[Lalish, Ezidikhan 21 December 2018] Ezidikhan Justice Minister Nallein Sowilo announced today the Governing Council’s overwhelming approval of a new law establishing an Ezidikhan Investigative Team on Genocide headed by a Senior Investigator—the first of its kind created by an indigenous nation. The Investigative Team is mandated to “independently undertake to investigate, collect, document, store and preserve evidence pertaining to crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated against Yezidi and neighboring nations occurring from 2000 to the present date.”
-Justice Minister Sowilo
“The new investigative team will probe all crimes and identify suspects whether persons, groups or institutions that may have committed genocide including but not limited to Da’esh and its allies and crimes attributable to Iraqi governmental forces, at the federal or regional level (like Kurdish regional forces); militia such as the Popular Mobilization Forces; or international forces.”
According to Justice Minister Sowilo, the new investigative team will probe “all crimes and identify suspects whether persons, groups or institutions that may have committed genocide including but not limited to ISIS (ISIL, Da’esh) and its allies and crimes attributable to Iraqi governmental forces, at the federal or regional level (e.g., Kurdistan regional forces); militia such as the Popular Mobilization Forces; or international forces.”
The Team is to be formally appointed by the Prime Minister and will be overseen administratively by the Governing Council Human Rights Minister Ms. Rania Qaso Mesho. Full organization of the Investigative Team is to be completed in January 2019.
The Resolution adopted by the Governing Council was sponsored by Justice Minister Sowilo and co-sponsored by Prime Minister Soso Khalaf and Interior Minister Khudidah Joki Hussein.
The Ezidikhan Investigative Team on Genocide Senior Investigator will recruit and appoint experienced investigators and prosecutors from the Yezidi, Mandaean, Zoroastrian, Shia Kurd, Kuwliyan and Shabakh nations to conduct the investigations. According to Justice Minister Sowilo the Senior Investigator will consult with the United Nations Special Advisor on Genocide Mr. Adama Dieng and with the United Nations Investigative Team headed by Karim Asad Ahmad Khan.
The UN Investigative Team will commence its work in January 2019 and will have a much narrower mandate to investigate only crimes committed by ISIS and those crimes will be controlled under Iraqi law. The Ezidikhan Investigative Team on Genocide will instead have a much broader mandate. Customary Ezidikhan law and international law will undergird the investigations and evidence collection.
Periodic reports from the Ezidikhan Investigative Team will be submitted to the United Nations Security Council to further bolster Ezidikhan’s call for the establishment of an Independent Criminal Tribunal on Genocide for Yezidi and Neighboring Nations to indict and prosecute perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity.