Strasbourg – The European parliament passed a resolution on Thursday recognizing Islamic State atrocities against religious and ethnic minorities as genocide. Representatives of the 28 EU member states agreed on a joint resolution referring to minorities´ persecution by the Islamic State as “systematic mass murder”.

Members of parliament are now calling on the UN Security Council to recognize IS atrocities as genocide and take appropriate measures for the protection of vulnerable minorities, calling upon the International Criminal Court to instigate investigations.

The resolution introduced by Swedish MPs was preceded by a parliamentary debate on 20 January 2015 on the persecution of Christians and Yezidis in Iraq and Syria. Following this, the resolution 2091 which charges foreign IS fighters with participation in “acts of genocide and serious crimes against humanity” was adopted on January 27th. The EU members states are now asked to punish their citizens who had joined the terrorist militia IS and then returned with international law.

Moths earlier, the UN Human Rights Commission had – based on detailed reports – explained that IS atrocities against minorities, especially against Yezidis, were to be seen as genocide. Ethnic cleansing and abductions targeted Christians in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, IS terrorists attempted to “destroy the Yezidis as a group”, according to the UN report. Over 5,000 Yezidis were killed, 7,000 abducted and enslaved and hundreds of thousands expelled from their home.

The resolution gets practical relevance with the member states´ obligation to take any measures for the prevention of further genocidal acts and their citizens´ participation.