Investigations and Evidence Management Overview


UNITAD implements a holistic investigative strategy that seeks to reflect the breadth of the crimes committed by Da’esh/ISIL against communities of Iraq, following a victim-centered approach as well as a trauma-informed approach to investigations and case-building.

To conduct its investigations in line with its mandate, UNITAD has, thus far, enhanced cooperation with partners and key stakeholders to improve delivering meaningful justice for victims and survivors of Da’esh/ISIL crimes.

With Six Field Investigative Units, and two Thematic Units, the Team’s investigations focus on international crimes committed by ISIL against all affected Iraqi communities including Christians, Yazidis, Shias, Sunnis, Shabak, and Turkmen.

Through these units, UNITAD aims to present in-depth and comprehensive case briefs and state-of-the-art legal analysis which would ultimately feed into evidence-based trials of ISIL perpetrators for their international crimes committed in Iraq.

The Team’s investigations have covered:

  1. Crimes committed against the Yazidi community in Sinjar beginning in August 2014, which the Team has legally qualified in May 2021 as a crime of Genocide;
  2. The mass killing of unarmed cadets near Tikrit in June 2014 (“Camp Speicher Massacre”);
  3. Crimes committed by ISIL/Da’esh in and around the Badush prison near Mosul in June 2014;
  4. Crimes related to the facilitation of ISIL/Da’esh financing;
  5. ISIL’s development and deployment of Chemical Weapons;
  6. ISIL’s destruction of cultural and religious heritage;
  7. ISIL’s gender-based crimes and crimes against children from all affected communities.
  8. ISIL’s crimes in and around Mosul.

Evidence Management

UNITAD’s vision for fulfilling its mandate includes the delivery of a comprehensive, accessible and user-friendly repository of information for use as evidence of core international crimes committed in Iraq by Da’esh/ISIL. Our key objectives include upholding international standards, facilitating fair and independent criminal proceedings, and creating evidence management systems that can benefit future generations.

To achieve these objectives, UNITAD has committed to exploit the rapidly evolving technology to ensure preservation of evidence and support to Iraqi authorities in digitizing their evidence holding in accordance with international standards and impeccable chain of custody standards. Towards these ends the team implements several initiatives in partnership with various Iraqi authorities and national and international stakeholders including in mass grave excavations and identification of human remains, extraction and preservation of forensic battlefield evidence, digitization, and others.