day.(…) These appalling crimes of sexual violence in conflict, which may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and/or acts of genocide, will not be forgotten’;

E.  whereas on 13 August 2014 the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, issued a joint statement confirming that some 1 500 Christian and Yazidi women may have been kidnapped by ISIL and subsequently forced into sexual slavery; whereas in that statement, both Special Representatives recognised ‘the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control’;

F.  whereas the UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and the UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, on the situation in Iraq stated on 12 August 2014 that ‘the reports we have received of acts committed by the “Islamic State” may also point to the risk of genocide’;

G.  whereas the 13 March 2015 report of the United Nations Committee on Human Rights, prepared at the request of the Government of Iraq, stated that ‘[e]thnic and religious groups targeted by ISIL include Yazidis, Christians, Turkmen, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka’e, Kurds and Shi’a’ and that ‘[i]t is reasonable to conclude that some of the incidents [in Iraq in 2014–2015] ... may constitute genocide’;

H.  whereas the Report on the Protection of Civilians in the Armed Conflict in Iraq: 1 May – 31 October 2015 on the situation in Iraq by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq – Human Rights Office, published on 19 January 2016 states that: ‘The violence suffered by civilians in Iraq remains staggering. The so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide’;

I.  whereas the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Iraq in the light of abuses committed by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups, of 27 March 2015 states in its paragraph 16 on ‘Violations Perpetrated by ISIL. Attacks against religious and ethnic groups’ that some of the acts of violence perpetrated against civilians because of their affiliation or perceived affiliation to an ethnic or religious group (…) in the light of the information gathered overall (…) may constitute genocide.’;

J.  whereas, according to the Report on the Protection of Civilians in the Armed Conflict in Iraq (11 December 2014 – 30 April 2015) by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq ‘ISIL continues to commit systematic and widespread violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. In some instances, these may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.’;

K.   whereas the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on ‘Technical assistance provided to assist in the promotion and protection of human rights in Iraq’, of 27 July 2015 states in paragraph 18 that UNAMI/OHCHR continued to receive numerous credible reports of gross violations and abuses of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law being perpetrated by ISIL against civilians in an apparent widespread or systematic manner. In some instances, these may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide’;

L.  whereas the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, of 16 June 2015 states in paragraph 11 that ‘there is evidence that ISIL has committed serious violations of international law, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and serious violations of human rights law’;

M.  whereas genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are of concern to all Member States, which are determined to cooperate for the prevention of those crimes and for putting an end to the impunity of the perpetrators thereof, in accordance with Council Common Position 2003/444/CFSP of 16 June 2003;

N.  whereas, as recognised by UN Security Council Resolution 2249 (2015), the violent extremist ideology of the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’, its terrorist acts, its continued gross systematic and widespread attacks directed against civilians, abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those perpetrated on religious or ethnic ground, its eradication of cultural heritage and trafficking of cultural property, constitute a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security;

O.  whereas Christians in particular have been fleeing Iraq and Syria in great numbers and have seen their communities massively reduced, both in absolute and in relative numbers; whereas in particular in the case of Iraq this exodus had already started in 2003, well before the advent of ISIS/Daesh; whereas there is a steady flow of Christians leaving most other countries in the Middle East as they no longer see a future for themselves there; whereas, if the current trend continues, large parts of the Middle East will no longer have any Christian presence and communities and cultures, some of which are 2 000 years old will be lost forever;

P.  whereas recently reports have come out signalling a deteriorating situation for religious minorities in Kurdish-controlled areas;

1.  Condemns in the strongest terms the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’ and its egregious human rights abuses and the serious violations of international humanitarian law being committed as part of its campaign to establish a ‘Caliphate’ and exterminate all non-Sunni Muslims, and all traces of their culture and history, in the areas under its control and in the wider Middle East;

2.  Believes that sufficient evidence has been presented by the UN and its bodies, by several UN member states, by human rights and advocacy organisations and by the media to reasonably conclude that ISIS/Daesh is committing and attempting to commit war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against Christians (Chaldeans/Assyrians/Syriacs, Melkites, Armenians), Yazidis, Turkmen, Shabak, Sabea-Mandeans, Kaka’e, Kurds, Shi’ites, moderate Sunnis and non-believers;

3.  Considers that those who aid ISIS/Daesh in any way, including by giving financial, logistical or political support, by promoting this terrorist organisation and its ideology online or offline, or by hindering an effective international response, are guilty of aiding the abovementioned crimes;

4.  Asks the EU and its Member States, in particular France and the UK as permanent members of the UN Security Council, to request a UNSC resolution under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, to refer the situation in the territories under ISIS/Daesh control to the ICC for investigation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide;

5.  Urges Syria and Iraq to accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court;

6.  Urges all UN member states to improve their legal and jurisdictional systems in order to prevent their citizens from joining ISIS/Daesh and participating in its crimes; urges all UN member states to prosecute their citizens if they do participate in these crimes;

7.  Recognises, supports and demands the respect by all for the inalienable right of all religious and ethnic minorities, indigenous and otherwise, living in Iraq and Syria to continue to live in their historical and traditional homelands in dignity, equality and safety, and to practice their religion in complete freedom without any kind of coercion, violence or discrimination; believes that in order to stem the suffering and the mass exodus of Christians and other indigenous populations of the region, a clear and unequivocal statement by all regional political and religious leaders in support of their continued presence and full and equal rights as citizens of their home countries is imperative;

8.  Urges all UN member states and in particular the EU Member States to redouble their efforts to save and safeguard persecuted peoples and their heritage until they are able to return home;

9.  Considers that safe havens, protected by UN-mandated forces, could be part of the answer to the massive challenge of providing temporary protection for millions of refugees from the conflict in Syria and Iraq;

10.  Condemns and rejects any interpretation of the message of Islam which paves the way for a violent, cruel, totalitarian, oppressive and expansive ideology legitimising the extermination of Christians and other minorities; urges the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its organs, the Arab League, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC), and Muslim leaders worldwide to fully condemn and to identify the atrocities being committed by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’ against Christians, Yazidis and other indigenous religious minorities by their rightful terminology: ‘crimes against humanity’, ‘war crimes’, and ‘genocide’;

11.  Considers the permanent holding of territory by terrorist groups anywhere in the world absolutely unacceptable and intolerable and calls on the UN and NATO to consider strategies to counter the establishment of such entities by terrorist organisations such as ISIS/Daesh, Boko Haram and the Taliban;

12.  Calls on the coalition against ISIS/Daesh to specifically and directly support all minority units among its existing partners, in order to include the minorities in the security, protection and liberation of their homelands and to prevent the reoccurrence of dependency, powerlessness and subjugation; recalls that the multi-ethnic and multi-religious defensive forces of the Democratic Self-Administration (DSA) are among the most effective forces in the war against ‘ISIS/Daesh’; calls on Turkey to end its hostility towards the DSA and its forces as they pose no threat to Turkey;

13.  Underlines the need for an empowered and active political role for the Yazidi, Turkmen and Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in determining the political future of their homelands as well as the reconstruction and future security of their homelands, especially Sinjar, Tal Afar and Nineveh Plains; calls for the active participation of the EEAS in finding a political solution to restoring unity and peace in Sinjar; calls for the inclusion of civil society organisations, such as the European Syriac Union, and religious representatives as intermediaries between minorities and the Kurdish Regional Government and the Government of Iraq;

14.  Is concerned about recent reports of discrimination against minorities in Kurdish-controlled areas; calls on the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq and Kurdish forces in Syria to continue to provide shelter for those fleeing war and persecution; commends initiatives such as the multi-ethnic Democratic Self-Administration in northern Syria and considers this an example of cooperation and conflict resolution;

15.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to take steps to ensure that aid is delivered to the most vulnerable and demands that Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq immediately open their borders to the Democratic Self-Administration in Northern Syria and lift the limitations on humanitarian aid, reconstruction, media, political and civil society exchanges as the Democratic Self-Administration gives shelter to a growing number of IDPs and as its isolation is detrimental for the minorities living in these areas;

16.  Calls on the Commission and the EEAS to include minority aid organisations based in Syria and Iraq in delivering aid to IDPs; considers that there are many good examples worthy of support, such as the ‘Syriac Cross’ in Syria and the efforts being made under the leadership of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop, Bashar Matti Warda;

17.  Underlines that effective peace talks on the future of Syria can only be successful if all parties are included and calls on the VP/HR to ensure that a multi-ethnic and multi-religious delegation from the Democratic Council for Syria is included in the peace talks;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Syria, the Government and Council of Representatives of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan, the institutions of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC), the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council.

Last updated: 28 January 2016Legal notice