A UN report highlights 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.
“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.
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.”