Yazda welcomes the latest discussions at the UN Security Council and among states on accountability and justice for ISIS’ international crimes, including genocide, against the Yazidis. Yazda is also grateful for the leadership shown by several EU countries on establishing an international tribunal in the region to try ISIS members.
As to the forms this justice could take, Ms. Amal Clooney, international human rights lawyer and legal counsel to Yazidi survivors and Yazda, presented four options for accountability to the UN Security Council on 23 April 2019. First, the UN Security Council could refer the situation to the International Criminal Court. Second, likeminded states could set up a court by treaty. Third, the European Union could help to establish a court to try ISIS crimes. And fourth, Iraq and the UN could set up a hybrid court. Ms. Clooney emphasised that “none of these solutions comes without complication, or cost. And none would replace the need to have credible trials in national courts alongside any international ones.”
Yazda would also like to highlight the following statement by Mr. Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the Security Council on 23 May 2019, and The Netherland’s initiative to hold a ministerial meeting at the UN General Assembly on the prosecution of ISIS fighters:
“We should all work to ensure that perpetrators of these heinous crimes be brought to justice. Enable the Security Council to state the facts clear: that ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi. After fact-finding, evidence gathering, investigation, and attribution, prosecution is the final and most important link in the accountability chain. Without this final link, justice is not served”.
Yazda calls upon the international community to draw this final link and to discuss the options suggested by Ms. Clooney. ISIS was finally defeated a few months ago in Syria and thousands of perpetrators are in captivity, ready to be tried. As for the Yazidi genocide, it will enter its 5th year of commemoration this year – The time is come to act and help the Yazidi community to start the healing process.