The President of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, argues that fair trials of suspected ISIS militants will help to prevent against further violence and extremism.
Officials in the United Nations are calling for governments around the world to repatriate their citizens with affiliations to ISIS and put them on trial in their home countries, rather than leaving them in camps and prisons across Syria and Iraq.
The statement, which was issued by the UN Commissioner for Human Rights and former Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, claimed that putting these militants through a fair trial is crucial to countering the militant group’s ideology.
According to estimates released by the authorities in Iraq and Syria, over 55,000 ISIS militants were arrested following the group’s military defeat. While most of them are from Iraq and Syria, many of them joined the group from over 50 nations around the world.
“Whatever the nationality and nature of their crimes, they must face investigation and prosecution with due process guarantees,” said Bachelet.
This statement comes after Iraq sentenced and executed hundreds of ISIS militants for their heinous crimes in Iraq and Syria.
While the Iraqi and Syrian authorities have called on the militants’ countries of origin to repatriate and sentence them, many countries have outright rejected this proposal. According to these countries, the captured militants cannot be put on trial in their home countries due to a lack of hard evidence. Other countries, on the other hand, have accepted this proposal and have begun taking back militants where they will be put on trial and will undergo rehabilitation.
Since the defeat of ISIS, victims of the militant group’s crimes have demanded that captured militants be put on trial so that they can finally receive justice. This prompted the UN to establish an investigative body, which was sent to Iraq and Syria, to uncover and document all of the crimes that the militant group carried out against civilians.
Thus far, the investigation, headed by British Lawyer Karim Asad Khan, has participated in the exhumation of mass graves left behind by ISIS in Nineveh Province, in an attempt to identify the victims of the crimes. This will then be used to investigate and implicate the perpetrators of the crimes.
With no agreed-upon solution for this crisis, the international community must soon agree on the path that countries will take in dealing with captured ISIS militants before they become a threat once more.