Lord Alton of Liverpool – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool on 2016-04-21.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ensure that witness statements by potential genocide survivors in Iraq and Syria are given to the International Criminal Court and that the collection of forensic evidence and the protection of mass graves is prioritised.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

In Syria, the UK is supporting the work of non-governmental organisations who are gathering evidence of human rights violations. This is being done to the international standard required for criminal prosecution against high level perpetrators in a domestic or international court. In Iraq, we are considering how the UK might best complement similar efforts already underway with funds from other donor countries.

Cases are being prepared for international prosecution should a referral to the International Criminal Court be forthcoming or should individuals be subject to litigation by hybrid, specialised or national courts. We are therefore doing everything we can to assist in the gathering and preservation of evidence that could in future be used by judicial bodies to make a judgement on this matter. It is vital that this is done now, before evidence is lost or destroyed.