UN report says IS members should face "international crimes" charges

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-02 23:37:10|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GENEVA, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- A UN report released Thursday said the terrorist group calling itself Islamic State perpetrated serious violations that amount to "international crimes" while a nine-month military campaign was carried out to liberate Mosul City in Iraq.

The report is published by the UN assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) about the actions of IS, also known as ISIL or Daesh.

Using direct witness testimony, the report documents mass abductions of civilians, the use of thousands as human shields, the intentional shelling of civilian residences, and indiscriminate targeting of civilians trying to flee the city.

"During the course of the operation to retake Mosul City thousands of civilians were subjected to shocking human rights abuses and clear violations of international humanitarian law," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

In July, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and affiliated armed groups retook the city which had fallen under the control of IS in June 2014.

At least 2,521 civilians were killed during the military operation, mostly due to IS attacks, the report found, including 741 people who were executed.

Another 1,673 were wounded. Additionally, as of 26 October 2017, the Civil Defense Corps reported that they had recovered the remains of 1,642 civilians from underneath rubble in Mosul.

The report recounts that early in November 2016, in areas of Mosul under IS control, members of the group used loud speakers to announce that residents of areas retaken by the ISF were considered "legitimate targets" because of their 'failure' to fight against government forces.

"This so-called 'fatwa' was accompanied by a sustained campaign of ISIL attacks on eastern Mosul that directly targeted civilians," the report states.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Jan Kubis, said the report documents evidence of the mass atrocities committed by IS against civilians and Mosul itself.

This is the city that IS claimed as its capital, but they really sought its ultimate and deliberate destruction, says the report.

"Daesh's reign of terror has spared no one, inflicting untold suffering on unarmed residents whose only guilt is that they lived in the areas under ISIL's control.

"Their evil acts did not stop at killing and terrorizing residents, as they wantonly destroyed cultural and religious monuments, including the city's iconic leaning minaret Al-Hadba, in total disregard of history and Islam, the religion this terrorist organization falsely claimed to represent," notes the report.

It calls on the international community, including the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council, to act to ensure that those responsible for international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are held accountable.