GENEVA: The Islamic State group is committing crimes against humanity on a large scale in Syria, a UN report said Friday (Saturday in Manila), painting a horrific picture of beheaded minors and women held as sex slaves.
In its first report focused on acts by the IS group, the independent UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said massacres, beheadings, torture, sexual enslavement and forced pregnancy were now part of life in areas of the war-ravaged country under the control of the extremist jihadists.
“The commanders of ISIS have acted wilfully, perpetrating these war crimes and crimes against humanity,” head of the commission Paulo Pinheiro, a Brazilian diplomat, told reporters, using an alternative acronym for IS.
“They are individually criminally responsible for these crimes,” he stressed, calling on the perpetrators to be brought to justice, for instance before the International Criminal Court.
Based on more than 300 interviews with people inside or who have fled areas under the control of the jihadists, the report paints a chilling picture of life under its rule.
The investigators also relied on documents, photographs and video footage released by the IS group itself, and Pinheiro said that by “documenting their own crimes” the group would be more easily brought to justice one day.
The IS group, which has declared an Islamic “cali-phate” in an area spanning eastern Syria northern Iraq, is seeking to “subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, (and) indoctrination,” the report found.
Massacres, the beheading of boys as young as 15, amputations and lashings in public squares with residents—including children—forced to watch were on the list of crimes.
There was also the widespread use of child soldiers, stoning women to death for suspected adultery and holding women as sexual slaves and forcing them to bear children to the fighters.