On the Third Anniversary of the Massacre at Sinjar, the Global Justice Center and Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales Call for Justice for the Yazidi Genocide

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Three years after the massacre of the Yazidi by ISIS at Sinjar there have been no prosecutions of ISIS fighters for these crimes. On this anniversary two human rights organizations call on the International Criminal Court to open a preliminary investigation into this genocide.

It never was an option for the International Criminal Court to do nothing. It must act urgently.

Today is the third anniversary of the massacre at Mount Sinjar where ISIS fighters murdered thousands of Yazidi men and enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and girls. Despite the fact that the UN and the European Parliament have accepted that crimes committed against the Yazidis constitute genocide, there has not been a single prosecution of ISIS fighters for these crimes.

On July 7th, 2017, the Global Justice Center and the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales urged the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a preliminary examination into genocide and other crimes committed by foreign fighters from ISIS.

The legal submissions urge the Prosecutor to re-evaluate her April 2015 finding that there is inadequate jurisdictional bases to open a preliminary examination into these crimes. The Global Justice Center and the Bar Human Rights Committee submit that the ICC has jurisdiction over ISIS’s foreign fighters who form a significant part of ISIS’s infrastructure and outlines how the OTP’s gender policy prioritizes precisely the crimes ISIS foreign fighters are committing against Yazidi women and girls.

Global Justice Center (GJC) Vice-President and Legal Director, Akila Radhakrishnan, says:
“There has been no justice for the victims of ISIS. Thousands of women and children remain in captivity and evidence is languishing.,” says “it’s time for the international community to act on its obligations under the Genocide Convention to prevent, suppress, and punish genocide.”

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales has been working since the summer of 2015 to raise awareness of the genocide of the Yazidis and breaches of international human rights law. Kirsty Brimelow QC, Chair said:

“The ongoing genocide of the Yazidi people is one of the worst crimes of our time. Such grave crimes are not only despicable but they threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world. Effective prosecutions are required. The gravest crimes in the Rome Statute continue to be committed with impunity. It never was an option for the International Criminal Court to do nothing. It must act urgently.“

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Stephanie Olszewski
Global Justice Center
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