Richelle Carey: You’ve just recently returned from Iraq. The Yazidis have appealed to the International Criminal Court [ICC]. They wanted the ICC to do something about the genocide that they say that is happening to them because of ISIL [the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant]. What can the ICC do?
Luis Moreno-Ocampo: If you are a victim of this type of crime [and] you are in Iraq, where [do] you go? Iraq cannot do it. So who else will protect you? So people keep moving, asking [the] ICC to intervene. The problem was, Iraq is not a state party, so the territory’s not under the jurisdiction of International Criminal Court.
What they had to prove to open a case at the ICC is that members of [ISIL] are nationals from third parties. They collect[ed] information showing that they’re 2,000 Tunisians, 1,500 Jordanians and more than 2,000 Europeans leading ISIL. The Yazidis, NGOs and the government went to The Hague, and they present[ed] communication to the prosecutor asking her to start to work in the genocide case.
And do you think the Yazidis will get some sort of justice?
Yes, I think that’s a big first step. Iraq does not like to be a member ICC because there are still many conflict[s] there and they’re afraid. But Baghdad can decide [to] just accept jurisdiction for the Sinjar Mountains, just since August 2014, just the area where the genocide was committed. That will allow ICC to intervene by [a] different way.
Sometimes, is it just a matter of there being the political will to do it?
Totally. Not just sometime, sometimes.
Al Jazeera America
By Richelle Carey