FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October, 30 2017
[NEW YORK and BAGHDAD] – Today, the Global Justice Center along with the Eyzidi Organization for Documentation, the Iraqi Al-Amal Association, the Iraqi Women Network, Madre and Yazda sent a joint open letter to the Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Haider al-Abadi regarding the Terms of Reference currently being drafted for UN Security Council Resolution 2379 (2017).
On September 21, 2017, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2379 (2017) which requests the creation of an Independent Investigative Team to help holding members of Daesh accountable for their crimes in Iraq. The open letter by civil society calls on Iraqi Leadership to ensure a successful and inclusive investigative process in line with international standards and international law and gives concrete recommendations for the Terms of Reference, as related to gender justice and a victim-centered approach.
In particular, the recommendations stress the need for an applicable legal framework and urgent legal reform, ensuring investigative efficiency, inclusion of gender expertise, providing victim and witness protection, community outreach and civil society engagement. It also stresses the need for an Investigative Team and Iraqi authorities to hold all sides who have committed crimes accountable and asks to consider expanding the mandate of the Investigative Team in possible successor resolutions by the UN Security Council.
Finally, the letter emphasizes the need to investigate and prosecute all forms of sexual and gender-based violence which can constitute acts of genocide as well. While the atrocities committed by Daesh have been receiving worldwide condemnation and outrage, particular its sexual and gender based crimes, so far no member of Daesh has been held accountable for acts of genocide against the Yazidi and other ethnic minorities before a court.
For more information contact:
Background: The Global Justice Center is a human rights organization that advocates for a multi-faceted approach to accountability for crimes committed in Iraq and Syria, including in international, regional and national venues. In December 2015, the Global Justice Center filed an amicus letter in support of the Article 15 filing by Yazda and the Free Yazidi Foundation to the ICC. The letter urged the ICC to ensure that they employ a comprehensive gender perspective throughout any investigation or examination. In June 2017, the Global Justice Center made its second submission to the ICC, together with the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, asking them to open a preliminary examination into genocide and other crimes committed by foreign fighters from Daesh.