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New UN human rights chief condemns ISIL

[JURIST] The newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad on Thursday decried [press release] the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] for its recent killings and human rights violations of women in ISIL-controlled areas in Iraq. He specifically condemned ISIL's public execution earlier this week of Sameera Salih Ali Al-Nuaimy, a lawyer and human rights defender who was seized from her home in Mosul and shot by a firing squad. Prince Zeid also deplored ISIL's abduction, torture and sexual exploitation of women in areas captured by the militant group. He warns that prominent, professional and educated women are most at risk and describes the situation as "horrifying"...[laying] bare the bankrupt ideology of ISIL and its affiliates."

ISIL, commonly referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has been causing increasing international alarm over its escalating human rights abuses since its insurgence into Syria and Iraq [CNN timeline] that began in early 2013, prompting strong denouncements and military action against the group. Recent airstrikes against ISIS by the US and several Arab countries were defended [JURIST report] to the UN as necessary and consistent with the UN Charter [text] to defend Iraq and protect the US from terrorism. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia's conservative top clerical council made its most comprehensive verbal attack [JURIST report] against Islamic radicalism when it issued a statement calling terrorism a "heinous crime" and calling for its perpetrators to be tried in court. Also this month Germany, following an ISIS-led attack on a group of Yazidis [BBC backgrounder] in western Germany, banned [JURIST report] all images and activities in support of ISIS, effectively outlawing support for the group. Germany's ban on all things ISIS came days after the League of Arab States [official website] approved a resolution [JURIST report], which assumes a sense of urgency, to combat extremist groups like ISIS.

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