Sun | Jul 22, 2018

UN votes to help Iraq collect evidence against Islamic State

Published:Friday | September 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM
The United Nations Security Council votes on a resolution to collect evidence to prosecute Islamic State, during the U.N. General Assembly yesterday at U.N. headquarters.


UN investigators will help Iraq collect evidence to build potential war crimes cases against Islamic State extremists, under a resolution the Security Council approved yesterday.

Iraq, council members and some human rights advocates portrayed the measure as a key step toward bringing the Islamic State group to justice for atrocities. But some major rights groups say it's one-sided and overlooks abuses by Iraqi and other forces fighting the IS militants.

The council voted unanimously to ask the UN to establish an investigative team to help Iraq preserve evidence "that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide" committed by IS, variously known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.

"This means justice for those people who have been victimized by ISIS," Nadia Murad, a former IS captive in Iraq, said in a Facebook Live video after attending the council vote with well-known human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari called it "a victory for justice, a victory for humanity and a victory for the victims."

IS militants seized parts of Iraq in 2014 and proclaimed it a caliphate under Islamic rule. It soon became a realm of horrors, including mass killings, beheadings and rapes.

US-backed Iraqi forces retook the country's second-largest city of Mosul from the extremists in July. The forces have now driven IS from most of the land it had seized in Iraq, retaking all the major urban areas, although the group still controls some pockets in Iraq as well as territory in Syria.