Concerns rise over Sunnis being targeted in former-ISIL territory

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Cécile Pouilly, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Photo: OHCHR

There are reports of increasing human rights violations and abuses committed against Sunni Arab communities in parts of Iraq that have been reclaimed from ISIL.

That's according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The reports suggest that some forces loyal to the Iraqi government together with some Kurdish fighters are responsible for looting and other human rights violations.

Nicki Chadwick has more.

The list of allegations of human rights abuses in Iraq continues to grow. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says that not only are Sunni Arab communities facing discrimination by security forces and militia but they are also being targeted by other ethnic and religious groups who accuse them of supporting ISIL. 

There are particular concerns about the situation of some 1,300 Sunni Arab Iraqis stuck near Sinjar in the no-man’s-land between Kurdish security forces and ISIL. 

Cècile Pouilly, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says that gross human rights violations continue to be documented in ISIL-controlled areas. 

"Individuals suspected of being disloyal or of not conforming to the ideology of the group continue to be targeted, and there are reports of kidnappings and the burning and beheading of civilians." 

She says that there are also reports that 16 mass graves containing the bodies of people murdered by ISIL have been discovered in Sinjar. 

Nicki Chadwick, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1’07″

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