The Australian Christian Lobby has renewed calls for the Federal Government to prioritise a parliamentary vote to recognise ISIS’ genocide of Christians and other religious minorities.
ACL managing director Lyle Shelton said a bipartisan motion was moved in Parliament before Christmas but was yet to be brought to a vote.
Mr Shelton said with the spotlight again being shone on the ongoing persecution in the Middle East, the Parliament should fast-track the bipartisan ‘stop the genocide’ motion currently before the house.
In recent months Amal Clooney, human rights lawyer and wife of actor George Clooney has joined growing calls for the genocide to be internationally recognised as a first step in bringing about justice.
“The UK Parliament and the United State Congress have both passed similar motions to that which was introduced into the Australian Parliament,” Mr Shelton said.
“We know that this action by world governments assists the UN campaign to prosecute ISIS perpetrators of genocide against Christians and other religious minorities.
“Since mid-2014 Australians have watched on as the so-called Islamic State or ISIS carried out its terror campaign which included the assassination of church leaders, mass murders, torture, systematic rape, and sexual enslavement of Christians and other religious minorities” Mr Shelton said.
“While the Federal Government is to be congratulated for the recent resettlement of 12,000 Syrian refugees, given priority because of ISIS’ persecution, the next step is to recognise that what has occurred is genocide and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Having the Australian Parliament join countries such as the UK and the US in supporting a genocide recognition motion will assist the United Nations and ultimately the International Criminal Court pursue justice for those who have suffered,” Mr Shelton said.
“The decision to bring the genocide recognition motion to a vote is in the hands of the Turnbull Government and we encourage a speedily resolution given its bi-partisan support.”
More than 20,000 people have so far supported an ACL petition backing the parliamentary motion.
The motion, introduced on 28 November 2016 reads:
That this House:
(1) notes that:
(a) since 2014, Da'esh (also known as ISIL) has been carrying out terror campaigns against Christians, Assyrians, Mandaeans, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria;
(b) these campaigns have taken the form of mass murders, torture, rape, kidnappings, sexual enslavement and other crimes; and
(c) these atrocities constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide;
(2) noting that the United Nations mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has declared that Da'esh's actions against the Yazidi people amount to genocide, calls on the:
(a) Australian government to refer to the Da'esh atrocities as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; and
(b) United Nations and member states to co-ordinate measures to prevent further atrocities occurring in Syria and Iraq and take all necessary action to hold those responsible to account; and
(a) the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Lebanese Republic, the Republic of Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, for their ongoing support and efforts to shelter and protect those fleeing the violence in Syria and Iraq; and
(b) those nations that are providing a permanent home for Syrian and Iraqi refugees who are escaping persecution and violence.