(New York) – A new United Nations investigation of crimes committed by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in Iraq was not given the mandatethat the situation calls for, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 31, 2018, the United Nations secretary-general appointed Karim Khan to head a team tasked with collecting and preserving evidence of serious crimes committed by ISIS in Iraq.
The team was created based on a UN Security Council resolutionunanimously adopted on September 21, 2017. The resolution mandates the investigative team to document serious crimes committed by ISIS but failed to include within its scope of work the abuses, including war crimes, by anti-ISIS forces.
“In limiting the team’s focus, the Security Council effectively gave cover to one-sided justice in Iraq,” said Balkees Jarrah, senior international justice counsel at Human Rights Watch. “Though this new investigation could help further expose violations by ISIS and identify those responsible, it should not serve as an excuse to delay inquiries into crimes by all sides.”