UN voices concern over civilian mass executions in Iraq

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August 2014, Dahuk, Iraq: These people escaped Sinjar Mountain, making their way the Iraq’s Kurdish region where authorities and aid groups are scaling-up their response efforts. Credit: UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has expressed concern at the growing spate of civilian executions in Iraq by the militant  group the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

ISIL is reported to be systematically targeting non Sunni Moslems and other minority groups and individuals who decline to pledge allegiance.

In the past two week, the UN Human Rights Office says it has documented the execution of at least 50 civilians including a three year old girl by ISIL.

Ravina Shamdasani is the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office.

"Eyewitnesses have confirmed that on the24 or 25 of august, ISIL executed by gunfire 14 elderly Yezidi men in Sheikh Ahman shrine in western Sinjar. The elderly could not flee when ISIL took over the village on the 24th of august. ISIL later destroyed the shrine as well. There has been reports that on the 26th of august 5 men were executed in Mosul city after verdicts delivered by ISIL's self-appointed courts. Also in Mosul, 7 Christians were abducted from among a group of 33 who were attempting to flee Hamdania District on the 22 of August. We have learnt that among them was a 3 year old girl whose mother was told she had to leave her or else they would shoot her and the rest of the family. We reiterate that such grave human rights violations including the systematic targeting of men, women and children based on their ethnic, religious or sectarian affiliation, likely amounts to a crime against humanity."

Earlier this week, the United Nations called for investigations into the alleged mass massacre by ISIL of nearly 1,700 soldiers who were based at Speicher military base near the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1.49″

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