We are alarmed that confidential information regarding the location and personal situation of Yezidi survivor Ashwaq Al-D. has been handed to the German press. She is a key witness in an international criminal investigation conducted by the Office of the German Federal Prosecutor. Ashwaq decided to testify under the condition that her participation in the investigation and whereabouts be kept strictly confidential. Personal information about the witness or her family should not be shared with the public under any circumstances, especially not when agreed therwise.

We would like to stress that information relating to her participation in the investigation and her whereabouts are confidential. We therefore demand an investigation into the leak to the press and enhanced protection measures for Ashwaq by the German authorities.

Any survivor of an international crime who is a witness in an ongoing international criminal investigation based on the principle of universal jurisdiction and conducted by a national prosecution authority must feel safe and confident that their vulnerable situation is to be respected. It is crucial that private information, including whereabouts of witnesses, is not publicized. Their confidence and security can be seriously endangered by such disclosures. The present international criminal investigation, which has been on-going since June 2018, must be solely led by the Office of German Federal Prosecutor and not be influenced by leaks.

We therefore strongly condemn the publication of this information. We further ask the media to respect the privacy of Ashwaq and to refrain from contacting her. All media requests can be sent to info@freeyezidi.org.

Zeug_innen in strafrechtlichen Verfahren nach dem Weltrechtsprinzip müssen beschützt werden

Die Weitergabe vertraulicher Informationen über den Aufenthaltsort und die persönliche Situation der jesidischen Überlebenden Ashwaq Al-D. an deutsche Medien sind für uns Grund zu höchster Sorge. Ashwaq ist (eine) Hauptzeugin in einer strafrechtlichen Ermittlung der Generalbundesanwaltschaft in Karlsruhe. Ashwaq hatte sich bereit erklärt gegenüber den deutschen strafermittlungsbehörden auszusagen unter der Bedingung, dass ihr Mitwirken und ihr Aufenthaltsort streng vertraulich behandelt werden. Unter keinen Umständen dürfen persönliche Informationen über die Zeugin oder ihre Familie veröffentlicht oder an die Medien weitergegeben werden.

Wir möchten erneut und ausdrücklich betonen, dass diese Informationen vertraulich sind. Aus diesem Grund fordern wir, dass die Umstände der Weitergabe dieser Informationen an einzelne oder mehrere Medien ermittelt wird. Darüber hinaus müssen die zuständigen Behörden sicherstellen, dass der Schutz der betroffenen Überlebenden garantiert und respektiert wird.

Alle Betroffenen von Völkerstraftaten, welche Zeug_innen in einem laufenden Ermittlungsbehörden nach dem Weltrechtsprinzip einer nationalen Strafverfolgungsbehörde sind, müssen sich sicher fühlen und sich ohne Abstriche darauf verlassen können, dass ihre Gefährdungssituation anerkannt und berücksichtigt wird. Es ist von grundlegender Bedeutung, dass persönliche Informationen, einschließlich des Aufenthalts von Zeug_innen, nicht veröffentlicht werden. Ihr Vertrauen und ihre Sicherheit können durch die Weitergabe solcher sensibler Informationen erheblich gefährdet werden. Die seit Juni 2018 laufenden Ermittlungen, liegen alleine in der Zuständigkeit Generalbundesanwaltschaft und dürfen in keiner Weise durch eine Weitergabe von Informationen beeinflusst werden.

Aus diesen Gründen verurteilen wir nachdrücklich die Veröffentlichungen solcher Informationen. Wir appellieren an die Medien in Deutschland Ashwaqs Privatspähre zu respektieren und von der Kontaktaufnahme mit ihr Abstand zu nehmen. Alle Anfragen können an info@freeyezidi.org gesendet werden.

Pari Ibrahim
Executive Director
Free Yezidi Foundation


This statement is endorsed by
Diese Stellungnahme wird unterstützt von

The undersigned organizations work in support of survivors and their relatives to advance accountability of gross human rights violations and international crimes. We have experienced similar violations to survivors’ confidentiality and privacy in the context of our work in the past and would therefore like to remind of the important to effectively protect victims and witnesses in universal jurisdictions proceedings.

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to enforcing civil and human rights worldwide using legal means in order to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other declarations of human rights and national constitutions. Together with affected persons and partners worldwide, ECCHR uses legal means to end impunity of those responsible for torture, massacre, rape, corporate exploitation and fortressed borders.

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is an international human rights NGO federating 184 organizations from 112 countries. It acts at national, regional and international levels in support of its member and partner organizations to address human rights abuses and consolidate democratic processes. Its work is directed at States and those in power, such as armed opposition groups and multinational corporations.

REDRESS uses the law to fight torture and secure reparations for survivors of torture and related international crimes. The organisation works with survivors to obtain the justice they are entitled to by law, helping to restore their dignity and make torturers accountable.

TRIAL International is a non-governmental organization fighting impunity for international crimes and supporting victims in their quest for justice. The organization relies on the existing legal framework and is convinced that a judicious yet imaginative use of the law can be a formidable means of dealing with individual cases and bringing about structural change. The NGO also puts the law at the service of the victims of international crimes and works to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.

Sareta Ashraph, Barrister Garden Court Chamber

From May 2012 to November 2016, Sareta served as the Analyst on the International Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, documenting violations of international law in the context of the ongoing conflict in Syria and led the investigation and drafting of the Commission’s June 2016 report “They Came to Destroy: ISIS’s Crimes Against the Yazidis”, which determined that ISIS was committing the crime of genocide.