Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – The UN team investigating crimes committed by Da’esh terrorist group has issued its latest report documenting the terrorist group’s atrocities in Iraq, laying the groundwork for future prosecutions.
Christian Ritscher, head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh – otherwise known as the Islamic State group or ISIL – outlined to ambassadors in the Security Council on Monday a comprehensive assessment detailing heinous crimes of sexual violence perpetrated by ISIL fighters during their reign. The report was published at the weekend.
The assessment follows a detailed report, based on the findings from three years of dedicated fieldwork, into the development and use of chemical weapons by the terrorist group against the Shia Turkmen minority in Taza Khurmatu, northern Iraq.
In his briefing, Mr. Ritscher also noted that with the end of UNITAD’s mandate in September 2024, “the Team will not be able to deliver final outputs on all lines of inquiry it has initiated but will only be able to deliver preliminary findings”.
He added that UNITAD will also be deprioritizing what cannot be completed within the timeframe, including some key, but complex investigations, such as the crimes committed by ISIL in Mosul, the group’s destruction of cultural heritage and pillaging of oil and natural resources, and the terror network’s “genocidal intent” against the Shiite community.
Mr. Ritscher also addressed the Team’s commitment to supporting Iraq in establishing a legal basis for investigating and prosecuting international crimes, including its active collaboration with Iraqi counterparts in developing draft legislation and providing technical comments to align it with international and customary law.
“It will be up to Iraq to choose an option, we will of course abide by that choice. While UNITAD was never meant to last forever, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that the work it has done will not be lost,” he said.