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UK News

Parliament to vote on Islamic State's 'genocide'

by Antony Bushfield

Wednesday's debate in the House of Commons has been secured by Conservative member Fiona Bruce.

The motion says: "That this House believes that Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria are suffering genocide at the hands of Daesh; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to make an immediate referral to the United Nations Security Council with a view to conferring jurisdiction upon the International Criminal Court so that perpetrators can be brought to justice."

PA Wire

Premier understands the government is considering making its MPs vote against the motion. It's not clear what other parties will do, although if they unite and enough Tories rebel the motion could pass.

Islamic State has killed tens of thousands of Christians and Yazidis as it takes control of large parts of Iraq and Syria.

In some places no Christians are left at all after the jihadis ordered them to leave, pay a tax or face death.

The motion will be heard soon after Prime Minister's Questions.

In March peers in the House of Lords voted down an amendment which would have seen a High Court judge rule if Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other minorities.

The Lords voted the amendment down by 148 votes to 111.

Whilst in America, the US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that Islamic State's treatment of Christians and other minorities is a genocide.

In a televised address, John Kerry (below) said that the Islamist group was committing acts of genocide against Christians as well as Shia Muslims.

Mr Kerry said: "Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions, in what it says, what it believes and what it does.

"Daesh is also responsible for crimes against humanity against these same groups."

John Kerry's declaration did not force the United States to act militarily against Islamic State, nor does it impose legal guilt, but it did add pressure on President Barack Obama and other world nations - such as Britain - to take stronger action against the terrorist group.


Fiona Bruce MP told Premier's News Hour: "We don't want a repeat of what happened with the Rwandan Genocide, where there was a delay and the evidence then in large areas had basically disappeared or been covered up.

"We need to make this declaration now."

"Members of the public actually don't realise how much influence they have with their own MP. If your listeners would write to their MP, send them an email, and say: 'please be in the House of Commons for the vote'.

"If hundreds or indeed thousands of your listeners do that, they can make a real difference to."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speaking to Fiona Bruce on the News Hour:

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