U.N. urges ISIS trial for suspected genocide
The U.N. Human Rights Council found details pointing to ‘genocide’ being perpetuated against the Yazidis in Iraq
A United Nations investigation has concluded that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may have committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq, urging the International Criminal Court to prosecute the militant group.
In a report based on interviews with more than 100 alleged victims and witnesses, the United Nations human rights office called on the Security Council to refer the situation to the ICC for prosecution of perpetrators.
The inquiry also found that the Iraqi government, along with militias affiliated with its forces, may have committed “some war crimes.”
The U.N. Human Rights Council launched its inquiry in September after the Islamist militant group, seized large swathes of northern Iraq.
It found “information that points to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” and that the Security Council should “consider referring the situation in Iraq to the International Criminal Court.”
There was a “manifest pattern of attacks” by ISIS on Yazidis as well as Christians and other minorities as it laid siege to towns and villages in Iraq.
The U.N. investigators also cited allegations that ISIS had used chlorine gas, a prohibited chemical weapon, against Iraqi soldiers in the western province of Anbar in September.
Captured women and children were treated as “spoils of war,” and often subjected to rape or sexual slavery, it said.
The report said that ISIS’s Islamic sharia courts in Mosul had also meted out cruel punishments including stoning and amputation.
“Thirteen teenage boys were sentenced to death for watching a football match,” it said.
The U.N. investigators said it was “widely alleged” that Iraqi government forces had used barrel bombs, an indiscriminate weapon banned by international law, but this required further investigation.
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