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International – Calling ISIS to account

July 2016

Iraq has formally requested the UN Security Council’s assistance in preventing ongoing atrocities against Christians and other minorities.

Mohamed Ali Alhakim, permanent representative for Iraq to the UN, outlined the struggle his government is facing in combating the terrorist organisation ISIS/Daesh, which controls particular areas of Iraq.

He asked for help with prosecuting the perpetrators, saying that the UN should ‘set up a specific, international, legal mechanism for investigating and bringing to justice the criminals’.

This is the first time Iraq has called for an immediate international intervention in the ongoing genocide. Paul Coleman, senior counsel and deputy director of ADF International, said, ‘This changes everything. There are no more excuses. The UN Security Council must act to ensure those responsible are held to account’.

Alliance Defending Freedom International (ADF) is a legal organisation that advocates the right of people to freely live out their faith.  ADF has provided evidence and legal analyses on the ongoing violence in the region to the US State Department, UK Parliament and international institutions, including the European Parliament and Council of Europe. Each of these has gone on to condemn the atrocities perpetrated by ISIS/Daesh as genocide.

The suggested next steps are to start a formal investigation and for the UN Security Council to condemn ISIS/Daesh’s atrocities as genocide. An ad hoc tribunal could then be set up to prosecute the perpetrators. Alternatively, the situation could be referred to the International Criminal Court.

Ewelina Ochab, legal counsel at ADF International, will shortly be publishing a book on the ongoing genocide in the Middle East. She said, ‘Iraq has refrained from involving international bodies in the ISIS/Daesh conflict to date … the Security Council and its five permanent members, the US, the UK, France, Russia and China, should not take Iraq’s plea lightly’.

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