ABDUCTIONS, rape and executions, with 1.8 million people forced to leave their homes.
The shocking brutality committed under ISIS’ reign of terror in Iraq has been detailed in a new UN report covering events in the country over a nine-week period.
Overall, at least 24,015 people have been killed or injured in 2014 to date, with at least 9,347 dead.
A further 1.8 million have been forced to leave their homes with entire villages abandoned, while countless more have been killed by “secondary effects of violence” such as lack of access to water, food and medicine.
The report, produced by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is the second to come out of the region and covers a period 6 July to 10 September.
It’s based on direct testimony from victims or witnesses which have been verified and cross-checked through independent sources.
Since ISIS declared a caliphate in the region on 29 June “gross abuses” of human rights have taken place in a “systematic and widespread” manner, the UN states.
“These include attacks directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, executions and other targeted killings of civilians, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence perpetrated against women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction or desecration of places of religious or cultural significance, wanton destruction and looting of property, and denial of fundamental freedoms.”
The graphic report details dozens of examples of brutal executions, abductions and incidents of sexual violence as well as those where people have been forced to pledge allegiance to the terrorist group.
It tells of groups of 40 at a time shot in the back of the head and buried in mass graves, with one particularly serious incident involving 1500 soldiers who were captured and killed at once.
“Between 3 and 4 September, [ISIS] executed six men, all in their thirties, by shooting them in the head, after they were sentenced to death by ISIS self-appointed court.
“On 4 September, ISIS executed another 14 men after sentencing them to death. On 7 September, ISIS executed 40 people in Mosul after they were convicted in the same manner,” it reads in a horrific catalogue of brutality.
ISIS militants have specifically targeted community leaders including doctors, lawyers, aid workers and journalists along with ordinary civilians.
Female doctors who refuse to wear the veil while working have been beaten with sticks while students have been abducted and in one instance, the group demolished more than 200 homes in an entire village.
At particular risk are members of Iraq’s minority communities like Turkmen, Shabak, Christians, Yezidi, Sabaeans, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds and Arab Shi’a.
Sunni Muslims who refuse to obey have also been warned their homes would be destroyed if they tried to harbour relatives who oppose ISIS’ reign.
It goes on to state children have been subject to particular suffering, with some forced to watch the murder of their parents and left without basic supplies like food and clothes. They’ve also been forced to carry guns and flags while posing for photos later circulated on social media.
In another incident on August 3, ISIS is said to have herded up to 500 women to a citadel where 150 unmarried girls and women were taken to Syria “either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves”.
Since July, when ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on people worldwide to come and defend the new “caliphate” the question of how to stem the flow of foreign fighters has been a major priority for governments around the world.
Australia has already joined a US-led coalition to help Iraqi security forces fight the group, and is expected to announce combat missions in the region today.
UN Secretary-General for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov described the report as “terrifying” and said hundreds of other allegations of civilian murders weren’t included because they hadn’t been verified.
But it’s not just ISIS terrifying civilians.
It also describes violations conducted by Iraqi Security Forces and other armed groups including air strikes, shelling and human rights violations which break international law.
“The array of violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL and associated armed groups is staggering, and many of their acts may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
The international body concludes that the combination of insecurity, lack of resources, a weak government and a tough security situation has created a “crisis of displacement”.
It recommends all parties in the region comply with international law and human rights violations cease.
“All parties must ensure that civilians are protected, that they have unhindered access to medical facilities and humanitarian assistance, and that they are able to safely and with dignity leave areas affected by violence.”