Although we are aware of reports of the burning to death of up to 19 Yezidi women in Mosul, we are not able to verify these reports. We are also aware of the UN’s calculation that up to 3,500 women are being held by Daesh. However, it is difficult to accurately estimate the number of women who remain in Daesh captivity so we cannot confirm this figure.
It is clear however, that Daesh has carried out appalling atrocities against Muslims, Christians, Yezidis and other communities in Iraq and Syria. Ultimately the only way to stop Daesh carrying out such abuses and to free those they hold captive is to liberate all of the people currently under their control.
Genocide should be a matter for judicial authorities rather than a political decision, but it is clear there is a growing body of evidence that terrible crimes have been committed. We are working with our partners in the international community to do everything we can to support the gathering of evidence which could be used by courts to hold Daesh to account and bring justice to those who have suffered at the hands of Daesh. This is vital because ultimately this is a question for courts to decide. It is not for governments or the UN Security Council to be prosecutor, judge and jury.