MONMOUTH MP David Davies has called on the Prime Minister to act on the “genocide” being perpetrated by so-called Islamic State against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.
He is one of 66 politicians from both Houses of Parliament who have written to David Cameron urging the British Government to obtain an agreement from the United Nations that the word “genocide” should be used in relation to the atrocities being committed in Iraq and Syria.
They cite evidence of assassinations of church leaders, mass murders, torture, kidnapping for ransom in the Christian communities of Iraq and Syria, sexual enslavement and rape of Christian girls and women, forcible conversions to Islam, destruction of churches, monasteries, cemeteries and Christian artefacts, and theft of lands and wealth from Christian clergy and laity.
Mr Davies, a regular churchgoer, said:
“All decent people will have been horrified by the systematic rape and murder of Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East by Daesh/ISIS.
“We must send a clear and unequivocal message to them that eventually they will be held to account by the international community for their atrocities.
“If getting this recognised legally as genocide will help to ensure those responsible will face some form of justice then it has my full support.”
Defining the atrocities as “genocide” would require the United Nations and the 127 signatory nations to act to implement the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.
This terms genocide as a systematic killing or seriously harming of people because they are part of a recognisable group that may be “national, ethnic, racial or religious”.
The 66 cross-party signatories are from all faiths and include three Anglican Bishops, a former Director General of the Security Services Management Board (Lord Evans), a former Chief of the Defence Staff (Lord Guthrie), professors and senior lawyers.
Earlier in December, the Lithuanian parliament became the first EU state to recognise legally that religious genocide is occurring across the Middle East – particularly in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and northern Africa.