Widespread human rights violations in Iraq by ISIL, armed groups

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A large number of civilians remained displaced, with limited access to humanitarian assistance. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis (file)

Human rights violations in Iraq are widespread and of an increasingly sectarian nature, a new UN report has found.

Released on Monday, it documents serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross abuses of human rights perpetrated over a three month period by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The report also details violations reportedly committed by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and affiliated armed groups during the same period.

Stephanie Castro reports.

The killing of civilians, abduction, rapes, slavery, the trafficking of women and children, the forced recruitment of children are some of the gross abuses that ISIL and associated armed groups are being accused of.

The country's ethnic and religious communities have, according to the report, been "intentionally and systematically targeted" by Islamist extremist groups like ISIL and associated armed groups.

These include Christians, Kurdish speaking people from the Yezidi religious sect and the Shabak in northern Iraq and other religious minorities.

The report also denounces what appears to be a "deliberate policy" aimed at destroying, suppressing and expelling these communities permanently from areas under their control.

Many of the violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide, the report warns.

Meanwhile, armed groups claiming to be affiliated to or supporting the Government have also carried out targeted killings, including of captured ISIL fighters, abductions of civilians, and other abuses.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN human rights office (OHCHR) compiled the report together.

Stephanie Castro , United Nations.

Duration: 1’18″

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