As anyone who watched Channel 4’s recent Escape From Isis documentary will know, the savage behaviour of Islamic State has included a devastating attack on the Yezidi minority in north-west Iraq.
Last August IS abducted thousands of Yezidi civilians, summarily killing hundreds of men and boys as young as 12. Hundreds, possibly thousands, including entire families, remain missing, and countless women and girls have become IS sex slaves, taken to places like Raqqa and sold into a life of misery.
As with Boko Haram and the kidnapped girls in Nigeria, few of those abducted have been rescued and the remaining Yezidi population remains terrorised by the possibility of repeat attacks.
While it is obviously far from easy to secure the release of Yezidi and other IS captives, it is important that governments like our own provide as much backing as possible to ongoing efforts to do so. The scale and ethnic focus of IS’s anti-Yezidi activity amount to crimes against humanity. The UK government has condemned as “tragic” what has been done to the Yezidis and committed itself to humanitarian aid in the region. It must also support moves to bring to justice specific IS perpetrators, including UK citizens who have travelled to take part in this debauched attack on the Yezidi people.
Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International