NEW YORK, June 16 (UPI) -- A U.N. human rights panel on Thursday released a report that concludes the Islamic State terror group has committed and continues to carry out genocide against the ethnic Yazidi community in Syria -- which includes brutal abuses of men, women and children.
The report, based on an investigation by the United Nations' Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said genocide against the Yazidi people by the terror group, which also is known by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL, "has occurred and is ongoing."
"ISIS has subjected every Yazidi woman, child or man that it has captured to the most horrific of atrocities," panel chair Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro said in a statement Thursday.
The panel concluded that the mass killings of Yazidis amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The United Nations asked the commission to investigate violations against the Yazidi people inside Syria, where a civil war has been ongoing for more than five years. The country is also a hotbed for terrorist activity, which leaves the Syrian population highly vulnerable.
The panel's report, titled "They came to destroy: ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis," is based on on dozens of interviews with survivors, religious leaders, smugglers, activists, lawyers, medical personnel, and journalists, as well as extensive documentary material, which corroborate information gathered by the commission, officials said.
"Survivors who escaped from ISIS captivity in Syria describe how they endured brutal rapes, often on a daily basis, and were punished if they tried to escape with severe beatings, and sometimes gang rapes,", IICIS Commissioner Vitit Muntarbhorn said.
The commission concluded that militants are utilizing numerous types of abuse to crush the Yazidi population and advance their jihadist movement within Syria. Girls as young as 9 are being sold into slavery, as well, investigators found.
"ISIS has sought to erase the Yazidis through killings; sexual slavery, enslavement, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and forcible transfer causing serious bodily and mental harm; the infliction of conditions of life that bring about a slow death; the imposition of measures to prevent Yazidi children from being born, including forced conversion of adults, the separation of Yazidi men and women, and mental trauma; and the transfer of Yazidi children from their own families and placing them with ISIS fighters, thereby cutting them off from beliefs and practices of their own religious community," the report states.
The report makes recommendations to the United Nations, as well as the governments of Syria and Iraq.
"The commission repeated its call for the Security Council to refer urgently the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, or to establish an ad hoc tribunal with relevant geographic and temporal jurisdiction," it said.
"Over 3,200 Yazidi women and children are still held by ISIS. Most are in Syria where Yazidi females continue to be sexually enslaved and Yazidi boys, indoctrinated, trained and used in hostilities."