Human Rights

Iraq: Yazidis In Sinjar Call For Justice Against ISIS Militants

Iraq

The Yazidi Independent Court, in the city of Sinjar in western Nineveh Province, has called for criminal cases to be brought against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.

In the city of Sinjar in western Nineveh Province, the Yazidi Independent Council and the Yazidi Women’s Association, two civil society organisations in the region, have demanded that the Iraqi Government and the International community bring arrested ISIS militants to justice for the crimes that they have committed against the Yazidi community in Iraq.

“We call for the formation of a competent international court to prosecute criminals, perpetrators, and facilitators who committed crimes against humanity by the laws on terrorism,” said Hussein Hajji, the President of the Yazidi Independent Council.

Hajji said that the International Community should bring these militants into Iraqi courts to be tried because they have carried out their crimes inside the country.

While the Iraqi Government has tried and served justice to hundreds of ISIS militant since the start of the war against ISIS in 2014, the liberation of Baghouz in neighbouring Syria has raised a lot of questions regarding the fate of captured ISIS militants. Following the defeat of ISIS, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) called on the international community to either take back their citizens who joined ISIS or establish a Hague-style court in Syria for these militants to be tried in. While the latter solution was rejected by the US, which said that it would attempt to convince nations to take back their nationals, no developments have been made thus far.

The Yazidis on their end, say that they want courts to be established in the regions so that the victims of ISIS can file lawsuits against the militants directly

“We demand the establishment of a court in the north-east of Rojava [Syria]. We, as Yazidis, demand that the people of Sinjar should be represented in that court,” said Hajji. “We also declare that the people of Sinjar will file lawsuits against all ISIS militants who have been captured.”
Since the defeat of ISIS in December 2017, members of the Yazidi community say they have not seen justice for the abuses and horrors that they witnessed and were subject to. As a result, the Iraqi Government has recently launched several campaigns with the UN to document ISIS abuses against minorities, in addition to recognising their suffering on a national level to bring attention to this issue.

While the fate of ISIS militants remains unclear, the Yazidis and other victims of ISIS continue to demand that justice is served as soon as possible.