16 August 2017. The United Kingdom has today announced that it is working with Iraq on a resolution to be adopted by the United Nations Security Council establishing a mechanism to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by ISIS. This follows a letter sent by the Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari to the UN last week seeking assistance in holding ISIS accountable for its crimes, and a similar request by the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi issued before that.
Amal Clooney is counsel to Yazda, Nadia Murad and other Yazidi victims of ISIS’ genocide. She has repeatedly called on the United Nations Security Council to establish a mechanism to investigate and prosecute ISIS’ crimes in line with international standards. And she has urged the Government of Iraq on multiple occasions to send a letter to the United Nations that would trigger a Security Council vote.
Mrs Clooney welcomes Minister al-Jaafari’s letter as an important first step to bring ISIS to justice. And she congratulates the Government of the United Kingdom for its role in leading this initiative within the UN. Of course, this step is only meaningful if it is followed by prompt action by the Security Council to collect evidence of ISIS’ crimes so that it can be used in future prosecutions that respect international fair-trial standards.
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor and UN Goodwill Ambassador, noted: “I am very happy to receive this positive news just one day after the third anniversary of the massacres in Kocho. I am grateful to Iraqi Prime Minister Mr Abadi and to the United Kingdom for initiating the first step to establish an international mechanism to investigate ISIS and hold them accountable. Victims deserve a meaningful accountability mechanism in which they trust and I hope that the Security Council resolution will reflect that”. Mrs Clooney added that: “Yazidis and other ISIS victims want justice in a court of law, and they deserve nothing less. I hope that the Iraqi Government’s letter will mark the beginning of the end of impunity for genocide and other crimes that ISIS is committing in Iraq and around the world”.