Iraq News

UN sets up probe of ISIS atrocities in Iraq

The UN Security Council on Thursday (September 21st) unanimously decided to set up an investigation team to collect evidence on the massacres of Iraq's Yazidi minority and other atrocities committed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), AFP reported.

Britain drafted the resolution to help bring perpetrators of ISIS war crimes to justice -- a cause championed by international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who was present for the vote.

The Lebanese-British lawyer represents Yazidi women who were taken hostage and used as sex slaves by ISIS as it swept into Iraq's Sinjar region in August 2014.

Clooney, the wife of actor George Clooney, sat next to Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor of ISIS enslavement, as the council voted on the measure.

"This resolution is a victory for victims of ISIS who have fought for so long for justice," Clooney said in a statement.

"Through its unanimous vote today the UN has sent a strong message that ISIS can no longer commit genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes with impunity. And that victims may finally have their day in court."

Under the measure, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will within 60 days present to the council details on the mandate of the investigative panel that will work with its Iraqi counterparts.

The investigators will gather evidence on "war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide" for use in Iraqi courts that will hold trials for ISIS militants, according to the resolution.

After the vote, Murad expressed gratitude to the Security Council on behalf of Yazidi victims.

"I hope we can now move swiftly to create this team with a strong capacity and start exhuming mass graves and collect evidence," Murad said in a statement.

"Although ISIS is being defeated on the ground, victims need justice in order to allow healing and reconciliation and we hope this resolution will mark the beginning of that process."

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