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Fourth report of the Special Adviser and Head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (S/2020/386) [EN/AR]

Country: Iraq Source: UN Security Council Summary The fourth report on the activities of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2490 (2019).
During the reporting period, the Investigative Team has continued to make progress with respect to its investigative priorities, with a number of lines of investigation now in the phases of evidentiary consolidation and legal analysis. In line with the strategic objective of the Team to ensure its ability to investigate crimes committed against all affected communities in Iraq, two additional field investigation units are now operational. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the complex political and security context in Iraq have created a challenging environment in which to carry out investigative activities. The Team has sought to be innovative in its response, ensuring continued progress in the collection and analysis of evidence by harnessing technological solutions and adapting field-based work so as to capitalize on key evidence-collection opportunities. Priority has been given to the identification of new evidentiary sources capable of adding significant value to the ongoing investigations of the Team and of domestic authorities. Expanded cooperation with Iraqi counterparts has been central to those efforts, including in the form of collaboration with the Iraqi judiciary in obtaining mobile call data records from Iraqi telephone service providers relevant to the Team s investigative priorities. Cooperation with the Iraqi security services has allowed for the forensic extraction and analysis of data from cell phones, subscriber identity module (SIM) cards and mass storage devices previously used by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da esh). Those developments have the potential to cause a paradigm shift in the prosecution of ISIL members. The committee designated by the Government of Iraq to coordinate with the Team has remained a crucial partner and has worked closely with the Team in the initial implementation of a major project to digitize evidence launched in March. The onboarding of national criminal law experts marks a significant step in the efforts of the Team to ensure that its work can effectively support domestic accountability efforts. Initiatives aimed at sharing knowledge with and offering technical assistance to Iraqi authorities have also been expanded, including by providing training and equipment in digital forensics, and witness protection and support. An enhanced evidence management system, developed by in-house information systems experts, has strengthened the ability of the Team to respond to opportunities for evidence collection. The use of advanced technology has also been expanded in forensic evidence collection at mass grave sites and other major crimes scenes. Strengthening partnerships with communities, non-governmental organizations and religious leaders has remained central to the work of the Team. In March 2020, the Special Adviser, together with the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, supported the adoption of a landmark document entitled Interfaith statement on the victims of Da esh , in which leaders of all major faiths in Iraq underlined their collective commitment to supporting the Investigative Team in its pursuit of accountability for crimes committed by ISIL.


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