UN Documents Human Rights Violations

A UN report released Friday documents a litany of serious human rights violations committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and associated armed groups between 5 June and 5 July, including some that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report also documents violations committed by Iraqi security forces (ISF) and associated forces.

The report, compiled by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN Human Rights office, is based on direct monitoring activities as well as a variety of sources, including civilian victims and witnesses. It documents the “untold hardship and suffering” that has been imposed upon the civilian population, “with large-scale killings, injuries and destruction and damage of livelihoods and property.” Where information has been cross-checked and verified, specific incidents are detailed in the report.

“ISIL and associated armed groups have…carried out many of these attacks in a systematic manner heedless of the impact on civilians, or have systematically targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure with the intention of killing and wounding as many civilians as possible,” the report states. “Targets have included markets, restaurants, shops, cafes, playgrounds, schools, places of worship and other public spaces where civilians gather in large numbers.”

Among the systematic and egregious violations perpetrated by ISIL, the report lists:

  • The direct, deliberate targeting of civilians in the conduct of military operations and disregard for the principles of distinction or proportionality in the context of military operations;
  • Killings, including executions, of civilians, captured ISF personnel, and individuals associated with the Government of Iraq;
  • Kidnapping of civilians, including of foreign nationals;
  • Targeted killings of political, community and religious figures;
  • Killings, abductions and other crimes and human rights violations against members of ethnic, religious and other minorities;
  • Killing and physical violence against children; the forced recruitment of children;
  • Wanton destruction of civilian property; robbery and plunder of civilian property; targeting and destruction of civilian infrastructure (including hospitals and schools); attacks on protected installations (such as dams); and attacks on places of cultural significance and places of religious worship.
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