World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Iraq: Immediate action needed to protect human rights

Iraq: “Immediate action needed to protect human rights of Yazidis in grave danger” – UN experts

12 August 2014

GENEVA: A group of United Nations human rights experts today expressed their grave concern at the imminent danger of massacre faced by the Yazidi population forced to flee Sinjar in northern Iraq and other minority communities currently exposed to attacks by members of the ‘Islamic State’ (IS, (formerly known as ISIS).

The experts on the rights of minorities, internal displacement, summary executions, freedom of religion, violence against women and discrimination against women called for immediate action to protect the human rights of Yazidis and other affected communities, including the fundamental right to life.

“All possible measures must be taken urgently to avoid a mass atrocity and potential genocide within days or hours – civilians need to be protected on the ground and escorted out of situations of extreme peril,” urged the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák.

Ms. Izsák cautioned that “the responsibility to protect populations at risk of atrocity crimes falls both on the Iraqi Government and the international community.”

“We are witnessing a tragedy of huge proportions unfolding in which thousands of people are at immediate risk of death by violence or by hunger and thirst,” warned the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani. “Humanitarian aid must be delivered quickly and no efforts should be spared to protect all groups forcefully displaced by this conflict,” he added.

The UN has received verified reports that ‘IS’ is systematically hunting down members of minority groups who remain trapped in areas under their control and giving them the ultimatum, “convert or die,” stated Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. “We cannot stand by in the face of such atrocities. International actors must do all in their power to support those on the ground with the capacity to protect lives.”

The situation has continued deteriorating rapidly and at present thousands of members of the Yazidi community are trapped on Mount Sinjar, threatened with death by the IS and without access to food and water.

“Freedom of religion and belief is being denied in the most gross and systematic way possible – through the attempted extermination of religious minorities.” The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief, Heiner Bielefeldt,” said.

“We have reports of women being executed and unverified reports that strongly suggest that hundreds of women and children have been kidnapped – many of the teenagers have been sexually assaulted, and women have been assigned or sold to ‘IS’ fighters as ‘malak yamiin’ or slaves,” said the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo.

“Such violations are crimes against humanity that must be stopped and punished,” Ms. Manjoo underscored.

Despite hundreds being helped to relative safety by Kurdish and Iraqi forces, around 40,000 Yazidis reportedly remain hiding in a mountainous region of Sinjar, in the northwest of Iraq, where they took refuge escaping from the Islamic State which has threatened them with death.

Forty Yazidi displaced children died last week due to dehydration, according to UNICEF. Over the past weeks an estimated 250,000 members of religious minorities have been forced to flee their homes escaping from the advance of ‘IS’ and associated armed groups, accused of gross human rights violations which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news