By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Yazidi Rights Groups, Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq Petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute ISIS for crimes against humanity and genocide for the terrorist organizations atrocities committed against citizens in Iraq and Syria.
Ekurd Daily reported how the new effort to bring legal accountability to actors in the war torn region.
Members of Yazda International and Free Yazidi Foundation, backed by the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq (KRG), met with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda today to present their new report outlining how [ISIS] fighters have slaughtered, enslaved, and raped thousands of Yazidis since it invaded their communities in the Nineveh province in northern Iraq last August. Thousands of Yazidi women and girls remain captive as sex slaves among IS militants.
These acts of violence committed by [ISIS] fighters against the Yazidis and other non-Muslim minorities in the region have been documented before. But Murad Ismael, co-founder of Yazda, told VICE News his group’s report provides further evidence of abuses against Yazidis at the hands of foreign fighters. According to the report, there’s an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 people from Australia, Jordan, Europe, and beyond fighting for [ISIS].
“Foreign fighters have been heavily involved in the sex trade of Yazidi women and girls. And that means that the ICC and the rest of the international community should not ignore the ways they are subjecting the Yazidis to very inhuman and barbaric acts,” Ismael said from The Hague. “This report provides new information and context for the role of foreign fighters, who hold high ranking positions within IS, and shows that the court should hold them accountable for their crimes.”
A former prosecutor with the ICC, Luis Moreno Ocampo, submitted to The Hague a petition to investigate. He believes there is cause to investigate and prosecute as he believes it is important to bring to justice those who perpetrate genocide, namely against ethnic minorities living in the Levant.
Though both Syria and Iraq are not member states of the ICC, he hopes that Iraq at least will sign treaties with the ICC to help in the prosecution of ISIS. At present it is certainly difficult to extradite ISIS actors due to the situation on the ground in ISIS controlled areas, but as with other conflicts it is a regular practice that prosecutions follow the cessation of hostilities. A further complication to jurisdiction is that ISIS is not a recognized, or for that matter an internationally accredited statutory state, the action might surely motivate member states to modify the ICC’s charter to include such organizations, at least perhaps in the future.
By Darren Smith
Source: eKurd Daily
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