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The Forgotten Genocide

AN IRAQI YAZIDI WOMAN HOLDS A PLACARDS DURING A PROTEST OUTSIDE THE UNITED NATIONS (UN) OFFICE IN THE IRAQI CITY OF ARBIL. (SAFIN HAMED/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The reality of conflict in this New Year is that there must be a reckoning to remember the forgotten from the last few years and honour those lost to human rights atrocities. What is worse than fake news, is no news, and with so little attention being paid to some of the most mutilated and abused human beings in recorded history it is no surprise that only now some attention is being paid to those lost, and little more than that to those still missing.

A few media publications have given a little bit of focus on the plight of the Yazidis recently, with the Los Angeles Times publishing an article about the more than 3,000 Yazidi girls still missing after victories against the fascist army that placed them into slavery. The attention rising around the protests in Iran are a positive sign of support for human rights causes, but current governments around the world should focus heavily on helping those minorities that have had consistent and brutal human rights abuses applied against them and demonstrate their unwavering support for those victims of genocide. Every value of the UN Declaration on Human Rights have been denied to those like the Yazidis, and ignoring it via government policy and through media neglect does nothing more than to encourage more extreme atrocities taking places in the shadows against the world’s most vulnerable.

Once there is an acknowledgement that support is needed and actions taken, there must be a level of humane equity applied to those victims of our modern Holocaust. Equity under the tradition of common law practices encourages that fairness is applied in judgments on how laws are interpreted in different situations. One could imagine a scenario where survivors of the Holocaust are granted asylum in a third country in order to keep them safe, and that same country permits those who ran the death camps asylum in the same manner and allows them to live in the same community. This type of argument is often applied when someone who has committed a violent assault or murder is released on an absurdly early bail or parole, and perhaps runs into their victim at the local grocery store or their grieving relatives. Fairness is neglected in this scenario, and if victims of these atrocities are not allowed to be completely safe, that country has failed the high standards set in most democratic systems.

So this year will show what kind support will be given to protesters in Iran, hopefully giving them more support than in 2009 when free speech and justice was quashed and those fighting for it arrested and killed. This year should show how democratic countries can produce a juggernaut of policies and actions to ensure the long term security of those like minded individuals. The protection of the most vulnerable should move beyond politics and into the minds of those who have the power to end atrocities. This is the basic expectation we should all have of free governments worldwide.

 

Author

Richard Basas
Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration

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