UN officials call for immediate end to sexual violence against Iraqi minorities

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Displaced Iraqis at a church in Erbil, Iraq. (UNifeed video capture)

Two senior United Nations officials have called for an immediate end to sexual violence against minorities in Iraq.

Zainab Hawa Bangura, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence and Nickolay Mladenov, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq issued a joint statement on Wednesday.

They say they are gravely concerned by continued reports of violence,  including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities.

The officials say "atrocious accounts on the abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkmen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes" are reaching them in an alarming manner.

They strongly condemn the explicit targeting of women and children and what they describe as "the barbaric acts the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration:  1’12″

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