Germany to formally recognize Yazidi genocide by ISIS
Lawmakers in Germany are planning to formally recognize the genocide of Yazidis, an ancient religious group, by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. The motion is likely to pass through the country’s legislative body as early as next week.

It would follow the United Nations, the European Parliament, Armenia, Britain, Scotland, Australia, Canada, and the United States in officially recognizing the crimes ISIS committed in and around Iraq’s Sinjar (Shingal) region against Yazidis as a genocide.

 “By recognizing these Islamist crimes as genocide, we are giving the survivors a voice and supporting them in their fight for historical justice,” says Derya Turk-Nachbaur, a lawmaker with the governing center-left Social Democrats (SPD).

The motion is supported by the governing SPD party and its two junior coalition partners – the neoliberal Free Democrats and the Greens – as well as the main opposition party, the Christian Democrats, and thus likely to pass.

Germany is home to the largest Yazidi diaspora, with around 150.000 believers living in the country in 2016, thanks in part to special initiatives targeting the survivors of ISIS’ 2014 genocide for relocation in Germany.

During ISIS’ assault on the Yazidi-majority Sinjar region of Iraq in 2014, the group murdered thousands of men, while women and children were kidnapped and enslaved in an effort to wipe out the ancient religious group.

German courts previously tried ISIS returnees for the crimes they committed in Syria and Iraq, including against Yazidis. Currently, a German woman is on trial for accessory to genocide, among other crimes, at the high court in Koblenz. She is accused of having enslaved and abused a Yazidi woman over several years.

Observers believe that a formal recognition of the 2014 genocide could help efforts to prosecute ISIS returnees.

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