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‘Significant progress’ in UN effort to prosecute Daesh fighters for crimes against humanity

May 19, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Daesh flag, 30 March 2017 [SpuntnikInt/Twitter]

Efforts to gather evidence for the prosecution of Daesh militants are proving to be fruitful, a UN investigative has said. “Significant progress” is being made in building a legal case against the terrorist group which controlled large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria beginning in 2014.

Over two million call records from Iraqi cell phone service providers that should strengthen cases against perpetrators of crimes against the Yazidi minority in 2014, have been found. Crimes committed against other minorities and anti-Daesh members in Sunni Muslim communities are also being investigated.

Details of the progress by the investigative team were included in a report to the UN Security Council which was obtained by the Associated Press. The investigative team is reported saying that it is continuing to engage with the Iraqi government on pending legislation that would allow the country to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed by the Daesh terrorist group.

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“In the coming six months, the team will continue its work with the government of Iraq in order to capitalize on this opportunity, with a view to securing the commencement of domestic proceedings based on evidence collected by the team,” the report said.

The latest report is the result of expanded co-operation between the UN and the Iraqi judiciary, security services and Directorate of Military Intelligence. The investigative team said that evidence gathered stands “at a pivotal moment in its work”.

The phone records are “relevant to time periods and geographic locations connected to this investigation” and “provides a significant opportunity to strengthen case files in relation to alleged perpetrators.”

The UN team said that it has established two additional field investigation units to look into crimes committed by Daesh against Christian, Kakai, Shaba, Sunni and Turkmen Shia communities in Iraq.