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ICC should prosecute terrorisits for Iraq genocide, war crimes


ICC headquarters, Hague. Image source wikipedia

ICC headquarters, Hague. Image source wikipedia

THE United Nations said yesterday Islamic State forces may have committed genocide in trying to wipe out the Yazidi minority in Iraq, as well as war crimes against civilians including children.

In a report based on interviews with more than 100 alleged victims and witnesses, the U.N. Human Rights Office urged the U.N. Security Council to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute perpetrators, including foreign members of the ultra-radical insurgent group.

Iraqi security forces and affiliated militias “may have committed some war crimes” while battling the insurgency, including killings, torture and abductions, the report said.

“Clearly international war crimes and crimes against humanity and possibly genocide appear to have been committed during this conflict. The genocide part relates particularly to the Yazidis,” Hanny Megally, chief of the Asia, Pacific, Middle East and North Africa branch of the U.N. Human Rights Office, told a news briefing in Geneva.

“We are very keen to ensure that even as the conflict continues that evidence is preserved, protected and collected because that will be important for future accountability.” The U.N. investigators urged the Baghdad government to join the Hague-based ICC or pursue the crimes under domestic law.

The U.N. Human Rights Council launched its inquiry in September after Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or IS, seized large swathes of northern and western Iraq.

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