Amal Lawyer · interview · New York · News · Press · Yazidi

Amal Clooney and Nadia Murad discuss the importance to bring ISIS to justice on CNN 19.03.2017

Amal Clooney and her client, Nadia Murad tell to Fareed Zakaria why it is necessary to bring ISIS/Daesh to justice.

(CNN) A Yazidi woman who was kidnapped and taken as a sex slave by ISIS told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday that the Iraqi government and the UN should establish an investigation in order to bring members of the brutal regime to justice.

Nadia Murad, along with her counsel, international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, described her ordeal to Zakaria. It began in 2014 after ISIS militants arrived at her village in Sinjar, Kurdistan, she said.

“Early morning on August 3, 2014, they attacked us,” she recalled.

“Nearly 6,500 women and children from the Yazidi were abducted and about 5,000 people from the community were killed during that day. For eight months, they separated us from our mothers and our sisters and our brothers, and some of them were killed and others disappeared.”

Murad’s mother and six of her brothers and stepbrothers were executed. Murad, along with other unmarried women, was taken as a sex slave and passed around various ISIS militants.

At one point, she told the UN Security Council in 2015, as punishment for a failed escape attempt, she was gang raped until she passed out. All of this, she said, was considered legal under ISIS rule — which dictates that Yazidis, because they do not practice Islam, can be taken as slaves on religious grounds.

“They sold girls, girls that were underage, because ISIS considered that permissible under Islamic law,” Murad said. “They came not just to attack certain people, but they came for all Yazidis.”

The violence against the Yazidi community continues to this day, said Clooney, who represents Murad. More than 6,000 Yazidis are believed to remain in captivity, some of them from Murad’s own family, Clooney said.

It’s time, she said, to bring ISIS to justice for committing some of “the worst crimes of our generation.”

“We know that there’s a military campaign going on where ISIS is being taken on on the battlefield. What we want is to see ISIS members also in a courtroom,” Clooney said.

There hasn’t been a “single prosecution against ISIS in a court anywhere in the world for the crimes committed against the Yazidis … for any international crimes,” she added.

Last week, Clooney addressed the UN in a bid to convince the Security Council to set up an investigation in Iraq to start collecting evidence. “ISIS is not a local threat, it’s a global threat,” Amal Clooney said.

“So, my message to the UN was, this is a global threat. It needs a global response. And part of that response must be a judicial one. It cannot be only on the battlefield. You can’t defeat ISIS on the battlefield alone, because you have to also deal with future recruiting. And I think trials and exposing the brutality of ISIS and trying to make a dent in some of their shiny propaganda by showing that it’s not a holy war and showing what they’re really doing to children, to women, is one way to help that,” she said.

Clooney believes an investigation also is crucial to ensure that evidence is properly collected. “ISIS has set up a whole bureaucracy involving the slave trade where they’ve set up committees, they’ve set up courts, so there are documents, there’s DNA, there are mass graves, and nobody is actually collecting this evidence. And if it gets lost, it means we can never have trials and we can never have justice,” she said.

Amal Clooney said she is asking the Iraqi government and the UN to step in and set up a thorough investigation. In order to make that happen, she said, Iraq needed only to send a letter to the Security Council saying, “Please establish an investigation.”

“There’s already a resolution drafted and ready,” she said, “And if Iraq just sends the letter, then there will be a vote. And from all of my conversations, including with the Russian ambassador and the United States ambassador and others, it seems that there’s actually broad support in the Council.

“So, this actually should move forward. It’s in line with the Iraqi government’s interests, because they’re going after ISIS.”

Murad, who now lives in Germany, said she hoped ISIS would finally be brought to justice.

Then, she said, switching from her native language to a halting English, she “wondered,” that “maybe if I can speak English, maybe the UN, they can understand … what we want. But I can’t.”

“We can hear you no matter what language you speak,” said Zakaria.

Source CNN

Here the full video :


28 thoughts on “Amal Clooney and Nadia Murad discuss the importance to bring ISIS to justice on CNN 19.03.2017

  1. The crimes perpetrated by ISIS represent the worst of humanity….With a broken heart we can just admire Nadia’s dignity. Tribute to Amal Clooney’s tremendous work to bring ISIS to justice.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for posting this. I have had my doubts about Amal Clooney in the past but have rarely been so moved by an interview and was impressed by Amal’s well-thought through and clear presentation. But mostly of course by Nadia Murad’s composure, dignity and humanity. Good to see Amal dressing appropriately – although I like to see her personality shine through in what she wears, there are times like this when it really must take second place and not be a distraction.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just want to say that I believe this was Amal’s best interview yet. As someone studying international human rights law and other law at the moment I understood what they meant about international law being seemingly useless, haha! Sometimes I wonder about that myself. I live somewhat close to the United Nations building and I can get cynical about the institution. I hope Amal uses other means besides the UN to get things going and I was inspired by how she said in her first speech that she wasn’t proud to be there. I loved the focus of the interview and the way Amal responded to questions. It really is amazing, as Zakaria pointed out, that she’s not asking for a tribunal or an army, but just an investigation and to collect evidence. You wouldn’t think this sort of thing would be hard, but it is.

    I was moved to tears at Nadia’s final statement about not knowing English. I’m bilingual (almost trilingual, but working on it!) and at internships I’m often the one to work with clients who don’t speak English. I hear Nadia’s sentiment from many of them as well and it breaks my heart, especially by how she phrased it. Nadia is a great woman, and I’m grateful she’s being heard.
    I’m happy I watched the interview and that Amal is doing what she’s doing, especially by helping Nadia’s voice come out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How is that done? No law allows every for for evidence collection unless Iraq says yes and Iraq is not really saying yes. How does one preserve title of provenance at this stage? Where is the probable cause that ISIS is a state for any UN intervention?

      Amal has not even tried to answer those questions. It deviates from PR


  4. No matter how much the ‘media,’ (aka Clooney pr) want to present Amal as a star; the real star is Nadia. She brings hope to thousands of displaced, enslaved and hopeless. She shines even behind sad eyes often trailing behind Amal. Even though Amal demands attention with thousands in hair, makeup , clothing, accessories, she pales in comparison to the beauty of the human spirit that Nadia possesses. Even though Amal does not display restraint and respect – I still see Nadia’s star beyond the flash in the pan of Amal.


  5. Nadia just broke my heart, not that her excruciating story and her plight hadn’t before, but this time she really conveyed her emotion.
    Amal, on the other hand, has to stop with the smiling. I understand that it’s tactical in the courtroom to appear superior in one’s argument but it’s something she needs to get under control when not going up against an adversary.
    I was hesitant to say it before, having considered that it may just be her manner of speaking, however, after seeing her speak many times that is what I’ve come to see.
    Wishing Nadia peace and wellness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You NEVER smile in a court room. It is not considered good advocacy at all. I remember smiling nervously in my early days at the High Court, only to be slapped down by the Judge with ‘Ms ESR, please do share the joke.’


  6. One’s esteem for this beautiful…brave and compassionate Amal…can only grow with every step she takes to make our world better…


  7. my heart aches by looking at Nadia’s eyes… it looks like her spirit has been broken. My heart and prayers goes to her that she will rise from this….actually she already has. What a horrible thing to go through:( I hope these monsters are exterminated from the face of Earth and beyond 😦 Stay strong Nadia ❤ and keep on going Amal! It is possible!


  8. Nadia needs legal representation, otherwise her voice won’t reach the high corridors of power capable of flexing muscles against Isis.
    Any criticism of Amal’s fashion choices, expensive or not, pale in comparison to her legal activism. She could have been a litigation attorney, defending billionaires in libel lawsuits, or large corporates exploiting cheap labor, but NO. It would have paid handsomely. But NO. She is fighting for human rights.


    1. Really? She was not offered partnership track at S&C and that is widely known. This one I know from S&C. Two years is what they give any associate then they tell them you need to look elsewhere. Amal did and that was human rights law. It is not criminal defense law per se.

      She has a good pedigree she would land on her feet and she did from S&C in a political less legal intensive environment.


      1. Jackson,

        Sullivan and Cromwell is a US firm with global reach. She was NOT offered partnership track that is why she left. It is just to say human rights is the lighter side of law. The fee structure is also much lower than the US, as well. My comment was to Buff.


  9. I am sorry to comment about such a petty issue given the serious and tragic topics being discussed here but here goes. I have been following this blog for several years. I love it! It is my “guilty pleasure” to check out Amal’s incredibly expensive wardrobe, the hair, the makeup, George by her side in his Tequila T shirts, the movie star friends on the boat, etc. Thank you so much to whoever keeps it up, it is great. It any event, this is the first time I have ever, ever seen Amal wear the same outfit twice. Note that the blue maternity dress for the CNN interview was also worn by Amal several weeks earlier in NYC. I appreciate all the work that Amal does highlighting human rights issues but I think she might be more credible if she toned down the glamour a bit. She would probably argue that the glamour is what gets her the coverage. And maybe she’s right, given the times in which we live.


    1. Thank you for your comment, but the blue Dior dress (not a maternity dress) was wore once time. Amal and Nadia meet Guterres and made the CNN interview on the same day.


  10. I am not a barrister, so I don´t understand: How is it possible to bring ISIS to court, because it is in fact not a state with recognized territory under international law? To me it seems impossible! Who exactly Amal wants to bring to court? Is the military going to capture ISIS members alive or are they supposed to turn themselves in?


    1. ICC and ICJ cannot go after an individual. The individual must be a State actor. ISIS is not a state.

      Further, Iraq does not recognize ICC or ICJ jurisdiction both personal and subject matter. If Iraq were to allow this in formal writing it opens a Pandora’s Box for them. If they are will to accept that is one thing. At present, Iraq has made no formal appeal. So, this is a stalemate.

      The news and press currently is only PR. They are trying to force Iraq’s hand through embarrassment. It may happen but unlikely because even in Darfur it was not a one off.

      I doubt anything will happen. Title of provenance of the evidence is already grossly compromised to establish a solid case.

      We will see.


  11. Nadia has an accent and is softly spoken, but her spoken English is otherwise impeccable in its syntax, prosody, grammar, sophisticated use of vocabulary (‘justice’, ‘severity’) and correct sentence structure. There’s nothing wrong with her English. She speaks as though she has been educated in English since early childhood which I strongly suspect she has.

    I work with refugees who truly don’t speak English. Even after 30 years in an English speaking country, they still don’t know words like ‘severity’ and still don’t know clauses or conjunctions as Nadia does. This interview shows Nadia speaks and understands English perfectly – the sadness of her story, her accent and the fact she responded in Arabic is confusing the reality.

    And her lawyer knows this.


      1. Well said Nati. Perhaps Nadia, particularly given her youth, ambition, cause and contacts, is one of those. 😊


  12. Nati, thanks for your reply. I still don´t see how Amal will drag the ISIS to court. Will she send the british or US army to catch them? How obtaining custody of these guy? What about other armed groups that are friends of ISIS? And if some of the ISIS are sentenced to prison, in which country (USA,UK, ..) will they serve the jail sentence? If they are too many, then new prisons need to be built, the taxpayer will have to pay for them and the ISIS prisoners. Taxpayers have already to pay for the Syria war and the millions of refugees.
    This case is useless and a bad idea on the whole, better solve the problem on the battlefield.


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