NEW YORK — The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has released a report on the suffering of civilians in Iraq, outlining gruesome details surrounding the violence committed by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS and others in the region.
The report found that from January 2014 to October 2015, 18,802 civilians were killed and another 36,245 were injured.
“Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including body-borne (BBIED), vehicle-borne (VBIED), and suicide vehicle-borne (SVBIED) devices, were the deadliest tactic used against civilians, resulting in at least 7,086 civilian casualties (1,717 killed and 5,369 wounded) during the reporting period,” it outlined.
The UN reports that the casualty rates may actually be much higher as it is unknown how many have died from the secondary effects of the violence, such as from the lack of food, water or medical care, especially vulnerable persons including the disabled and elderly.
In addition to the startling death toll, the document outlines that January 2014 through September 2015, 3,206,736 Iraqi civilians were displaced, “including over 1 million school age girls and boys.”
Much of the violence was committed by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS or ISIL, which identifies itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“ISIL continues to commit systematic and widespread violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. In some instances, these may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the UN declared.
“During the reporting period, ISIL killed and abducted scores of civilians, often in a targeted manner,” it reported. “Victims include those perceived to be opposed to ISIL ideology and rule; persons affiliated with the government, such as former Iraqi security forces (ISF), police officers, former public officials and electoral workers; professionals, such as doctors and lawyers; journalists; and tribal and religious leaders.”
Some men were shot in the head, some were placed in a cage and drowned under water, some were instructed to lie down on the ground as a bulldozer was run over them, some were blown up with explosives and some were hung from power lines or at city entrances after being killed to deter others from opposing ISIS.
“ISIL also imposed cruel and inhuman punishments, including on minors, in areas under its control,” the report said. “Such a case occurred on 2 September, when ISIL cut off the hand of a boy aged around 13 years in the Bab al-Tob market, centre of Mosul, reportedly after accusing him of theft.”
The UN also found that sexual slavery and sexual abuse of women and children remains an ongoing problem in the nation, with an estimated 3,500 civilians currently being held in slavery by ISIS.
“ISIL continues to target members of different ethnic and religious communities, systematically persecuting these groups and subjecting them to a range of abuses and violations,” it said. “Women and children remain particularly vulnerable, with ongoing reports of sexual violence, including sexual slavery, and the forcible recruitment and use of children in hostilities.”
Among its pleas in light of the gathered information, the UN called upon Iraqi government to protect women and children, and to ensure that refugees are allowed access to areas where they might receive humanitarian aid, as well as to look after those who have been affected by physical and sexual violence through the provision of medical and psychological services.