Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Belgium and Netherlands sign joint investigation team to target crimes against Yazidi victims in Syria and Iraq | Eurojust

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JIT aims to identify and potentially prosecute FTFs targeting the Yazidi minority during the armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Another purpose of cooperation is to identify victims and witnesses. For example, to avoid multiple interviews with the same person who has experienced a distressing situation. JIT partners’ cases focus on core international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Within a short period of coordinated efforts, several suspects and victims related to the national investigation have already been identified.

One example is a Swedish national who was issued a European Arrest Warrant for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity in Syria, a decision handed down by the Stockholm District Court in March 2023.

France may identify the Yazidi victims of a French jihadist couple who are already facing terrorism charges. Charges of genocide and crimes against humanity were added to existing cases.

In Belgium, thanks to the exchange of information, Belgian FTF witnesses and victims were identified and interviewed, and links to the French investigation were established.

Another example is of a suspect detained in the Netherlands in November 2022. Some statements of Yazidi survivors recorded and analyzed in context by the Investigative Team Promoting Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL (UNITAD). The JIT statement pointed to the involvement of Dutch female returnees in crimes against Yazidis.

Following these statements from UNITAD, the Dutch authorities, based on their own legal analysis, have arrested the suspects, who will now be prosecuted in the Netherlands for crimes against humanity against Yazidi women, terrorism crimes and slavery. That is scheduled. This example shows the importance of her JIT in Dutch accountability efforts towards Yazidi victims even before joining the team.

These results were achieved quickly thanks to the concerted efforts of JIT and its partners, with the active support of Eurojust. For example, the agency supported his establishment of the JIT and held coordination meetings. Additionally, Eurojust can help you determine potential conflicts of jurisdiction. This helps avoid violating the so-called “nebis in idem principle”, which means that multiple legal actions cannot be taken against perpetrators for the same crime. The Genocide Network Secretariat hosted by the agency can also help by sharing knowledge, expertise and best practices gleaned from focal points dedicated to investigating and prosecuting core international crimes.

In addition to Eurojust, the Genocide Network Secretariat and UNITAD, JIT is an international, impartial and independent organization supporting the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes under international law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic. supported by the following mechanisms). Europol. Canada and Germany are also cooperating and supporting his JIT.

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