Bold Steps Needed to give Hope to Threatened Groups

The Special Rapporteur spoke directly to community leaders who described the impact of violence and displacement on their communities. She listened to stories of starvation, humiliation and sexual violence of Yezidi women who had been held captive by ‘Daesh’.

“It is truly heartrending that in the cradle of civilization, in the 21st century, I hear testimonies of targeted killings, slavery, and of a marketplace selling and buying women for as much as the price of a pack of cigarettes,” Ms. Izsák-Ndiaye said. “The perpetrators must be brought to justice to bring the immense suffering of these vulnerable communities to an end.”

She urged concerted efforts to achieve the liberation of hundreds of women and girls still under captivity. She also stressed the need for the protection of mass graves and other evidence that may prove atrocity crimes, for which perpetrators should be tried by an appropriate court of law.

The UN expert acknowledged that the clear and immediate danger posed by ‘Daesh’ must be confronted as a high priority of the Government. However, she highlighted that for many minority groups the challenges that they face did not begin with it, and will not end with its defeat. “Long-standing societal discrimination and marginalization of ethnic and religious groups must be more comprehensively acknowledged and confronted,” the expert stated.

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