Yazidis Press Claims Against ISIS at Hague Court
The plight of Iraqi Yazidis at the hands of the savage Islamic State (a/k/a “ISIS” or “ISIL”) gets scant attention from mainstream media outlets. When the Yazidis first sought help from the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) at The Hague, the Court asserted it could do nothing because Iraq and Syria are not ICC members. Now the Yazidis try again, asserting the ICC has jurisdiction via “foreign” Islamic State fighters from countries which are ICC signatories:
Iraq’s Yazidis, a minority targeted for particularly brutal treatment by the Islamic State (IS) group, have urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the militants for committing crimes of genocide and sexual slavery.
Two Yazidi groups… submitted a report to The Hague-based court documenting their claim that IS “systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Murad Ismael of the Yazidi rights organization Yazda.
The allegations include summary executions of more than 700 Yazidi men, the killing of the sick and elderly, the rape and enslavement of thousands of women, and the abduction of their children, who are forced to convert to Islam and fight for IS.
Earlier this year, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said IS had committed “unspeakable cruelty,” including mass executions, rape, and torture. But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are ICC members.
The Yazidis’ report, however, names some 20 foreign IS fighters from countries which have signed the ICC’s founding Rome Statute. It says that between 5,000 and 7,500 of such foreigners are fighting for IS.
Bensouda said in April the court could in theory exercise “personal jurisdiction” over individuals from member states who have joined IS.