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House Resolution Labels Violence by the Islamic State as Genocide

On March 14, the House passed, by a vote of 393-0, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State are war crimes and genocide (H. Con. Res. 75). In December 2015, the Senate approved similar legislation condemning violence by the Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (see The Source, 12/18/15).

Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), the measure declares the atrocities committed by ISIL against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The legislation notes that ISIL engages in, and publicly argues in favor of, the sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women and girls. The measure also calls on all governments and international organizations, including the United Nations, to recognize the ISIL massacres, prevent further war crimes, and punish those responsible for ongoing violence.

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