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Investigators building evidence for war crimes and genocide prosecutions for rape and enslavement of Yazidi women

INVESTIGATORS are building evidence to prosecute Isis fighters for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide over the killing, rape and enslavement of thousands of Yazidi women in Iraq.

A team from the independent Commission for International Justice and Accounatbility (Cija) is gathering detailed information so that courts can charge the jihadists with the more serious offences.

Countries are currently able to prosecute Isis members for individual rapes or cases of torture or for membership of a terrorist group.

But to prove the more serious charges, they require evidence that the crimes were structural rather than individual actions.  

Cija founder and spokesman Bill Wiley explained: “Practically every Daesh prosecution that has ever happened anywhere in the world is a material support case, a membership case.

“Isis fighters didn’t take it upon themselves to rape these women and girls. There was a carefully executed plan to enslave, sell and rape Yazidi women, presided over by the highest levels of the Isis leadership.

“And in doing so, they were going to eradicate the Yazidi group by ensuring there were no more Yazidi children born.”

Thousands of Yazidi women and girls were kidnapped by the jihadists, who sold them as sex slaves or gave them as wives to Isis fighters and commanders.

Over 3,200 are believed to remain in captivity and continue to be sexually enslaved, abused and subjected to multiple rapes.

The group has identified 49 prominent Isis figures who built and managed the slave trade, along with 170 slave owners.

The first prosecution on genocide charges was brought before a German court last month, when an Iraqi national was prosecuted for chaining up a Yazidi woman and her five-year-old son and leaving them to die of thirst.

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