UK government recognizes Yezidi genocide
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The UK government has today formally acknowledged that acts of genocide were committed against the Yezidis by ISIS in Aug. 2014.
The Minister of State for the Middle East Lord Tariq Ahmad made the announcement ahead of events marking the nine-year anniversary of atrocities committed by ISIS against the Yezidis.
“The Yazidi population suffered immensely at the hands of Daesh nine years ago and the repercussions are still felt to this day. Justice and accountability are key for those whose lives have been devastated,” he said.
“Today we have made the historic acknowledgement that acts of genocide were committed against the Yazidi people. This determination only strengthens our commitment to ensuring that they receive the compensation owed to them and are able to access meaningful justice.”
The UK government recognized the genocide following the judgment of the German Federal Court of Justice earlier this year, where it found a former ISIS fighter guilty of acts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Iraq.
The UK government underlined that "determinations of genocide should be made by competent courts, rather than by governments or non-judicial bodies."
In a landmark ruling in November 2021, a German court made history by convicting an Iraqi jihadist of genocide against the Yazidi people, marking the first-ever such conviction worldwide.
During June, a German woman was found guilty of multiple charges, including keeping a Yezidi woman enslaved during her association with ISIS, committing crimes against humanity, being a member of a foreign terrorist organization, and acting as an accessory to genocide.
The UK officially acknowledges five instances where genocide has occurred, including the Holocaust, Rwanda, Srebrenica and acts of genocide in Cambodia and the genocide by ISIS against the Yezidi people.
During his visit to Iraq earlier this year, including to the Kurdistan region, Lord Ahmad also welcomed progress with the passage of the Yezidi Survivors Law, which will provide reparations to survivors.
He underlined the UK’s commitment to helping Iraq fully implement the law and ensure that survivors receive full support and access to justice.
"We at the Free Yezidi Foundation and many other Yezidi civil society organizations and activists have spoken many, many times in the UK Parliament about this and related topics," Pari Ibrahim, the founder and Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF), told Kurdistan 24.
"The UK Parliament recognized the Yezidi Genocide years ago, and we wanted the UK Government to do the same. We are grateful for a number of British Parliamentarians and British lawyers who have helped us to push this forward. And we are glad that the UK Ambassador stood with us in Baghdad today to make this announcement," she added.
During a Yezidi genocide commemoration event held in Baghdad today, Stephen Hitchen, the UK's Ambassador to Iraq, reaffirmed the UK's official announcement.