The human rights attorney and wife of George Clooney is calling for the UN to investigate allegations of genocide against the terrorist group. On Tuesday, she discussed the decision with Fiona Bruce on BBC News, which showed a haunting reel of ISIS atrocities before the beginning of the interview.
“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 told Bruce.
“It’s been the most harrowing testimony I’ve ever heard. We know that it’s genocide. The UN 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,” she added.
One of the first steps to holding ISIS responsible, Clooney explained, is to preserve evidence of the atrocities on the ground. Unfortunately, that evidence is hard to collect, and it’s disappearing fast. “There are mass graves that are being discovered; just a few days ago in Mosul a huge mass grave that’s thought to have 4,000 bodies in it was discovered and there’s other types of evidence as well,” she explained.
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“ISIS is actually a big bureaucracy, believe it or not, and they are leaving behind documents,” she added. “You need to collect DNA, you need to collect phone records. And none of that is being done at the moment.”
Clooney’s clients include Nadia Murad, a young Iraqi woman from the Yazidi minority group who survived ISIS human trafficking and became a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist and UN Goodwill Ambassador.
When she addresses the UN this week, Clooney said she will ask representatives why action has not been taken. “This is exactly the question that I’ll be posing to member states and [I’m] going to ask them: ‘Are the crimes not serious enough for you to investigate?’ Well, that can’t be it. This is genocide. ‘Do you think there is no evidence for you to collect?’ That’s not right either. There are mass graves whose locations are known. You can start there and there’s plenty of other evidence to collect.”
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Clooney, who’s pregnant with twins, also discussed how George supports her work and the fame he brings to their marriage. “There’s lots of my work that takes place behind closed doors that is not ever seen,” she said. “I think if there are more people who now understand what’s happening about the Yazidis and ISIS, and if there can be some action that results from that, that can help those clients, then I think that it’s a really good thing to give that case the extra publicity that it may get.”
However, she noted, “If you don’t have a good case and you don’t have a good message, then shining a light on it is not going to get you very far.”