News / Middle East

UN Accuses ISIL of Wide-ranging Abuses in Iraq

Mourners pray during a funeral in Kirkuk, June 23, 2014. Relatives of the deceased said that about 15 Iraqi Turkmen Shi'ites were killed by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] in Tuz Khurmato.
Mourners pray during a funeral in Kirkuk, June 23, 2014. Relatives of the deceased said that about 15 Iraqi Turkmen Shi'ites were killed by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] in Tuz Khurmato.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations accuses the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant of wide-ranging human rights violations. Investigators say the Sunni Islamist group has killed hundreds of civilians and wounded many more since its invasion of Iraqi cities began early this month.  

According to U.N. investigators, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been accumulating a large and grisly record of gross human rights violations since its invasion of northern Iraq early this month.

Human rights investigators working with the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq say they have verified numerous alleged violations perpetrated by this group. But they assert that the numbers they cite of civilians killed and injured are underestimated.

 
Territory within Syria and Iraq, ISIL’s Planned Islamic StateTerritory within Syria and Iraq, ISIL’s Planned Islamic State
x
Territory within Syria and Iraq, ISIL’s Planned Islamic State
Territory within Syria and Iraq, ISIL’s Planned Islamic State
The U.N. report finds at least 757 civilians were killed and 599 injured in Nineveh, Diyala and Sala al-Din Provinces between June 5 and 22. U.N. Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville said these figures include summary executions and extra-judicial killings of civilians, police, and soldiers who were not fighting.

“At least another 318 people were killed, and a further 590 injured during the same period in Baghdad and areas in the south, many of them as a result of at least six separate vehicle-borne bombs," said Colville. "Abductions continue to be reported in the northern provinces and in Baghdad. These include a number of cases of foreigners, such as the 48 Turkish citizens abducted from Turkey’s consulate when ISIL captured Mosul.”  

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq documents the cases of dozens of other foreigners, as well as Shia civilians and members of minority groups that have been abducted in Mosul, Baghdad and other places. It said some of those kidnapped have been released, while others have been subsequently found dead, in some cases by summary execution.

The report highlights dozens of videos broadcast by ISIL showing cruel treatment and beheadings and shootings of soldiers and police officers out of combat. It says some of these people apparently are targeted because of their religion or ethnicity.

But Colville also said the Iraqi army has allegedly carried out at least two summary executions of prisoners and the killing of 31 detainees at a police station. He said these cases still are not verified.

“UNAMI human rights officers, have however, confirmed another reported summary execution of prisoners by ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] personnel as they withdrew from the Nineveh Operations Command center in Mosul. In this case, grenades were reportedly thrown into rooms filled with detainees, killing at least 10 and injuring another 14,” he said.

The United Nations is urging the Iraqi authorities to swiftly and thoroughly investigate these alleged crimes.  

Colville said the United Nations will continue to collect evidence of wrongdoing by ISIL. He said the information could be used to bring the perpetrators to justice.
 
  • A Shi'ite volunteer who joined the Iraqi army to fight against predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant looks on during a parade in Kanaan, Iraq, June 26, 2014.
  • Shi'ite volunteers who joined the Iraqi army to fight against predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant take part in a parade in Kanaan, Iraq, June 26, 2014.
  • Fleeing Iraqi citizens from Mosul and other northern towns sit in a pick up truck between Mosul and Irbil, northern Iraq, June 25, 2014.
  • An Iraqi woman who fled her village holds her daughter near a Kurdish checkpoint, in the Khazer area between Mosul and Irbil, northern Iraq, June 26, 2014.
  • Members of the Iraqi security forces take their positions during an intensive security deployment west of Baghdad, June 24, 2014.
  • Members of Iraqi security forces take their positions along a road during an intensive security deployment west of Baghdad, June 24, 2014.
  • A military convoy drives towards Kirkuk, to reinforce Kurdish Peshmerga troops, Iraq, June 24, 2014.
  • Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani listens to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting at the presidential palace in Irbil, Iraq, June 24, 2014.
  • Kurdish security forces take their positions at a checkpoint on a highway between the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Kurdish city of Irbil, in Khazer, northern Iraq, June 24, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, June 23, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Sayyed Amar Al-Hakim, head of Supreme Islamic Council, during a meeting in Baghdad, June 23, 2014.
  • A fighter with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant distributes a copy of the Quran, Islam's holy book, to a driver in central northern city of Mosul, Iraq, June 22, 2014.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: eusebio manuel vestias from: portugal
June 25, 2014 4:44 PM
save the people of Iraq

by: Judi Morgan-Fuller from: 98589
June 24, 2014 1:15 PM
Did anyone expect anything but murder and mayhem from a bunch of uncivilized barbarians? Of course they are killing and they have been doing it for a thousand years. They follow a teaching that allows them to kill without guilt. They are sick and we need to stay away from them, far away. There is no way we can protect the innocent there. The only thing we need to do is concentrate on containing these contaminated hominids in their own territory.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs