The UN expert believes, that the death sentence of four former ISIS militants, handed down by a court in Baghdad, is illegal. In her view, its enforcement could fall within the definition of "extrajudicial execution", since the trial did not meet international standards and was conducted without the participation of victims of crimes.

Due to the sentence, the Special Rapporteur, Agnes Kallamar, raised several questions about Iraqi Themis. First, four high-ranking ISIS operatives were sentenced to death only for participating in a terrorist organization, although even their own testimonies indicated that they had committed numerous crimes. "Iraqi prosecutors at least had to bring the perpetrators to justice under the articles of the Iraqi criminal code related to murders, torture and enforced disappearances," - Kallamar said.

Secondly, she recalls that the crimes of ISIS commanders were massive – a large number of people suffered at their hands both inside and outside Iraq. However, the court did not call any victim as a witness. The expert recalls, that international law recognizes the right of victims for an access to justice, but in this case this opportunity was missed.

"Justice cannot be done under the cover of secrecy, – she said. – Hastily conducted and unfair trial will not reveal the truth. The court was supposed to give ISIS victims and their relatives an opportunity to talk about their experiences; to shed light on the internal "kitchen" of ISIS and to legally document their crimes."

Thirdly, the expert believes, that the rights of the accused themselves have also been violated: during the detention and arrest they were not able to seek for a legal assistance. It is also reported that the prosecution has not fulfilled the terms of the transaction with the accused.

Agnes Kallamar called on Iraq to seize the "historic opportunity" and to establish, in cooperation with other countries affected by ISIS, a regional justice mechanism.

In 2017, the special Rapporteur visited Iraq, and last year she presented her report on the results of this visit to the members of the UN Human Rights Council. It's recommended, particularly, to bring the perpetrators of crimes to justice in accordance with international law.


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