UN votes to help Iraq with IS

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. investigators can help Iraq collect evidence to build potential war crimes cases against Islamic State extremists, the Security Council decided today.

The council unanimously passed a resolution that asks the U.N. to establish an investigative team to help Iraq preserve evidence “that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide” committed by the Islamic State group. Iraq and Britain spearheaded the measure.

“There can never be adequate recompense” for those who have had to endure the group’s brutality, said Alastair Burt, the British minister of state for the Middle East.

“This resolution means that the international community is united in our belief that there should at least be accountability for those who perpetrated such wanton acts,” he added, pledging 1 million pounds ($1.35 million) to the investigative effort.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said in a letter last month that his country wants to “make use of international expertise” to bring to justice the IS group, also known as ISIL or Daesh.

“The crimes committed by the terrorist organization ISIL against civilians and its destruction of infrastructure and antiquities in Iraq are crimes against humanity,” al-Jaafari wrote.

British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney also championed the measure. She represents members of Iraq’s Yazidi community who were raped and kidnapped by Islamic State militants.