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05/16/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq has announced plans to start the first trial of Islamic State (ISIS) militants in mid-2021. It will include a national judicial team that is supervised by an international judicial body.

The KRG’s Coordinator for International Advocacy, Dindar Zebari, said in a statement that “following the ISIS attack in 2014, the KRG established several teams to investigate ISIS crimes, and follow on the minorities’ cases who felled victims to the terrorist group. So far there are 2,600 cases of kidnapped Yezidis (Ezidi), Christians, Shabak Kurds, and Turkmens. More than 3,000 cases still being investigated.”

The coordinator also stated that 341 bodies have been exhumed to date following the unearthing of 16 Yazidi mass graves in Sinjar’s village of Kojo. The next phase of the investigation is expected to continue in September using information gained by local eyewitnesses and suspects held in custody.

The genocide of ISIS against Christians and Yazidis prompted the largest wave of immigration by religious minorities from Iraq in modern history. ISIS was declared militarily defeated in 2017. The investigation into the crimes of ISIS has been criticized for its slow response to the crisis. Both Iraq’s Central Government and the KRG have also faced criticism regarding the early days of the crisis in 2014, as officials first abandoned religious minorities to ISIS without providing any security. However, many Christians and Yazidis would later find refuge in the KRG.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]