On May 10, 2021, the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability Against Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) found that the crimes committed by ISIL against the Yazidis, a religious minority in northern Iraq, constitutes genocide.
In a briefing to ambassadors, the head of UNITAD, Karim Khan, said there is “ there is clear and convincing evidence that the crimes against the Yazidi people clearly constituted genocide.” Evidence showed that ISIL committed a range of inhuman acts, including extermination, rape, murder, torture, enslavement, persecution, and other war crimes against the Yazidis. The crimes that ISIL committed “shocked the conscience of humanity,” said Khan.
In 2014, The Islamic State terrorized the Yazidi community predominately residing in northern Iraq. ISIL abused young women and carried out massacres that left thousands dead and more than half a million displaced.
UNITAD also investigated the mass execution in Tikrit Air Academy. The investigation team reviewed the video of footage and said the crime is a “direct and direct and public incitement to commit genocide against Shia Muslims.” The horrifying video footage showed images of mass execution with a direct order to ISIL followers to “kill them[shiates] wherever you find them.” The attacks constitute war crimes of murder, torture, cruel treatment, and “outrages upon person dignity,” the investigation team reported.
Investigators are also looking into a chemical program at Mosul University laboratories that ISIL controlled in 2014. Evidence revealed that ISIL was testing a variety of lethal chemicals on prisoners that led to their death. In 2016, ISIL experimented with a sulfur mustard production system by firing rockets at a predominantly Shiite town.
The U.N. identified more than a thousand suspected perpetrators responsible for the crimes against the Yazidis. The Special Adviser said that more progress is to come as the prosecution of ISIL members for crimes committed in Iraq is to follow in the next year.
The current issue of the IELR will have a more comprehensive discussion of the report and its implications.