UN: ‘Staggering Array’ of Gross Human Rights Abuses

A “staggering array” of gross human rights abuses and “acts of violence of an increasingly sectarian nature” were committed by the group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) over a period of nine weeks, the United Nations reported today.

The report, produced jointly by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, covers the period from 6 July to 10 September, also cites a number of violations committed by Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and associated forces battling ISIL.

“This report is terrifying,” said Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov, calling on Iraqi leaders to “act in unity to restore control over areas that have been taken over by ISIL and implement inclusive social, political and economic reforms.”

The UN human rights officers describe serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross abuses of human rights that have been perpetrated by ISIL and associated armed groups, “with an apparent systematic and widespread character.”

These include “attacks directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, executions and other targeted killings of civilians, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence perpetrated against women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction or desecration of places of religious or cultural significance, wanton destruction and looting of property, and denial of fundamental freedoms,” according to the report.

“Members of Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious communities, including Turkmen, Shabak, Christians, Yezidi, Sabaeans, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds, Arab Shi’a, and others have particularly been affected by the situation,” the report continues.

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