Today, the U.N. released the results of an investigation that revealed ISIS is holding 3500 prisoners captive in Iraq. Among those 3500 people, the majority are women and children. The U.N.’s report says that many of these enslaved Iraqis are Yazidis, who are viewed as devil-worshippers by ISIS.
According to Reuters, the U.N. describes ISIS as a group responsible for actions that “amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.” In “reprisals against persons perceived to support or be associated with [ISIS],” Iraqi security forces and allied groups have also captured and killed civilians.
The U.N.’s report says that many of the 3500 enslaved Iraqis are Yazidis, who are viewed as devil-worshippers by ISIS.
This violence, says Francesco Motta, director of the U.N. human rights office in Iraq, is worthy of prosecution for international crimes. He said, “They use civilians as shields. They use children in armed conflict, they also directly target civilian infrastructure and that can amount to war crimes but they can also constitute crimes against humanity … We’ve seen communities like the Yazidi in particular bear the brunt of this. Yazidi were basically given the option by ISIL to convert or to be killed.”
Motta went on to say that there are still “grave fears” as the armed forces move toward areas that have high populations of minorities who are vulnerable to ISIS.
[image via screengrab]
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