Members of the Australian Parliament have spoken out during debate on a motion condemning the genocide committed by ISIL against the Yazidi people of Northern Iraq.
Federal Member for Dunkley, Chris Crewther MP, introduced the motion to parliament, saying that “Many have labelled these crimes genocide and this is what this motion here today presents to this parliament.”
The UN and various humanitarian organisations have found that ISIL’s crimes of massacres, forced deportation, sexual violence and trafficking were committed with intent to destroy the Yazidi community, and constitute not only crimes against humanity but that most heinous of crimes, genocide.
“The experiences survivors have shared with me have shocked me to my core,” Mr Crewther said.
“The world needs to know what happened to the Yazidis and for justice to be served.”
The motion not only condemns the genocide, it also calls for concrete action.
“UN Security Council Resolution 2379 establishes an Investigative Team to collect evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. My motion to parliament calls for Australia’s continued support to this process so that perpetrators may be held accountable for their crimes.” Mr Crewther said.
The bipartisan motion was supported by MPs Trent Zimmerman, Anne Aly, Gai Brodtmann and Mike Kelly. The debate clearly acknowledged the use of sexual violence as a tool of genocide against Yazidis and the genocidal intent of the attacks. During the debate, Mr Zimmerman said: “… it is important that this parliament recognises genocides such as those that the Yazidi have suffered. It’s an important message to the world community that the international legal and global order will not ever tolerate these types of actions.”
As well as welcoming the government’s resettlement of hundreds of Yazidis in Australia, the motion highlights the need for appropriate psychological support for survivors, and further, supports the right of Yazidis and all minorities to live in peace, safety and freedom in Syria and Iraq.
Mr Crewther said that the violence occurring now in Syria and Iraq shows the importance of holding perpetrators of such crimes accountable. “We cannot allow impunity for perpetrators of international crimes. Recognition of the crimes is the first step and I truly hope that Yazidi survivors will one day see justice served to ISIS perpetrators.”