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

 


Iraq: UN Rights Experts Urge Action to Avoid Mass Atrocity

Northern Iraq: UN Rights Experts Urge Action to Avoid Mass Atrocity, Potential Genocide

Iraqi refugee children who fled from Tal Afar and found shelter in schools, mosques and unfinished buildings in the area of Sinjar, in Ninawa governorate. Photo: Iraqi Red Crescent/UNOCHA

12 August 2014

A group of United Nations human rights experts today expressed 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 armed group, Islamic State (IS).

“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,” Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák, said in a news release.

The experts on the rights of minorities, internal displacement, summary executions, freedom of religion and violence against women are calling for immediate action to protect the human rights of Yazidis and other affected communities.

They have said that the situation continues to deteriorate rapidly with some 40,000 members of the Yazidi community trapped on Mount Sinjar, threatened with death by the IS and without access to food and water.

“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 the armed group 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,” he urged.

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

“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.

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.

Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Release Of 200 Nigerian Girls Held Captive By Boko Haram

UN envoy Gordon Brown welcomes release of 200 Nigerian girls held captive by Boko Haram More>>

Ban Calls For Immediate End To Hostilities In Northern Mali

Chadian UN peacekeepers heading to their base in Tessalit, northern Mali. Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino More>>

New UN Special Envoy On Ebola Response Visit To Sierra Leone

29 April 2015 – The United Nations World Health Organization ( WHO ) today said that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone where new cases continued to surface, a day after the ... More>>

Somalia Registers Record Export Of Livestock In 2014

Somalia registers record export of livestock in 2014 due to trade boost with Gulf States More>>


United States: Riots In Baltimore – National Guard Sent In [graphic Images]

Riots have broken out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. More>>

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news