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Flawed Justice? Ensuring Due Process in the Prosecution of ISIS Suspects

Chatham House, London


Ibrahim Olabi, Director, Syrian Legal Development Programme

Amanda Weston, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers

Belkis Wille, Senior Iraq & Qatar Researcher, Human Rights Watch

Chair: Dr Lina Khatib, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House


Since the battle against ISIS began in 2014, Iraqi, Syrian and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces have captured thousands of individuals suspected of affiliation with the terrorist group. According to Human Rights Watch, there are vast numbers of process violations in the numerous ongoing trials of ISIS suspects, often conducted with the absence of victims.

The panel will discuss how security and judicial systems in Iraq, Syria and the KRG have handled ISIS suspects from screening and detention through to prosecution. What kind of national strategy for ISIS prosecutions should regional and national governments devise? How could all regional actors improve detention and prosecution practices to better meet international standards and grant judicial remedy to victims?