UN: Atrocities Taking Place in Iraq on 'Unimaginable Scale'

Pressure Growing for Establishment of Special Tribunal Against War Crimes

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The United Nations said Monday that it has received reports from Iraq revealing “acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale”.

Deputy Human Rights Commissioner Flavia Pansieri said Islamic State (IS) was believed to have committed systematic and intentional attacks on civilians. They include targeted killings, forced conversions, slavery, sexual abuse, and the besieging of entire communities.

Pansieri also said evidence suggested that Iraqi government forces had killed detainees and shelled civilian areas, the BBC reported.

The unrest in Iraq has escalated dramatically in recent months as Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, and allied Sunni rebels have taken control of large parts of northern and western Iraq. Thousands of people, many of them Christians, have been killed, and more than a million others have been forced to flee their homes.

On Monday, the UN Human Rights Council debated demands for an emergency mission to be sent to Iraq to investigate whether war crimes and crimes against humanity were being committed.

ZENIT has learned via diplomatic sources that some are urgently calling for an international court to be set up to prosecute war crimes specifically in this region of the Middle East.

Although such cases come under the International Criminal Court, proponents argue that a court or tribunal dedicated to investigating war crimes by ISIS and other groups, along the lines of the Nuremburg trials at the end of World War Two, could be more effective.

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