Back  print Printable Version   date posted 01-02-2019, 11:02:33 AM

Four Years on, Evidence of ISIS Crimes Lost to Time

Before Islamic State (also known as ISIS) fighters descended on Sinjar, Iraq in August 2014, the area was home to 360,000 Yezidis. Today, at least 90 percent of the Yezidi population has been displaced, after fleeing an ISIS onslaught that killed between 2,000 and 5,500 Yezidis. Additionally, ISIS fighters abducted an estimated 6,300 Yezidis and even forced their women and girls into a system of organized rape and sexual slavery.

Now, Iraqi forces have reclaimed the territory it lost to ISIS. And while Iraq’s judges have been charging thousands of ISIS suspects, according to over a dozen lawyers and judges involved in the trials of ISIS suspects, there are almost no known trials specifically for crimes committed against Yezidis.

ISIS suspects are primarily being charged for ISIS membership, support, sympathy, or assistance under a vaguely worded counterterrorism law, and trial judges are primarily relying on a defendants’ confessions, rarely requesting other evidence. This even happened after Iraqi forces freed a Yezidi girl from ISIS in March. Her captor was apparently also charged under counterterrorism law, instead of under the crimes perpetrated against her.