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In a triumphant win for the thousands of Yazidi women who have been enslaved by the Islamic State, Amal Clooney has confirmed that she will represent victims of the Yazidi genocide, including ISIS survivor and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad, the New York Times reports.
“The European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the U.S. government and the U.K. House of Commons have all recognized that there is a genocide being perpetrated by IS against the Yazidis in Iraq,” Clooney said in a statement to Women in the World.
“How can it be that the most serious crimes known to humanity are being carried out before our eyes but are not being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague?”
Clooney, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers specializing in international law and human rights law, will act as their counsel to achieve accountability for the genocide, sexual enslavement and trafficking of Yazidi girls and women by the Islamic State in Iraq. They plan to seek an International Criminal Court investigation and prosecution of the crimes committed against Nadia Murad and the Yazidi community.
After months of traveling around the globe and imploring political leaders to help her cause, Murad told Women in the World that Clooney has given her confidence. “Amal and George received me at their home and opened for me their hearts,” said Murad. “They listened passionately to my story, and Amal gifted me by representing my case. Amal gave me renewed hope by being my voice.” Murad also called Clooney “an incredible, passionate woman,” who embraced her story and her pain. “She did not talk to me as a well-known world figure that people would love to take a photo with, she talked to me as a sister and guardian. She has immense power that made me proud of being a woman.”
Murad views Clooney as a formidable legal force. “It is important to establish justice, and Amal being a life-long defender of justice, it was a natural bond between her and I to be established. We are both defenders of justice, and peace seekers through justice,” Murad said. “The final goal for us all is accountability to perpetrators of genocide, and justice for victims like myself.”
Clooney also represents Yazda, a non-profit organization that has been helping the Yazidi community since the genocide began during ISIS’s attacks in August of 2014. The raids led to the deaths of an estimated 5,000 civilians, the enslavement of more than 2,000 women and girls, and the displacement of 400,000 people from the Yazidi homelands in Sinjar, the Ninevah plain, and Syria.
Nadia Murad of Iraq travelled to Armenia in April to participate in the Second Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide