UN / ISIL CRIMES

10-May-2021 00:04:21
The Head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh (UNITAD) announced today that based upon independent and impartial investigations, “there is clear and convincing evidence” that the crimes committed by the terrorist group against the Yazidi people “clearly constituted genocide.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / ISIL CRIMES
TRT: 4:22
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 MAY 2021, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

10 MAY 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh / Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD):
“And I'm able to announce that based upon independent and impartial investigations, complying with international standards and UN best practice, there is clear and convincing evidence that the crimes against the Yazidi people clearly constituted genocide. More particularly we have identified specific perpetrators that clearly have responsibility for the crime of genocide against the Yazidi community. The intent of ISIL to destroy the Yazidis, physically and biologically, was manifested in the ultimatum that was repeated in so many different villages in Iraq: to convert or to die.”
4. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh / Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD):
“But by way of a video put together quite deliberately, quite callously, quite peevishly by Da'esh in July 2015, it is clear that the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide occurred. One doesn't even need to look into the content of the video – though we've done that and we have language experts analyse it – but it is by the title of the video that Da'esh broadcasted; 'Kill them wherever you find them.”
6. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh / Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD):
“It is clear in relation to investigations that actually originated from battlefield evidence that Da'esh perhaps uniquely in relation to non-state actors have a demonstrated capacity to manufacture and deploy chemical and biological weapons.”
8. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh / Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD):
“It is not sufficient, obviously, simply to document. Early on, I said the desire during my tenure as Special Advisor is not to preside over an archive or a library that the material gathers dust or cobwebs. It needs to be deployed in domestic courts to vindicate the promise that this Council has made to survivors, that there is no hiding place for such criminals.”
10. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate:
“We tried to turn the page, only to find there is no pen with which to write our next chapter. The international community can give the Yazidi community the pen. I ask you to help us write a new chapter.”
12. Multiple screens, participants in virtual Security Council meeting
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate:
“Evidence has been found, but we are still searching for the political will to prosecute. It is time for the international community to do more than listen. It is time to act. If world leaders have the political will to act on this evidence, then justice is surely within reach. ISIS's genocide will not come to an end until all Yazidis can lead a life of dignity in their homeland.”
14. Wide shot, press room
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh / Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD):
“It is incumbent upon us not to wait for another Mosul to be created in another part of the world and then you create another accountability mechanism. I mean insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and I think the call to action is let's not be insane. Let's ensure that we have accountability and I think we need to support it wherever it is.”
16. Wide shot, press room
STORYLINE
The Head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh (UNITAD) announced today that based upon independent and impartial investigations, “there is clear and convincing evidence” that the crimes committed by the terrorist group against the Yazidi people “clearly constituted genocide.”

Briefing the Security Council today (10 May) at a virtual meeting, UNITAD chief Karim Khan said his team has reached a landmark moment in relations to two key investigative priorities: the mass killing of unarmed cadets and military personnel at Tikrit Air Academy in June 2014; and the attacks against the Yazidi community in the Sinjar region.

He said the team was able to establish detailed accounts of these atrocities and stressed that the crimes committed by Da’esh against the Yezidi community were horrific and shocked the conscience of humanity.

Khan said the thousands of statements have been taken or obtained by the UNITAD team in relation to the crimes against the Yazidi community, and the team combined that with analysis of computers, phone records, cell site evidence, forensic analysis, facial recognition.

He added that UNITAD had identified “specific perpetrators that clearly have responsibility for the crime of genocide against the Yazidi community.” He stressed that the intent of ISIL to destroy the Yazidis, “physically and biologically, was manifested in the ultimatum that was repeated in so many different villages in Iraq: to convert or to die.”

Through investigations into the attacks by ISIL on predominantly Shia unarmed air cadets and personnel from Tikrit Air Academy, Khan said UNITAD concluded Da’esh’s actions constitute the war crimes of murder, torture, cruel treatment and outrages upon personal dignity.

He added, “But by way of a video put together quite deliberately, quite callously, quite peevishly by Da'esh in July 2015, it is clear that the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide occurred. One doesn't even need to look into the content of the video – though we've done that and we have language experts analyse it – but it is by the title of the video that Da'esh broadcasted; 'Kill them wherever you find them.”

Khan also reported that investigations originating from battlefield evidence showed that Da'esh “perhaps uniquely in relation to non-state actors have a demonstrated capacity to manufacture and deploy chemical and biological weapons.”

He added that the terrorist group initially weaponized chlorine and conducted human experiments with thallium and nicotine. The group also successfully deployed mustard gas through the firing of 40 rockets on the Turkmen Shia town of Taza Khurmatu.

In his last briefing to the Council as head of UNITAD, Khan said the Team anticipates the completion of case briefs by the end of 2021 addressing crimes committed against Christian, Kaka’i, Shabak, Shia Turkmen and Sunni communities in Iraq, as well as the massacre of predominantly Shia inmates at Badush prison.

Khan added, “It is not sufficient, obviously, simply to document. Early on, I said the desire during my tenure as Special Advisor is not to preside over an archive or a library that the material gathers dust or cobwebs. It needs to be deployed in domestic courts to vindicate the promise that this Council has made to survivors, that there is no hiding place for such criminals.”

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad said passing resolution 2379 was vital step in not allowing Da'esh to be successful in their effort to eradicate the Yazidi people.

She told the Council that a few months ago, she was able to bury two of her brothers along with another 100 victims of the Sinjar massacre thanks to the exhumation of mass graves and the identification of remains. However, Murad stressed that much work remains and with successful investigations the Council must now accelerate concrete action to address the findings.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said, “We tried to turn the page, only to find there is no pen with which to write our next chapter. The international community can give the Yazidi community the pen. I ask you to help us write a new chapter.”

Murad said the evidence collected the UNITAD team affirm the conclusions reached by the United Nations in 2015 that ISIL crimes against Yazidis constitute genocide. She said formal evidence collection is critical for courts and history books, however she called on the Council to examine the human lives impacted by UNITAD's mandate.

Murad said UNITAD’s findings are monumental because every data point represents a human life and together this evidence tells the story of the Yazidi people. She stressed that accountability is essential to defeating ISIL.

Murad said, “Evidence has been found, but we are still searching for the political will to prosecute. It is time for the international community to do more than listen. It is time to act. If world leaders have the political will to act on this evidence, then justice is surely within reach. ISIS's genocide will not come to an end until all Yazidis can lead a life of dignity in their homeland.”

Speaking to reporters following the virtual meeting of the Security Council, Karim Khan underscored that when there is clear evidence of wars crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity, the world needs to call it what it is and ensure accountability, so it is not condemned to keep reliving the same cycle of violence. He stressed that the Da'esh ideology is alive and well.

Khan added, “It is incumbent upon us not to wait for another Mosul to be created in another part of the world and then you create another accountability mechanism. I mean insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and I think the call to action is let's not be insane. Let's ensure that we have accountability and I think we need to support it wherever it is.”

The UNITAD chief noted the importance of leaders understanding that genocide and war crimes do not descend from Mars, rather they are fostered by intolerance. He stressed that the world needs to be intolerant of intolerance as a state of mind and a legal obligation to ensure that the ingredients of communities becoming marginalized, disenfranchised and then being exploited are reduced not widened.
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