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Advocates seek more on anniversary of ISIS genocide declaration


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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Despite then-Secretary of State John Kerry's declaration one year ago that Islamic State's actions in Iraq and Syria amounted to genocide -- and unanimous votes in the House and Senate asking Kerry to declare genocide against minority Christian, Yezidi and Shiite Muslim groups in the region -- advocates at a first anniversary ceremony said they want more from the U.S. government than what's been done to date.

While the genocide declaration is in itself rare, "there was more politics to the issue of genocide which I ever thought there could be," said Catholic University of America law professor Robert Destro at a March 16 event at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center sponsored by In Defense of Christians, an advocacy group for Middle East Christians.

"The victims want their sufferings to be recognized," said Nadia Mourad, a Yezidi woman now living in Germany who had been kidnapped, raped and brutalized by Islamic State militants. Speaking through an interpreter, she added, "The genocide may happen for real if nothing is done."

Mourad said, "A year has passed, and not a single ISIS fighter has been brought to justice."

"Our work is not done," said Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-California, who co-sponsored the House version of the genocide bill with Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Nebraska. "We can't take our foot off the pedal. We have to step on it."

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