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UN Commission investigates Daesh crimes in Iraq, makes progress thanks to telephone data

May 13, 2020 at 11:00 pm

Iraqis, who fled to Syria from Iraq due to Daesh, wait at the border in Kilis, Turkey on 14 December 2018 [Samer Owaid/Anadolu Agency]

A United Nations (UN) committee conducting investigations into Daesh crimes in Iraq has recorded “significant progress in finding new evidence” thanks to telephone data, according to a statement by the committee’s chairman.

In the fourth annual report presented on Monday to the Security Council and obtained by AFP on Tuesday, the chief investigator of the team, Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, praised the Iraqi authorities’ cooperation with his team that “allowed for recording cellular phones’ communications data” from the Iraqi companies.

The committee’s chairman clarified in his report that this cooperation allowed for collecting different data from cellular phones, subscriber identification cards and information storage used by Daesh.

He considers that these statements can accelerate the judicial investigations targeting members in the Jihadi organisation suspected of having committed crimes against different parties in Iraq.

In his report, the chairman specifically referred to attacks committed in August 2014 against the Yazidi minority in the Sinjar region.

He stressed that the investigation committee had reached “more than two million call records” and geographical location information.

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The 21-page report also indicated obtaining data related to the circumstances of the killings of Iraqi recruits in the Tikrit area in June 2014.

The committee chairman said that thanks to financial contributions from the UK, Northern Ireland and the US, the UN investigators will be able to consider new crimes suspected of being committed against Shias, Christians, Yarsanis, Shabaks, Sunnis and Turkmen in Iraq.

The committee, established by the UN Security Council in 2017, currently has 129 members from around the world, 49 per cent of whom are women.

The UN considers that the massacres committed against the Yazidis in Iraq are classified as genocide.

Daesh, which was defeated in Iraq in late 2017, left more than two hundred mass graves, which may contain up to 12 thousand bodies, according to the UN.