ISIL and associated armed groups “intentionally and systematically targeted these communities for gross human rights abuses, at times aimed at destroying, suppressing or cleansing them from areas under their control.”
They also murdered captured soldiers and other security forces or government personnel, according to the report.
Despite the horrific nature of the report, hundreds of allegations concerning the killing of civilians were not included because they had not yet been sufficiently verified.
Many of these acts “may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
He strongly recommended that the Government of Iraq considers acceding to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) and, as an immediate step, accepts the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction with respect to the current specific, horrendous situation facing the country.
“This type of situation, where massive gross violations and abuses are taking place, including direct targeting of many thousands of civilians because of their religious or ethnic identity, is precisely why the International Criminal Court was created,” Mr. Zeid noted.
The report also documented violations by ISF and affiliated armed groups, such as air strikes and shelling, as well as military operations and attacks that may have violated principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law.
(UN image via Shutterstock)