The U.S. Senate has formally condemned “ongoing sexual violence” by the self-proclaimed Islamic State against Christian and other minority women in Iraq.
The resolution, passed unanimously 16 Dec., arose from a September hearing at which an Iraqi woman told members of Congress about her escape from sexual enslavement at the hands of an American fighting for IS in Iraq. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who sponsored the resolution, said the measure is a way to acknowledge “America’s role in the world helping to prevent these atrocities.” It calls on the U.S. attorney general to prosecute any American alleged to have committed sexual violence against religious communities, including Christians, Yazidis, and Turkmen.
The Iraqi woman, a Yazidi, was brought before Congress by Hardwired, a Virginia-based religious-freedom advocacy organization. “We commend Senator Johnson and others who joined him in the Senate for leading this effort,” Hardwired executive director Tina Ramirez said in a press release. “It is time for the President to hear their calls to stop ISIS and take serious steps to bring the 3,000 girls who remain enslaved by these militants their freedom.”