Special Adviser Leads UNITAD Visit to Salahuddin

Baghdad, Iraq - Special Adviser and Head of United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for the Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD), Mr. Karim A. A. Khan QC conducted a visit to Salahuddin Governorate on 16 September 2019. He was accompanied by Dr. Sallama Al-Khafaji, Chief of National Engagement and Support Unit, as well as UNITAD lawyers and investigators. 

In the governorate’s capital of Tikrit, Mr. Khan had several meetings with high level officials, including the Deputy-Governor Mr. Ammar Hikmat Abd el-Hassan, and the President of the Court of Investigation H.E. Hon. Fadel Akbar Toufic Al-Bayati. The Special Adviser recalled the various aspects of UNITAD’s mandate, and stressed the importance of cooperation with local authorities to bring about justice to the victims for the crimes committed by Da’esh, specifically those committed during the Camp Speicher massacre. He also discussed the various avenues of cooperation with Iraqi judicial institutions, including practical steps in which the Camp Speicher investigations can be deepened with the assistance of UNITAD.  Mr. Khan voiced his sympathies for the victims and survivors and valued their continued search for justice. He emphasized in the press conference following his meeting with the Deputy-Governor that the justice UNITAD is helping bring about “is not one born from some notion of collective guilt”, but one that holds individuals accountable for specific crimes they committed. He also expressed his appreciation for the Deputy-Governor’s continued support of UNITAD as it goes about investigating the heinous crimes committed by Da’esh in accordance with the highest international standards.

The Special Adviser and his team also travelled to the town of Duloiya, where they met with several leaders from Al-Jabouri Tribe, hosted by Sheikh Thaker Al-Jabouri in the presence of Prince Zeid Taher Abed Rabboh Al-Jabouri. During the meeting, Mr. Khan recognized the fallen victims of Da’esh in Duloiya and also highlighted the courage of those who fought against the terrorist organization. The team concluded their field visit to Salahuddin with a drive by of the cemetery where the victims and fallen fighters were buried together.