Amal Clooney urges Iraq to allow probe of Islamic State crimes

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Clooney says a British-drafted resolution for probe is ready to be submitted to Security Council, pending Iraqi approval

Clooney, who represents Yazidi women who escaped IS enslavement, addresses UN member states for second time in six months (AFP)
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Friday 10 March 2017 8:44 UTC
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Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney on Thursday urged Iraq to agree to a UN investigation of atrocities committed by the Islamic State (IS) group and to bring those responsible for crimes to justice.

Clooney, who represents Yazidi women who escaped IS enslavement, was addressing UN member states for the second time in six months to appeal for action to prosecute IS militants.

"Why is it that nothing has been done?" Clooney told the gathering.

"Mass graves lie unprotected and unexhumed. Witnesses are fleeing and not one ISIS militant has faced trial for international crimes anywhere in the world," she said.

The Lebanese-British lawyer said a British-drafted resolution setting up the investigation is ready to be submitted to the Security Council, but that Iraq had yet to give its approval for the measure.

Britain is leading a push calling for accountability for the crimes of IS, which seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq in mid-2014, for declaring its Islamic caliphate and committing widespread atrocities.

Using a different acronym for IS, Clooney called on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to "send the letter to the Security Council requesting the investigation into ISIS crimes".

"Don't let ISIS get away with genocide," she urged.

Iraq's Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim said his government is committed to ensuring justice and that Iraqi courts had received 500 cases involving IS crimes.

With Iraqi forces beating back IS fighters in Mosul, Alhakim said that the next step would be ensuring a "true reconciliation" among the city's religious and ethnic groups.

"We need these communities to be at peace with each other," he said.

Iraq launched the offensive in October to retake Mosul, which fell to IS amid resentment by local Sunnis towards Shia-dominated security forces.