Thursday, September 24, 2015

Yazidis urge ICC to open probe into ISIS atrocities, ICC says no

The Hague (AFP) - Iraq's Yazidi minority -- the target of brutal attacks by the Islamic State group -- on Thursday urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the militants for allegations of genocide and sexual slavery.

Two Yazidi groups handed the court a new report and documents which show "that ISIS has systematically committed atrocities amounting to genocide and that these crimes fall within the jurisdiction of the ICC," said Murad Ismael of the Yazidi rights organisation Yazda.

Earlier this year, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the IS group, which is sometimes referred to as ISIS or ISIL, had committed crimes of "unspeakable cruelty" including mass executions, rape and torture.

But she said she could not investigate as neither Iraq nor Syria are signatories to the court and her "jurisdictional basis... is too narrow."

The report, however, specifically names some 20 foreign fighters from countries who have signed the ICC's founding Rome Statute.