The United Nations last month released information about sexual violence atrocities committed by the militants of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq over the past few weeks. These horrific acts were strongly condemned in a joint statement by Nickolay Mladenov and Zainab Hawa Bangura, the special representatives of the Secretary-General in Iraq and on Sexual Violence in Conflict, respectively.
The militants perpetrated acts of sexual violence and rapes in the besieged towns of Northern Iraq. Victims are women, girls and young boys. Militants have reportedly abducted women from minority groups such as Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak.
The UN reports that the women are subjected to sexual assault, gang rape and sexual slavery. The IS militant groups use these tactics to terrorize communities and force them to flee their homes and surrender their lands prior to militarized attacks.
“We are gravely concerned by continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities,” said Mladenove and Bangura in their joint statement. They added that militant may have forced up to 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons into sexual slavery.
The UN officials condemned, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the sexual acts IS has perpetrated on minorities. Acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that are considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Check out this article on gender-based sexual violence in Iraq- UN News Center- 14 August 2013
Read the statement by the Organization of Women Freedom in Iraq- OWFI website- 3rd September 2014
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