Identifying Genocide: The Yazidi Massacre in the Context of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide 1948

Jade Potot-Warren

Abstract


In August 2014 ISIS conducted a coordinated attack on the Yazidi population of the Mount Sinjar area. As a result, the entirety of this Yazidi population was displaced[1], and an estimated total of 3,100[2] Yazidis were killed (approximately half were executed, and the rest died whilst fleeing[3]) and 6,800[4] were kidnapped and subjected to numerous abuses, including torture and forced religious conversion. The “genocide” is ongoing[5] and as of August 2014, there are an estimated 3,200[6] women and girls still in ISIS captivity. This article will explore these events in the context of the elements of genocide and with references to the findings of the Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and 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 group. This article will critically examine if, and to what extent, these attacks constitute a genocide within the meaning of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (‘Genocide Convention’) 1948.In August 2014 ISIS conducted a coordinated attack on the Yazidi population of the Mount Sinjar area. As a result, the entirety of this Yazidi population was displaced[1], and an estimated total of 3,100[2] Yazidis were killed (approximately half were executed, and the rest died whilst fleeing[3]) and 6,800[4] were kidnapped and subjected to numerous abuses, including torture and forced religious conversion. The “genocide” is ongoing[5] and as of August 2014, there are an estimated 3,200[6] women and girls still in ISIS captivity.
This article will explore these events in the context of the elements of genocide and with references to the findings of the Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic and 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 group. This article will critically examine if, and to what extent, these attacks constitute a genocide within the meaning of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide (‘Genocide Convention’) 1948.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19164/sjppar.v2i1.922

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