29. December 2020 – ADVOCACY
An appeal to humanity:
In Syria as well as in Germany, victims of IS terror are terrified that they might meet their tormentors, who are still at large, again. This fear is reasonable, as over 80 German IS supporters are still being held in unsafe refugee camps and prisons in northern Syria today, two-thirds of whom are women. No one knows how many extremists have already been able to escape since Turkey’s Syria offensive because the Kurdish militias can no longer properly guard the detention centers. At the same time, Turkey has started deporting IS perpetrators to Germany – without having enough evidence to arrest them in here.
The victims of IS – especially women and children – will suffer lifelong trauma. “Even years after an act of sexual violence, victims tell me they often have to relive the act in dreams,” says HAWAR.help international law expert, Dr. Alexander Schwarz. “For survivors, this is compounded by the fact that thousands of loved ones – mothers, sisters, and sons – remain missing. We owe it to these people not to let the atrocities of your oppressors – abduction, rape, enslavement, and genocide – go unpunished.
As a human rights organization born out of the ashes of a genocide, we know the stories and sufferings of the survivors. Therefore, we – jointly with HAWAR.help international law expert Dr. Alexander Schwarz – demand that the German government takes the following steps:
Dealing with crimes under international law cannot remain a fragmented, national matter. Otherwise, it is highly likely that perpetrators of genocide will remain at large or that they will face the death penalty in Iraq’s summary trials. The latter would result in the absence of a true reappraisal of the crimes in which the victims participate. Ultimately, this would be a betrayal of those affected. We must do everything we can to help the victims of IS back to life – this includes rigorous prosecution. We owe them that.