UNSC Sets Up Investigation Team for IS Atrocities in Iraq
The United Nations Security Council on Thursday (September 21) approved the creation of a U.N. investigative team to collect, preserve and store evidence in Iraq of acts by Islamic State that may be war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.
The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to establish an investigative team to help Iraq secure evidence of atrocities committed by Islamic State militants “that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.”
The purpose of the Resolution 2379 is stated as follows:
to establish an Investigative Team, headed by a Special Adviser, to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL (Da’esh) accountable by collecting, preserving, and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the terrorist group ISIL (Da’esh) in Iraq, to ensure the broadest possible use before national courts, and complementing investigations being carried out by the Iraqi authorities, or investigations carried out by authorities in third countries at their request;
Britain, which drafted the resolution, said the team would bring some justice to those who had experienced atrocities at the hands of IS, variously known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.
After months of pressure Iraq in August agreed to the investigation, which will “support domestic efforts to hold” IS jihadists accountable by “collecting, preserving and storing evidence” in Iraq, the resolution said.
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.
Investigators will gather evidence on “war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide” for use in Iraqi courts that will hold trials for IS militants, according to the resolution.
Human Rights Watch criticized the resolution as a missed opportunity by the council to address atrocities committed by Iraqi and other forces.
“No one denies the importance of tackling the widespread atrocities by ISIS in Iraq, but ignoring abuses by Iraqi and international forces is not only flawed, it’s shortsighted,” said HRW’s justice expert Balkees Jarrah.
The Iraqi government worked with Britain to draft the measure.