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IS's systematic violations of human rights leave deep scars on Iraqi society: UN official
July 12,2017   By:Xinhua

July 12, 2017 -- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein warned on Tuesday that the Islamic State's (IS or ISIL) violations of human rights have left a lasting mark on Iraqi society, and Iraq faces a series of challenges which, if left unaddressed, are likely to spark further violence and civilian suffering.

While welcoming the retaking of Mosul from IS by Iraqi government forces, he reminded that the people of Mosul had lived through hell on earth, enduring a level of depravity and cruelty that was almost beyond words.

"ISIL forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in and around the city and used them as human shields, a war crime under international humanitarian law and a violation of the most basic standards of human dignity and morality," he said in a statement.

"ISIL's fighters can still terrify and kill through bombings and abductions, and people are still being subjected to daily horrors and suffering in remaining ISIL strongholds, such as Tal Afar and Hawijah," he added.

According to information gathered by the UN Human Rights Office, international crimes may have been perpetrated by IS during the three years that the group was in control, not only of Mosul, but of large areas of Iraq.

This includes the abduction of 1,636 women and girls, and 1,733 men and boys from the Yezidi community who remain unaccounted for.

Zeid noted that there have also been allegations of human rights violations and abuses by the Iraqi and associated forces, as well as by individuals taking revenge against captured IS fighters or people accused of supporting them.

"The most fitting response, after the horrors inflicted on countless individuals and communities across northern Iraq by ISIL, the enormous loss of civilian life, and the destruction of livelihoods, homes and infrastructure, is to step up efforts to create an Iraq grounded in equality and the rule of law," the UN official said. Enditem