A Yezidi carries his man as they flee the Islamic State on August 11, 2014. Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—An organization dedicated to bringing a case of genocide against the Islamic State to the International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched an appeal for evidence of the crimes committed against the Yezidi population.
“It is urgent that the Yazidi community works together in seeking justice. We are much more powerful when we support each other,” reads an appeal shared by the organization It’s On U.
“A concerted effort will not only put considerable pressure on the international community to recognize the ongoing genocide, but refocus any engagement in terms of the humanitarian crisis and, in particular, the lasting safety and welfare of the Yazidi community.”
It’s On U was founded by former chief prosecutor of the ICC Luis Moreno Ocampo, Elizabeth Schaffer-Brown of communications firm Uncommon Union, and Kerry Propper a producer of the film Watchers of the Sky which documented genocide and those who work to end cycles of violence.
The three founders have been joined in their campaign by Yezidi survivor Nadia Murad and the co-founder of Yazda, Murad Ismael, an NGO dedicated to assisting and advocating for the Yezidi community.
Murad and Ismael are represented by renowned human rights lawyer Amal Clooney in their efforts to prosecute members of the Islamic State for the atrocities they have committed against the Yezidi population.
It’s On U has launched its public appeal for evidence because of the difficulties in gathering information in light of the ongoing genocide and regional instability.
They have appealed for mobile phones used by victims and perpetrators, and any information on the identity of foreign ISIS fighters who have committed crimes. They offer a secure way to submit information on their website
It’s On U’s appeal reflects modern changes in the collection of evidence, especially in light of the ubiquity of cameras in everybody’s pockets. Within seconds of dramatic events occurring, images are shared around the world on social media. A recent police shooting in the United States was broadcast live on Facebook.
There is now even an app for collecting such information. eyeWitness
was developed to document crimes in a way that ensures the information gathered meets the stringent requirements for admissibility as evidence before a court.
“Every day around the world, human rights defenders, investigators, journalists, and ordinary citizens capture photos and video of atrocities committed by violent and oppressive states and groups. eyeWitness provides these individuals with a tool to increase the impact of the footage they collect by ensuring the images can be authenticated and, therefore, used in investigations or trials.”