UN Investigation Team Concludes ISIL Crimes against the Yazidis Constitutes Genocide

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Thursday, May 20, 2021
Marwah Adhoob

On May 10, 2021, the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability Against Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) found that the crimes committed by ISIL against the Yazidis, a religious minority in northern Iraq, constitutes genocide. In a briefing to ambassadors, the head of UNITAD and soon-to-be head International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Karim Khan, said there is “clear and convincing evidence that the crimes against the Yazidi people clearly constituted genocide.”[1] Evidence showed that ISIL committed a range of inhuman acts, including extermination, rape, murder, torture, enslavement, persecution, and other war crimes against the Yazidis. The crimes that ISIL committed “shocked the conscience of humanity,” said Khan.[2] The UN report is crucial because it identified and preserves evidence of the atrocities that will help prosecute ISIL perpetrators. [3]

[1] “Special Adviser Khan Briefs the Security Council on UNITAD Investigations” Investigative Team to promote accountability for crimes committed by Da’esh / ISIL (UNITAD), May 10, 2021, https://www.unitad.un.org/news/special-adviser-khan-briefs-security-council-unitad-investigations.
[2] Id.
[3] U.N. Report, the Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant addressed to the President of the Security Council, May 3, 2021, https://www.unitad.un.org/sites/www.unitad.un.org/files/general/s.2021.419_-_sixth_unitad_report_en.pdf.