UNITED NATIONS, United States: A UN report released on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) showed members of Iraq’s diverse ethnic communities have been intentionally and systematically targeted by the Islamic State (IS), in what appears as a deliberate policy aimed at destroying, suppressing or expelling these communities permanently from areas under the group’s control.
The report showed among the ethnic communities targeted by IS were Turkmen, Shabaks, Christians, Yezidi, Sabaeans, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds, and Arab Shi’a. Produced jointly by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the report covered the period September 11 to December 10, 2014.
“I continue to be deeply shocked by the gross human rights violations committed by ISIL [IS] and associated armed groups. The targeting of civilians based on their faith or ethnicity is utterly despicable and we must not spare any effort to ensure accountability for these crimes,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, reiterating his call for Iraq to join the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court or to accept the exercise of its jurisdiction with respect to the current situation facing the country.
The report documents serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross abuses of human rights perpetrated over a three month period by IS. These include killings of civilians, abductions, rapes, slavery and trafficking of women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction of places of religious significance, looting, and the denial of fundamental freedoms.
The report also details the murder of captured members of Iraqi security forces and of people suspected of being associated with the government by IS. Individuals suspected of being disloyal to IS, including religious, community and tribal leaders, journalists, doctors as well as female community and political leaders have been particularly targeted. During the reporting period, at least 165 executions were carried out following sentences by so-called “courts” in IS-controlled areas.
“Many of the violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL may amount to war acrimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide,” the report noted.
Furthermore, it documented violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law reportedly committed by the Iraqi Security Forces. “Armed groups claiming to be affiliated to or supporting the government also perpetrated targeted killings, including of captured fighters from ISIL and its associated armed groups, abductions of civilians, and other abuses,” the report said.