[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official profile] on Tuesday condemned [press release] Sunday’s suicide bombing [BBC report] in Baghdad, Iraq. Stating that “the sheer unrestrained viciousness of these people defies belief,” Zeid spoke strongly against the taking of innocent lives by terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State (IS). Zeid, however, advised those fighting against the terrorist organization to avoid “hasty” acts of revenge. He warned that such responses “will enabl[e] [terrorist organizations] to tap into resentments about heavy-handed or unlawful responses to recruit more followers, create more fanatics and suicide bombers.”
IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has been accused of war crimes on a massive scale in Iraq and Syria. Last month a UN-mandated human rights inquiry reported that IS had been committing genocide [JURIST report] against the Yazidi people, in addition to a carrying out a variety of other war crimes and human rights violations. In March US Secretary of State John Kerry said [JURIST report] that IS was “responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims.” Also in March the US House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution [JURIST report] denouncing the actions of IS as “genocide” and calling for the establishment of international and domestic tribunals by UN member states. In December Amnesty International said that IS was in possession of a “large and lethal” arsenal [JURIST report] due to decades of reckless arms trading and the poorly regulated international flow of weapons into Iraq. In November IS claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated attacks in Paris [JURIST report] that killed more than 120 individuals. In September members of Iraq’s Yazidi community met with International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and urged the court to open a genocide investigation [JURIST report] into IS actions in Northern Iraq.