UN officials warn of Islamic State’s threat to democracy in Iraq
UN officials warn of Islamic State’s threat to democracy in Iraq

[JURIST] Top UN officials on Tuesday warned [UN News Centre report] the world of the growing crisis of Islamic State (IS) [BBC backgrounder] in Iraq and urged the international community to take action in helping the Iraqi government transition towards democracy. The UN officials provided a report assessing the on the ground violence committed by IS in Iraqi communities, causing a large group of citizens to flee their homes to avoid brutal violence. UN envoy for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov said IS’s “strategy is obvious — to insert themselves in the ethnic and religious fault lines of Iraq, to undermine legitimate authorities and to spread fear among all communities.” The UN has reported that IS has been taking control of many cities and communities within Iraq including the major city of Fallujah. The UN states that this growing expansion of territory by IS threatens global peace and the security of surrounding nations. While the UN applauds the internal efforts by the Iraqi government to attack IS’s movement, high officials still seek continued support from the international community to ensure democratic success and stability.

IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has been causing increasing international alarm over its escalating human rights abuses [JURIST report] since its insurgence into Syria and Iraq in early 2013. The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic [official website] expressed grave concerns [JURIST report] last month about escalating violence against civilians. In September the newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad criticized [JURIST report] IS for its recent killings and human rights violations of women in IS-controlled areas in Iraq.