Iraq: UN Expert Says Prosecution of ISIL Leadership Must Be Fair and Thorough


A UN human rights expert is calling on Iraq to ensure that the prosecution of the ISIL leadership is conducted in a transparent, fair, and thorough manner with the participation of victims in the legal process. Ms. Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, says that hasty and collective death sentences for four ISIL leaders only did the country a disservice.

On 30 October 2018, four senior affiliates of the ISIL leadership, including two Syrian and two Iraqi nationals, were sentenced to death in Baghdad. The four men were charged with ISIL membership under Iraqi counter-terrorism legislation, even though the information provided by the defendants themselves also had the potential to implicate them in serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law.

“There is no justice delivered in secrecy,” Ms. Callamard said. “There is no truth in an unfair and fast-paced proceeding. The trial of these four ISIL senior leaders should be an important opportunity for the victims, families, and witnesses to report on their ordeals and to be heard. The trial should have shed light on the inner workings of ISIL and created a crucial judicial record of ISIL crimes against people.”

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