EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF CONGRESS THAT THE SO-CALLED ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ AND AL-SHAM (ISIS OR DA'ESH) IS COMMITTING GENOCIDE, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, AND WAR CRIMES; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 109
(Senate - July 07, 2016)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages S4920-S4922]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF CONGRESS THAT THE SO-CALLED ISLAMIC STATE IN 
   IRAQ AND AL-SHAM (ISIS OR DA'ESH) IS COMMITTING GENOCIDE, CRIMES 
                    AGAINST HUMANITY, AND WAR CRIMES

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 447, S. Res. 340.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 340) expressing the sense of Congress 
     that the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS or 
     Da'esh) is committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and 
     war crimes, and calling upon the President to work with 
     foreign governments and the United Nations to provide 
     physical protection for ISIS' targets, to support the 
     creation of an international criminal tribunal with 
     jurisdiction to punish these crimes, and to use every 
     reasonable means, including sanctions, to destroy ISIS and 
     disrupt its support networks.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
resolution, which had been reported from the Committee on Foreign 
Relations, with an amendment and an amendment to the preamble and an 
amendment to the title.

                              S. Res. 340

       Whereas Christians and other religious and ethnic 
     minorities have been an integral part of the cultural fabric 
     of the Middle East for millennia;
       Whereas the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or 
     Da'esh) and associated extremists are committing egregious 
     atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq 
     and Syria, including Christians (among them Assyrian Chaldean 
     Syriac, Armenian, Evangelicals, Antiochian and Greek 
     Orthodox, Maronite, Melkite, and Roman Catholic communities), 
     Yezidis, Turkmen, Shi'a, Shabak, Sabaean-Mandeans, and 
     Kaka'i, among others;
       Whereas ISIL specifically targets these religious and 
     ethnic minorities, intending to kill them or force their 
     submission, conversion, or expulsion;
       Whereas religious and ethnic minorities have been murdered, 
     subjugated, forced to emigrate, and subjected to grievous 
     bodily and psychological harm, kidnapping, human trafficking, 
     torture, and rape;
       Whereas ISIL engages in, and publicly argues in favor of, 
     the sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women, including 
     prepubescent girls;
       Whereas the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq 
     (UNAMI) and the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) 
     said in a January 2016 report that it believes ISIL is 
     holding around 3,500 slaves, predominantly women and 
     children, ``primarily from the Yezidi community, but a number 
     are also from other ethnic and religious minority 
     communities'';
       Whereas ISIL specifically targets religious and ethnic 
     minorities, and has reportedly kidnapped, forcibly displaced, 
     killed, raped, electrocuted, and crucified members of ethnic 
     and religious groups, including Christian, Shabak, Turkmen, 
     and Shia of all ethnicities;
       Whereas ISIL has deliberately destroyed and looted numerous 
     cultural sites, religious shrines, places of worship, 
     monasteries, and museums in order to eradicate the cultures 
     of ethnic and religious minorities;
       Whereas these atrocities have been undertaken with the 
     specific intent to bring about the eradication of those 
     communities and the destruction of their cultural heritage;
       Whereas ISIL operations have in fact driven minority 
     religious and ethnic communities from their ancestral 
     homelands;
       Whereas under applicable domestic and international law 
     codified in section 2441 of title 18, United States Code, 
     murder, torture, mutilation, rape, cruel treatment, and 
     hostage taking of non-combatants constitute war crimes;
       Whereas crimes against humanity, as defined by the 
     International Military Tribunal convened at Nuremberg in 
     1945, include murder, extermination, enslavement, 
     deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any 
     civilian population, as well as persecution on political, 
     racial, or religious grounds in connection with such crimes;
       Whereas the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and 
     Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, signed and ratified by 
     the United States, defines genocide as ``any of the following 
     acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in 
     part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as 
     such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious 
     bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) 
     Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life 
     calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole 
     or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births 
     within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the 
     group to another group'';
       Whereas according to the United Nations Commission of 
     Inquiry, in February 2014, ISIL ordered Christians in Raqqa, 
     Syria to either convert to Islam, pay jizya, a tax 
     specifically applied on the basis of religious belief, and 
     accept serious curbs on their faith, or face execution;
       Whereas according to the Department of State, in August 
     2014, as ISIL began to expand beyond Mosul, an estimated 
     450,000 Yezidis, 300,000 Turkmen, and 125,000 Christians, as 
     well as Iraqi Arabs, Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Shabak and 
     other ethnic and religious groups, were forced from their 
     communities;
       Whereas in areas controlled by ISIL, churches, monasteries 
     and other places of worship have effectively been shuttered 
     and do not publicly conduct worship services;
       Whereas, on August 7, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry 
     declared that ``ISIL's campaign of terror against the 
     innocent, including Yezidi and Christian minorities, and its 
     grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning 
     signs and hallmarks of genocide'':
       Whereas, in August 2014, the United States conducted 
     targeted airstrikes and humanitarian assistance operations to 
     help break the siege of Mount Sinjar, saving the lives of

[[Page S4921]]

     thousands of Yezidi men, women, and children;
       Whereas His Holiness, Pope Francis, has noted that ``entire 
     communities, especially--but not only--Christians and 
     Yezidis, have suffered and are still suffering inhuman 
     violence because off their ethnic and religious identity'' 
     and stated that, for Christians being killed for their faith 
     in the Middle East ``a form of genocide--I insist on the 
     word--is taking place, and it must end'';
       Whereas a March 13, 2015, report by the Office of the 
     United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights detailed 
     ``acts of violence perpetrated [by ISIL] against civilians 
     because of their affiliation or perceived affiliation to an 
     ethnic or religious group'' and stated that ``[i]t is 
     reasonable to conclude that some of these incidents, 
     considering the overall information, may constitute 
     genocide'';
       Whereas, on December 7, 2015, the United States Commission 
     on International Religious Freedom called on the United 
     States Government ``to designate the Christian, Yezidi, 
     Shi'a, Turkmen, and Shabak communities of Iraq and Syria as 
     victims of genocide by ISIL'' and urged world leaders ``to 
     condemn the genocidal actions and crimes against humanity of 
     ISIL that have been directed at these groups and other ethnic 
     and religious groups'';
       Whereas, on February 3, 2016, the European Parliament 
     expressed the view that ISIL ``is committing genocide against 
     Christians and Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic 
     minorities''; and
       Whereas, on March 17, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry 
     issued a declaration stating, that in his judgement, ``Da'esh 
     is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its 
     control, including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims,'' 
     and is ``also responsible for crimes against humanity and 
     ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups and in some 
     cases against Sunni Muslims and Kurds and other minorities'': 
     Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--
       (1) the atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq 
     and the Levant (ISIL) against Christians, Yezidis, Shi'a, and 
     other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria 
     constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide;
       (2) all governments, and international organizations should 
     call ISIL atrocities by their rightful names: war crimes, 
     crimes against humanity, and genocide;
       (3) the member states of the United Nations should 
     coordinate urgently on measures to prevent further war 
     crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by ISIL in Iraq 
     and Syria, and to punish those responsible for these ongoing 
     crimes, including by the collection and preservation of 
     evidence and, if necessary, the establishment and operation 
     of appropriate tribunals;
       (4) the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Lebanese Republic, 
     the Republic of Turkey, and the Kurdistan Regional Government 
     in Iraq are to be commended for, and supported in, their 
     efforts to shelter and protect those fleeing the violence of 
     ISIL and other combatants until they can safely return to 
     their homes in Iraq and Syria; and
       (5) the protracted Syrian civil war and the indiscriminate 
     violence of the Assad regime have contributed to the growth 
     of ISIL and will continue to do so as long as this conflict 
     continues.

                              S. Res. 340

       Whereas Christians and other religious and ethnic 
     minorities have been an integral part of the cultural fabric 
     of the Middle East for millennia;
       Whereas the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or 
     Da'esh) and associated extremists are committing egregious 
     atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq 
     and Syria, including Christians (among them Assyrian Chaldean 
     Syriac, Armenian, Evangelicals, Antiochian and Greek 
     Orthodox, Maronite, Melkite, and Roman Catholic communities), 
     Yezidis, Turkmen, Shi'a, Shabak, Sabaean-Mandeans, and 
     Kaka'i, among others;
       Whereas ISIL specifically targets these religious and 
     ethnic minorities, intending to kill them or force their 
     submission, conversion, or expulsion;
       Whereas religious and ethnic minorities have been murdered, 
     subjugated, forced to emigrate, and subjected to grievous 
     bodily and psychological harm, kidnapping, human trafficking, 
     torture, and rape;
       Whereas ISIL engages in, and publicly argues in favor of, 
     the sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women, including 
     prepubescent girls;
       Whereas the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq 
     (UNAMI) and the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) 
     said in a January 2016 report that it believes ISIL is 
     holding around 3,500 slaves, predominantly women and 
     children, ``primarily from the Yezidi community, but a number 
     are also from other ethnic and religious minority 
     communities'';
       Whereas ISIL specifically targets religious and ethnic 
     minorities, and has reportedly kidnapped, forcibly displaced, 
     killed, raped, electrocuted, and crucified members of ethnic 
     and religious groups, including Christian, Shabak, Turkmen, 
     and Shia of all ethnicities;
       Whereas ISIL has deliberately destroyed and looted numerous 
     cultural sites, religious shrines, places of worship, 
     monasteries, and museums in order to eradicate the cultures 
     of ethnic and religious minorities;
       Whereas these atrocities have been undertaken with the 
     specific intent to bring about the eradication of those 
     communities and the destruction of their cultural heritage;
       Whereas ISIL operations have in fact driven minority 
     religious and ethnic communities from their ancestral 
     homelands;
       Whereas under applicable domestic and international law 
     codified in section 2441 of title 18, United States Code, 
     murder, torture, mutilation, rape, cruel treatment, and 
     hostage taking of non-combatants constitute war crimes;
       Whereas crimes against humanity, as defined by the 
     International Military Tribunal convened at Nuremberg in 
     1945, include murder, extermination, enslavement, 
     deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any 
     civilian population, as well as persecution on political, 
     racial, or religious grounds in connection with such crimes;
       Whereas the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and 
     Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, signed and ratified by 
     the United States, defines genocide as ``any of the following 
     acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in 
     part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as 
     such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious 
     bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) 
     Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life 
     calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole 
     or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births 
     within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the 
     group to another group'';
       Whereas according to the United Nations Commission of 
     Inquiry, in February 2014, ISIL ordered Christians in Raqqa, 
     Syria to either convert to Islam, pay jizya, a tax 
     specifically applied on the basis of religious belief, and 
     accept serious curbs on their faith, or face execution;
       Whereas according to the Department of State, in August 
     2014, as ISIL began to expand beyond Mosul, an estimated 
     450,000 Yezidis, 300,000 Turkmen, and 125,000 Christians, as 
     well as Iraqi Arabs, Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Shabak and 
     other ethnic and religious groups, were forced from their 
     communities;
       Whereas in areas controlled by ISIL, churches, monasteries 
     and other places of worship have effectively been shuttered 
     and do not publicly conduct worship services;
       Whereas, on August 7, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry 
     declared that ``ISIL's campaign of terror against the 
     innocent, including Yezidi and Christian minorities, and its 
     grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning 
     signs and hallmarks of genocide'':
       Whereas, in August 2014, the United States conducted 
     targeted airstrikes and humanitarian assistance operations to 
     help break the siege of Mount Sinjar, saving the lives of 
     thousands of Yezidi men, women, and children;
       Whereas His Holiness, Pope Francis, has noted that ``entire 
     communities, especially--but not only--Christians and 
     Yezidis, have suffered and are still suffering inhuman 
     violence because off their ethnic and religious identity'' 
     and stated that, for Christians being killed for their faith 
     in the Middle East ``a form of genocide--I insist on the 
     word--is taking place, and it must end'';
       Whereas a March 13, 2015, report by the Office of the 
     United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights detailed 
     ``acts of violence perpetrated [by ISIL] against civilians 
     because of their affiliation or perceived affiliation to an 
     ethnic or religious group'' and stated that ``[i]t is 
     reasonable to conclude that some of these incidents, 
     considering the overall information, may constitute 
     genocide'';
       Whereas, on December 7, 2015, the United States Commission 
     on International Religious Freedom called on the United 
     States Government ``to designate the Christian, Yezidi, 
     Shi'a, Turkmen, and Shabak communities of Iraq and Syria as 
     victims of genocide by ISIL'' and urged world leaders ``to 
     condemn the genocidal actions and crimes against humanity of 
     ISIL that have been directed at these groups and other ethnic 
     and religious groups'';
       Whereas, on February 3, 2016, the European Parliament 
     expressed the view that ISIL ``is committing genocide against 
     Christians and Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic 
     minorities''; and
       Whereas, on March 17, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry 
     issued a declaration stating, that in his judgement, ``Da'esh 
     is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its 
     control, including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims,'' 
     and is ``also responsible for crimes against humanity and 
     ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups and in some 
     cases against Sunni Muslims and Kurds and other minorities'': 
     Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--
       (1) the atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq 
     and the Levant (ISIL) against Christians, Yezidis, Shi'a, and 
     other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria 
     constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide;
       (2) all governments, and international organizations should 
     call ISIL atrocities by their rightful names: war crimes, 
     crimes against humanity, and genocide;
       (3) the member states of the United Nations should 
     coordinate urgently on measures to prevent further war 
     crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by ISIL in Iraq 
     and Syria, and to punish those responsible for these ongoing 
     crimes, including by the collection and preservation of 
     evidence and, if necessary, the establishment and operation 
     of appropriate tribunals;
       (4) the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Lebanese Republic, 
     the Republic of Turkey, and the Kurdistan Regional Government 
     in Iraq are to be commended for, and supported in, their 
     efforts to shelter and protect those fleeing the violence of 
     ISIL and other combatants until they can safely return to 
     their homes in Iraq and Syria; and

[[Page S4922]]

       (5) the protracted Syrian civil war and the indiscriminate 
     violence of the Assad regime have contributed to the growth 
     of ISIL and will continue to do so as long as this conflict 
     continues.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
committee-reported amendment to the resolution be agreed to, the 
resolution, as amended, be agreed to, the committee-reported amendment 
to the preamble be agreed to, the preamble, as amended, be agreed to, 
and the committee-reported title amendment be agreed to, and the 
motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with 
no intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The committee-reported amendment in the nature of a substitute was 
agreed to.
  The resolution (S. Res. 340), as amended, was agreed to.
  The committee-reported amendment to the preamble in the nature of a 
substitute was agreed to.
  The preamble, as amended, was agreed to.
  The committee-reported title amendment was agreed to, as follows:

       Amend the title so as to read: ``A resolution expressing 
     the sense of the Senate that the atrocities perpetrated by 
     the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against 
     religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war 
     crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.''.

                          ____________________