Kurdistan Region President receives the Head of UNITAD

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, April 19, 2021

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani received Mr. Karim Khan, Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh (UNITAD), in Erbil on Monday.

President Nechirvan Barzani commended the outgoing Head of UNITAD for his contributions during his tenure in office. The President expressed his appreciation for Mr. Karim Khan’s efforts in collecting evidence of ISIS crimes, and wished him further success in his new duties as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

For his part, Mr. Karim Khan expressed his gratitude to the President for his support to achieve justice. The outgoing Head of UNITAD also appreciated the cooperation and coordination between the Kurdistan Region’s relevant institutions and his team during their investigations of ISIS mass crimes. Mr. Karim Khan expressed hope that justice will prevail, perpetrators be brought to court and held accountable.

Both sides agreed that the trials will send a strong message to perpetrators everywhere, and reiterated the need to ratify necessary laws in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region for prosecution and trial of such crimes. The President and the Head of UNITAD emphasized that the victims from all communities, the Yezidis, Christians and others, seek justice and must be provided support. Both sides also expressed concern for the spread of extremism which must be countered through education and cultural work.

Discussions also focused on the work and mission of UNITAD and its Erbil office, scheduled to open on Tuesday. The conditions of the victims and survivors of ISIS crimes, especially the Yezidi sisters and brothers, were highlighted, and the significance of the support from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi Federal Government for the success of UNITAD’s mission was also underlined.