The international human rights lawyer, 39, participated in an event on Thursday that was organized by several nations to continue the campaign launched in September 2016 to bring ISIS to justice. Clooney, who is expecting twins with husband George Clooney, was accompanied by her client Nadia Murad and members of state from Belgium, Iraq and the United Kingdom.
“Not one ISIS militant has faced trial for international crimes anywhere in the world… Why is it that nothing has been done?” asked Clooney from the podium, adding, “Somehow we are no closer to justice today than when I addressed you last year.”
Clooney said, “Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, what is shocking here is not just the brutality of ISIS but how long those who know about it can remain passive. If we do not change course, history will judge us, and there will be no excuse for our failure to act.”
She continued, “I’m asking you today to stand up for justice. Every conflict reminds us that there can be no lasting peace without justice… Justice is also what the victims want.”
Clooney called on the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to send a letter to the U.N. security council to request an investigation into ISIS’ actions, stating that “what is needed now is moral leadership to actually make this happen.”
“Don’t let this be another Rwanda where you regret doing too little, too late,” she urged. “Don’t let ISIS get away with genocide.”
The British lawyer has been speaking out against the terrorist group ever since she took on Murad, a human trafficking survivor, as a client. Murad was named a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador in September when Clooney introduced her to the U.N. General Assembly in her first address to the committee. The British lawyer gave a passionate and emotional speech as she recounted some of what had been done to Murad and called for the U.N. to actively work towards holding the terrorist group accountable.
Murad again shared her own story with the council on Thursday, revealing the personal costs of choosing to speak out about her ordeal.
“ISIS terrorists remain a genuine threat to me because of the role I have taken on,” Murad said. “More importantly, I know full well that every time I speak out to public opinion I subject members of my family to danger.”
Getting emotional toward the end of her speech, Murad spoke in English, saying, “I cannot understand why it is taking so long.”
Clooney and Murad arrive at the UN in September 2016
“I can not understand why you are letting ISIS get away with it,” she pleaded. “Or what more you need to hear before you will act. So today, I ask the Iraqi government and the U.N. to establish an investigation and give all the victims of ISIS the justice they deserve.”
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley took to Twitter after Murad’s speech, where she posted a photo of herself with Clooney and the Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She wrote, “We had the pleasure of meeting a great woman of courage, Nadia Murad, who personally experienced inhumane torture from ISIS and lost many of her family members to their brutality.”
“I’ve been to refuges in Germany like the one you showed in your piece and I have interviewed former child soldiers and young girls who were raped and enslaved by ISIS,” Clooney said. “It’s been the most harrowing testimony I’ve ever heard. We know that it’s genocide. The U.N. has said so. In other words: ISIS is trying to destroy them as a group and we are allowing it to happen without actually calling ISIS to account.”
– with MIKE MILLER and LINDSAY KIMBLE