[JURIST] The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official websites] jointly released [press release] a report [text, PDF] on Thursday, detailing the staggering amount of human rights abuses that have occurred under the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) [BBC backgrounder, JURIST news archive]. The report examines various violations that have occurred during a nine-week period. According to the report, civilians of Iraq are exposed to threats of execution, targeted killing, abductions, rape, sexual and physical violence, forced recruitment of children, destruction of religious locations, property looting and a denial of fundamental freedoms. UN Secretary-General for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov called upon Iraqi leaders to “act in unity to restore control over areas that have been taken over by ISIL and implement inclusive social, political and economic reforms.”
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. Last week, the newly-appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, decried [JURIST report] ISIL for its recent killings and human rights violations of women in ISIL-controlled areas in Iraq. Earlier in September, 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.