UN rights chief urges end to abuse against Iraqi civilians

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Children displaced by fighting in northern Iraq receive UN assistance at Kalak border crossing. WFP/Mohammed Al Bahbahani

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is calling for an end to abuses against civilians in Iraq amidst reports of summary executions, extrajudicial killings and the massive displacement of half a million people as militia forces allied to the group known as ISIL or ISIS, overran a series of major towns and cities this week.

The High Commissioner cites reports of hundreds of deaths and up to a thousand wounded.

In a statement issued on Friday, Mrs Pillay also refers to reports of the summary execution of Iraqi army soldiers during the capture of Mosul and the killing of 17 civilians in one street on 11 June.

Rupert Colville is the High Commissioner’s spokesman:

The High Commissioner will be warning parties to the conflict that they are obliged under international law to treat members of the armed forces who have laid down their arms, or are hors de combat humanely and that murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture constitute war crimes. (17″)

The Human Rights Chief points to allegations that the Iraqi army shelled civilian areas killing up to 30 people. She is urging the government to exercise utmost restraint in their on-going military operations.

Yvette Morris, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1’26″

 

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