News / Middle East

    UN: Iraq Bloodshed Is 'Alarming'

    An image posted on a militant news Twitter account, June 12, 2014, shows militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) people raising their flag at the entrance of an army base in Ninevah Province.
    An image posted on a militant news Twitter account, June 12, 2014, shows militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) people raising their flag at the entrance of an army base in Ninevah Province.
    Lisa Schlein
    U.N. Human Rights chief Navi Pillay says the dramatic deterioration of the situation in Iraq is alarming.

    Issuing a call to parties to the conflict, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said all groups are obliged under international law to treat members of armed forces who lay down their arms humanely, warning that murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture constitute crimes of war.

    The U.N. rights chief issued the warning amid reports of summary executions and extrajudicial killings by forces allied with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL. Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, says Pillay is also urging combatants to respect, protect and meet the basic needs of civilian populations.

    “The full extent of civilian casualties is not yet known, but reports received by UNAMI, the U.N. Mission in Iraq to this point suggest the number of people killed in recent days may run into the hundreds, and the number of wounded is said to be approaching 1,000," he said.

    "We have received reports of the summary execution of Iraqi army soldiers during the capture of Mosul, and of 17 civilians in one particular street in Mosul City on the 11th of June,” added Coleville.

    The United Nations reports around a half-million people have fled their homes since ISIL militants overran major towns and cities earlier this week. Prior to these events, UNAMI reports, a sustained upsurge in violent terrorist acts had already taken a very heavy toll of civilian lives.

    Recent figures released by UNAMI show nearly 800 Iraqis have been killed and more than 1,400 others have been injured in acts of terrorism and violence between January 1 and May 30.

    Colville says ISIL is deliberately hunting down anyone associated with the Iraqi government. “These appear to be targeted specific killings of people associated with government, government agencies, civilians working with police, etc," he said.

    "And, that is extremely alarming. There is a real concern that the ISIL checkpoints that are now all over the place appear to be used to sort of hunt down and identify people who are associated with the government in any way,” he said. 

    Colville says there also are reports of violations by the Iraqi army against civilians.  He says the U.N. has received disturbing reports that Iraqi security forces shelled civilian areas during the fighting last week. He says this resulted in a large number of civilian casualties, including allegations that up to 30 civilians may have been killed.

    He says other reports indicate that Iraqi soldiers were turning civilians back at checkpoints, preventing them from fleeing the city in search of safer areas.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora