WASHINGTON, DC – Vian Dakhil, the only Yazidi woman serving in the Iraqi parliament, said on Tuesday that the designation of genocide for the crimes committed against the Yazidi people by the so-called Islamic State is “significant” but not enough.
“Of course it’s significant, and it’s also support, but unfortunately there was nothing that came that was critical after that decision,” Dakhil told Breitbart News about the United States’ designation of Islamic State activity as genocide at the close of the Obama administration, reconfirmed last week by the U.S. State Department.
Dakhil cited the refusal of the International Criminal Court to investigate the genocide claim, a decision she said may be because Iraq is not one of 124 countries that are States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which investigates war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.
Dakhil told Breitbart News that the United States should encourage the United Nations Security Council, which can bring cases to the ICC, to investigate the horrific crimes committed by the Islamic State since it began its reign of terror in Iraq in 2014 that prominently featured the deadly persecution of Yazidis, Christians, and other religious minorities.
“One of the ways to solve this and to bring justice is to push the Security Council at the United Nations to take this genocide of the Yazidis by ISIS to the ICC,” Dakhil said.
Dakhil took part in a discussion at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, about the future of minorities in Iraq as Iraqi security forces, with help from the U.S. military and other NATO members, have all but crushed the Islamic State in Iraq.
Thousands of men, women, and children have been killed, kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS and, although some 3,000 Yazidis have been freed from ISIS, more than 3,000 Yazidi women and children are still being held captive, panelists and Iraqi officials revealed.
Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Fareed Yasseen, who also spoke, said he felt the ISIS genocide in Iraq was “one of the worst things yet to happen in the 21st Century.”
In June, Dakhil told Egyptian television that the terrorists forced a starving Yazidi woman to eat her own son’s corpse to entertain the jihadis.
“One of the women whom we managed to retrieve from ISIS said that she was held in a cellar for three days without food or water,” Dakhil said. “Afterwards, they brought her a plate of rice and meat. She ate the food because she was very hungry.”
“When she was finished they said to her: ‘We cooked your one-year-old son that we took from you, and this is what you just ate,’” Dakhil said.
The Yazidis, a religious minority community native to Northern Iraq, have been the victims of mass persecution at the hands of the Islamic State, which considers them devil worshippers.
In a related matter, the Knights of Columbus announced at its annual convention in St. Louis on Tuesday that it has raised $2 million to rebuild Karemlash, a predominately Christian town on the Nineveh Plain that was liberated from ISIS in 2016.
The donation will allow hundreds of families from minority religious communities in Iraq back to the homes they fled in 2014 to escape the terrorists.
“The terrorists desecrated churches and graves and looted and destroyed homes,” said Knights CEO Carl Anderson during his report at the Knights of Columbus 135th annual convention. “Now we will ensure that hundreds of Christian families driven from their homes can return.”
Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the U.S. Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman Bayan also spoke at the event about the genocide in her country against Yazidis and other religious minorities, but she faced some backlash from Assyrians in the audience, who claim they are not represented in their ancestral home.
She said the diversity of Iraq can cause these kinds of conflicts but that having a conversation is the first step to finding longterm solutions.