On December 2, following the historic conviction of Taha Al-Jumailly by Germany’s Higher Regional Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide — the first conviction of an ISIL member for genocide against the Yezidi community — the Security Council convened for a briefing on the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Da’esh/ISIL Crimes.

In his briefing, Christian Ritscher, Special Advisor and Head of UNITAD, built on the momentum of Taha Al-Jumailly’s conviction and stated that “we stand at a turning point, a moment of perhaps unexpected hope… to bring impunity to justice”.

Stating that cooperation with Iraqi and Kurdistan Region authorities to investigate those who financially supported and profited from ISIL’s crimes has deepened considerably, he went on to announce that in his next briefing, he will present the results of a structural case detailing their findings regarding ISIL’s use of chemical weapons, including the legal characterization of crimes committed in its implementation.

Christian Ritscher concluded by reiterating his goal that by the end of 2022, UNITAD will have established a comprehensive and cross-cutting legal basis for prosecuting ISIL members for international crimes committed against a wide range of communities, as well as its chemical weapons program and financial support systems.

Meanwhile, Mercy Hands is committed to supporting the Yezidi community and all victims of ISIL’s crimes by providing legal, psychological and psychosocial support to survivors, regardless of their gender, ethnic, social and/or religious group.