Friday, 18 March 2016 19:16

Statement of the SRSG welcoming the resolution of the US Congress and statement by Secretary of State Kerry acknowledging the crimes of ISIL constitute international crimes

Baghdad,18 March 2016 - The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Iraq (SRSG), Ján Kubiš, welcomes the resolution adopted by the United States Congress and the statement made by the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, recognising the suffering of the Iraqi people, particularly members of Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious communities, as a result of the crimes committed against them by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and acknowledging that these crimes may constitute international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

“The recognition that the crimes of ISIL may constitute international crimes by the United States Congress and the United States Secretary of State is an important step for ensuring the accountability of members of ISIL for the atrocious crimes they have perpetrated against the people of Iraq, particularly against Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious communities, including the Yezidi, Christians, Turkmen, Shabak, Shi’a and others”, Mr. Kubiš said.

“The challenge now is for other members of the international community to recognise the grave nature of ISIL’s crimes, and to take concrete action to ensure that these crimes are fully investigated and documented, and that where evidence substantiates it, to hold the perpetrators accountable according to law”, he added.

Mr. Kubiš also reiterated his call to the Government of Iraq to take urgent steps to grant the Iraqi courts appropriate jurisdiction over international crimes committed in connection with the ongoing-armed conflict in Iraq, particularly the crimes committed by ISIL, and to ensure that the perpetrators are tried in full compliance with due process and fair trial standards required by international law and the Constitution of Iraq.

He also repeated his request to the Government of Iraq to consider becoming a Party to the Statute of the International Criminal Court or to refer the current conflict to the jurisdiction of the Court pursuant to its Statute so as to ensure the accountability of any individual who may have committed atrocity crimes against the Iraqi people.

“The people of Iraq, and particularly the members of diverse ethnic and religious communities who have suffered from these terrible crimes at the hands of ISIL, demand and deserve justice”, Mr. Kubiš stated.

“By all States taking appropriate action, as the United States has now indicated - by acknowledging the international nature of the crimes committed by ISIL and the suffering it has inflicted on hundreds of thousands of people, by fully investigating and documenting these crimes, and by ensuring the perpetrators are prosecuted according to law – this will serve as proof of the determination and resolve of the international community that such crimes will not go unpunished. It will also act as a strong deterrent to individuals who may consider committing such appalling crimes in the future and who may believe that they can do so with impunity”, SRSG Kubiš further stated.

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  • Agency: UNAMI

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