Faith and Society News

ICC Prosecutor explains inaction over ISIL atrocities

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The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has issued a statement explaining the position (and inaction) of the ICC in relation to the alleged crimes committed by ISIS.

Bensouda states: “Since the summer of 2014, my Office has been receiving and reviewing disturbing allegations of widespread atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham/Greater Syria (“ISIS” aka “ISIL”, “Daesh” or “IS”). Crimes of unspeakable cruelty have been reported, such as mass executions, sexual slavery, rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, torture, mutilation, enlistment and forced recruitment of children and the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, not to mention the wanton destruction of cultural property.”

ICCBensouda however explains that in the current circumstances she has come to the conclusion “that the jurisdictional basis for opening a preliminary examination into this situation is too narrow at this stage”.

She further explains that “The International Criminal Court is governed by the Rome Statute, which entrusts the Court with a specific and defined jurisdiction and mandate. A fundamental feature of the Rome Statute (articles 12 and 13) is that the Court may only exercise jurisdiction over international crimes if (i) its jurisdiction has been accepted by the State on the territory of which the crime was committed, (ii) its jurisdiction has been accepted by the State of which the person accused is a national, or (iii) the situation is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.”

Read the statement in full here

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