Daesh likely committing genocide on Yazidi minority in Iraq: UN

Published March 19th, 2015 - 04:05 GMT

The UN called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Daesh (ISIS) for war crimes, reporting that the militants may be committing genocide on the Yazidi minority in Iraq.

In a report based on 100 witnesses and survivors in Iraq, the UN laid out countless crimes against humanity the group has committed, including murders, rape, torture, sexual slavery and use of child soldiers. The report said Iraqi forces fighting against Daesh may also be guilty of war crimes. 

"The testimonies collected reveal that ISIS seeks to subjugate civilians under its control and dominate every aspect of their lives through terror, indoctrination, and the provision of services to those who obey," the report said. 

Under the Geneva Convention, the testimonies showed Daesh had violated international law with its treatment of civilians and those involved in the war. The UN Human Rights Council prompted the investigation in September after Iraqi reports that villages had been completely emptied of Yazidi communities. 

According to the report, men and boys were rounded up and shot in the villages, while the women and girls were used as "spoils of war." Many female Yazidis were sold into sexual slavery or given as "gifts" to Daesh. 

A pregnant 19-year-old told the UN she was raped repeatedly by a Daesh member for two and a half months. After she became pregnant he sat on her stomach and said, "This baby should die because it is an infidel. I can make a Muslim baby."

The Yazidis are an ethnoreligious minority whose faith has elements of Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism. Daesh considers the religion devil worship. 

The UN also raised concerns about the use of military force in the Iraqi government, which should be minimizing civilian casualties under humanitarian law. While Daesh has been purposefully positioning itself in the center of civilian populations, the report said there have been a high number of army air attacks taking civilian lives.

According to Iraq Body Count, there have been up to 154,000 civilians killed in Iraq. The report said the extremists have been systematically restricting basic human rights and spreading terror among civilians for the past two years.

By Hayat Norimine



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