A significant volume of information on ISIL crimes is held in Iraq’s courts, agencies, and civil society organizations, left behind by ISIL in the aftermath of conflict. If the integrity of this information is preserved, it can be used as admissible evidence in judicial proceedings. This is crucial to promote accountability for ISIL crimes, serving justice and enabling reconciliation. The digitization of documents and ability to exploit seized ISIL devices requires expert intervention. European Union funds granted to UNITAD since 2020 aimed to address these challenges and provide technical assistance to national stakeholders. By enabling an accessible database for investigations, and providing the tools to organize evidence independently, Iraqi judicial capacities are strengthened, fostering reconciliation and trust in the legal system, in line with international standards.
Between 2014 and 2017, ISIL controlled large swathes of Iraqi territory, committing grave breaches of international humanitarian and criminal law, that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. In 2017, the Government of Iraq called on the international community to hold ISIL members accountable for their crimes. In response, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2379, establishing UNITAD; an Investigative Team working to promote ISIL accountability in Iraq and globally.
Since 2020, the project has identified 42 entities with crucial ISIL records. 10+ million pages of ISIL documents have been digitized, assisting numerous third-states’ requests in ISIL-related investigations.