WASHINGTON, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former Congressman Frank R. Wolf, Distinguished Senior Fellow at the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative (21CWI), stated, "Today the United States stood with millions in Iraq and Syria who have experienced the most brutal reality imaginable – genocide."
At a press briefing this morning, Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement declaring that the Islamic State is "responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. [The Islamic State] is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology, and by actions – in what it says, what it believes, and what it does."
The statement follows a vote Monday in the House of Representatives passing H. Con. Res. 75—decrying the ISIS genocide against Christians and other religious minorities—and H. Con. Res. 121—calling for a Syrian War Crimes Tribunal.
21CWI President Randel Everett noted, "Frank Wolf's leadership has been an invaluable asset to the only two instances in which an active situation has been declared genocide, first in Darfur in 2004 and now in Iraq and Syria." Everett further stated, "We extend our deepest appreciation to Secretary Kerry, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein, Special Envoy Knox Thames as well as to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA).
In February 2015, 21CWI released "Edge of Extinction," a seminal report describing the genocidal actions of the Islamic State following a fact-finding trip to the frontlines of the engagement with the Islamic State. 21CWI were lead authors for widely signed International Religious Freedom Roundtable letters in October 2015 and February 2016 and advocated within Congress, the State Department, the Administration and across multiple religious denominations and numerous grassroots activists for a declaration of genocide. Through the Ruth Project, 21CWI continues to support an education initiative that helps Syrian refugee children in Lebanon who have fled, in part, the violence of the Islamic State.
21CWI is a non-profit human rights organization working to empower a global movement to advance religious freedom as a universal right through advocacy, capacity building and technology. For additional statements or media appearances or more information contact Lou Ann Sabatier at firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-216-2941, visit 21wilberforce.org, 21Wilberforce on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative