International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Justice for ISIS Atrocities

yazidi-womenA recent New York Times / Associated Press article explains that war crimes investigators have collected enough evidence for a viable prosecution of ISIS atrocities–specifically ISIS’ kidnapping of women to sell as sex slaves. This is one among many crimes in the region, including potential genocide against Yazidis, torture, indiscriminate killings, etc. And, groups like the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, have spent years, at great risk, collecting evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Assad regime, rebels, and ISIS.

There’s just one problem…who has the political will to create a tribunal?

What do you make of the arguments for and against a tribunal for ISIS crimes? What aspects of this story do you find most compelling?




2 responses to “Justice for ISIS Atrocities

  1. addisonc42 September 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    One of the main points I saw in this article and I think is crucial in bringing these criminals to trail is what country will do so. The point was made that the U.S. is looked to by the west to make decisions in the Middle East due to our countries involvement in the region. However the U.S. has done so mostly in a unilateral way and this for the most part has received backlash. I believe that if the U.S. takes the initiative and moves to start prosecutions it would receive backlash as it might be seen as a move to eventually prosecute Assad and therefore regime change. This could further increase tensions with Russia and altogether hurt the U.S. I believe therefore that it would make the most sense for the U.S. to make a multilateral movement by involving other countries in the process and making it as transparent as possible to make it so the U.S. takes a position against these horrific crimes while not hurting its image. I also believe that the arguments for holding a tribunal for ISIS crimes is a good idea and could help in slowing recruitment for ISIS as it shows how what ISIS is doing is not just a bad thing but a punishable offence.

  2. laurherv October 4, 2016 at 1:21 am

    I see numerous issues presented in this article relating to both offenders and potential prosecutors. First, it is imperative that IS officials are prosecuted for the crimes they committed and continue to commit, in order to spread the worldwide message that their criminal acts will not be accepted any longer. Further, it is crucial for a state or group of states to work together to create a tribunal as quickly as possible. The faster trials start, the higher the potential of slowing down atrocity crimes completed by the Islamic State. I find it disappointing that the United States talks such a big game about prosecuting and fighting IS, yet our administration refuses to take action now that evidence is available to charge IS leaders. While I don’t believe that getting involved in the Middle East with IS prosecutions due to the damage it could cause to our relationships with other countries, I think it is important to stick to our word. Being such a big world power, other nations look to us to make decisions and take action, so if we say we are going to take action, we should follow through. It is time for someone to step forward and finally take a stand against IS and its leaders. The question remains who will it be? At this point, if no nation is willing to prosecute IS on its own, nations must begin collaborating in an effort to fulfill the best interests of the world against more terror attacks.

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