UNITAD launches multimedia video demonstrating evidence of crimes against Yazidi community

The Crimes of ISIL against the Yazidi Community in Sinjar-English

Baghdad, 13 May 2021 – UNITAD today launched the full-length video outlining the range of evidence collected in its investigations into crimes committed against the Yazidi community in Sinjar.  This follows the briefing by Special Adviser Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, Head of UNITAD to the Security Council on Monday in which he confirmed the Team had clear and convincing evidence that crimes committed against the Yazidi community constituted genocide.

Developed in collaboration with SITU Research, a visual investigations practice, the video synthesizes the testimonial, documentary, digital and forensic evidence collected by the Team in this investigation.

Special Adviser Khan noted that this video represented a distillation of the innovative approach the Team has sought to adopt in the implementation of its mandate: “From the beginning of our work in 2018 we have sought to integrate the most advanced technological solutions to the challenges posed by the depth and scale of crimes committed by ISIL.  The video released today with SITU Research provides a window to some of the results produced in this effort and demonstrates how we can take evidence collected on the ground in Iraq and present it in a compelling narrative in national courts”

Brad Samuels, Director, SITU Research noted: “This video presents a vast array of disparate assets assembled into a coherent account of these complex and tragic events. No single source of data tells the whole story but our collaboration with UNITAD seeks to organize, synthesize and make accessible the facts of this case.”

Building on the collection and analysis of visual assets such as 3-D scans, geospatial data and drone footage, the video features an advanced evidence-presentation platform, which was also developed with SITU, that can be used to create an integrated, virtual environment which can both assist investigators in reviewing information collected and support witnesses in engaging with crime scenes.  With respect to crimes committed at Kojo Village, the video demonstrates the integration of 3-D laser scans of mass grave sites into drone footage, while autopsy reports and DNA results of individual victims can be placed visually at the specific locations they are identified in the crime scene. 

Special Adviser Khan noted that: “The utility of the platform demonstrated in this video is not just limited to the work of UNITAD investigators.  Key challenges continually underlined by national authorities include an inability to access crime scenes so as to corroborate testimonial evidence, and the significant hurdles faced in communicating the gravity and scale of ISIL crimes in domestic courts.  By harnessing platforms such as these and making them available to domestic authorities, UNITAD is able to bring the crime scene to national courtrooms globally.”



For More Information please contact: Mr. Georges Fakhry, Chief Public Information Officer for the 

United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL,

E-mail: georges.fakhry@un.org or the UNITAD Public Information Office: E-mail: UNITAD-PIO@un.org