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Ezidikhan Investigative Team on Genocide Established

by on January 13, 2019
 

[Lalish, Ezidikhan. 13 January 2019] Prime Minister Barjis Soso Kalaf has designated as Senior Investigator for the Ezidikhan Investigative Team on Genocide Mr. Abdul Qader Al-Rawi, a legal investigator with fifteen years’ experience. Mr. Al-Rawi began organizing the investigative team in late December 2018 and plans to begin the work of the Team in January 2019. The Ezidikhan Governing Council unanimously adopted a law mandating the establishment of the Ezidikhan Investigative Team on Genocide on 21 December 2018, the auspicious occasion of winter solstice.

Senior Investigator Al-Rawi has appointed a twelve member team having extensive experience in the areas of forensic investigation, legal, documentary, investigative interviewing, data collection and evidence preservation. The Investigative Team is expected to prepare a full and thorough report of its findings based on its mandate in a timely fashion. The team, according to Al-Rawi, will consult with the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and other investigative teams to add to the evidence collected for its report.

The expectation is that the investigative team’s report will be submitted to an International Tribunal on Genocide for Yezidi and Neighboring Peoples (ITGYNP) when that body is fully operational.

According to Ezidikhan Justice Minister Nallein Sowilo:

“The Ezidikhan Investigative Team’s mandate is 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.

The mandate of the Ezidikhan Investigative Team on Genocide shall further be to investigate 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 perpetrated and continuing to be committed as crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity against Yezidi and neighboring peoples.”

The United Nations has also established an investigative team on Yezidi genocide that is, however, solely focused upon crimes alleged to have been committed by Islamic State forces in August 2014.

“The United Nations investigative team begins its work in January also, but that team is constrained by Iraqi law to consider only those crimes and suspects allowed by the Government of Iraq,” noted Justice Minister Sowilo.

“Unlike the UN investigation, the Ezidikhan Investigative Team is not constrained by the Iraqi government’s claims for sovereign immunity or claims preventing international interventions,” stated Senior Investigator Al-Rawi.

The expectation is that the investigative team’s report will be submitted to an International Tribunal on Genocide for Yezidi and Neighboring Peoples (ITGYNP) when that body is fully operational.

According to Ezidikhan Justice Minister Nallein Sowilo:

“The Ezidikhan Investigative Team’s mandate is 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.”

“The mandate of the Ezidikhan Investigative Team on Genocide shall further be to investigate 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 perpetrated and continuing to be committed as crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity against Yezidi and neighboring peoples.”

The United Nations has also established an investigative team on Yezidi genocide that is, however, solely focused upon crimes alleged to have been committed by Islamic State forces in August 2014.

“The United Nations investigative team begins its work in January also, but that team is constrained by Iraqi law to consider only those crimes and suspects allowed by the Government of Iraq,” noted Justice Minister Sowilo.

The Ezidikhan Investigative Team’s mandate is much broader than the UN investigation. The Ezidikhan Government’s mandate:

  1. begins from year 2000 onward;
  2. operates under internationally recognized laws and customary Ezidikhan laws
  3. allows investigation to investigate crimes perpetrated by not only by ISIS and its allies, but also by Kurdish forces and other Iraqi citizens Syrian forces and Syrian citizens; and Turkish forces.

Justice Minister emphatically declared that, “This nation of Ezidikhan vows that a fair investigation to bring to justice all those who committed acts of genocide against our brothers, sisters and mothers will be carried out and none except the innocent will be spared.”

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