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Majority of British public supports govt action against Middle East genocide

ComRes poll commissioned by ADF International sees support for more UK action on ISIS killing


LONDON – A new ComRes poll* found that 68 percent of the British public agrees that the United Kingdom should use its international influence to ensure that the atrocities of ISIS against Christians and other religious minorities are classified as genocide to ensure the perpetrators are held accountable.

The results lend support to an amendment the House of Lords is considering today. The amendment, which has cross-party support, seeks to establish a mechanism for the United Kingdom to determine whether acts of genocide are being committed. If adopted, it will ensure victims of genocide are given priority in asylum applications where the High Court has determined that genocide is taking place. (Read a transcript of the discussion here.)

How long will Britain stand silent?

“Remembering Europe’s past should highlight the importance of decisive action against the ongoing genocide in the Middle East, along with the recognition that nothing good can come from remaining silent,” said Lord Alton of Liverpool, an Independent co-sponsor of the amendment. “How long will Britain stand silent? Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, whose very existence is under direct threat, deserve more than a promise that the ‘international judicial system’ will investigate. We cannot remain silent and stand by while minorities, who have been living in the region for centuries, are being annihilated.”

The UK remaining silent is not an option

“The results of the poll show that the British public believes that the UK should be taking a leading role in recognizing this genocide for what it is in order to ultimately bring it to an end,” said Robert Clarke, an English barrister and Director of European Advocacy with ADF International. “The United Kingdom must take its obligations to ‘prevent and punish’ genocide under the 1948 Convention on Genocide seriously.”

ADF International has been centrally involved in providing evidence and legal analysis to the U.S. State Department and international institutions, including the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, each of which has now accepted that ISIS is engaging in genocide.

The ComRes poll also revealed the following:

  • 63 percent support the British government officially recognizing the genocide, with only 7 percent opposed.
  • 69 percent support the UK raising the issue with the United Nations Security Council with the aim of referring the situation to the International Criminal Court, with only 7 percent opposed.
  • 59 percent support the UK conducting a formal inquiry into the claims that the so-called Islamic State has committed genocide, with only 14 percent opposed.

Find more on the ongoing genocide in the Middle East at www.adfinternational.org/stop-genocide.

* ComRes interviewed 2,023 British adults online between 16 and 17 March 2016. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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