UN: Eight million living in fear under IS
Eight million people are living in 'a state of fear' in territory controlled by the Islamic State group, according to a UN expert.
The militant group has engaged in widespread and systematic human rights violations against Syrians and Iraqis living in areas under their control, forcing them to “assimilate, flee or face death,” said Ben Emmerson.
"These violations may amount to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and widespread attacks on the civilian population," he added.
In a report presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2015 Emmerson said the group's abuses appear "to be intended to reinforce the group's absolute monopoly on political and social life and to enforce compliance and conformity among communities under its control. The result is that civilians who remain in ISIL-controlled areas live in a state of constant and almost unimaginable fear."
|Children are also victims, with six-year-olds being raped, tortured and kidnapped.|
The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism cited the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, particularly the Yazidis in Iraq, many of whose men have been brutally executed and women abducted and forced into sexual slavery.
Women, in particular have been subjected to violence and discrimination, with many forced to stay in their homes and adhere to a strict dress code on the street.
Children are also victims, with six-year-olds being raped, tortured and kidnapped. Eight-year-olds have also been used in military roles and reportedly forced to watch videos of beheadings and mass executions to desensitise them to IS's style of violence.
Highlighting the Security Council's failure to take appropriate and immediate action to protect civilians in affected areas, Emmerson also stressed the need for the international coalition of states engaged in military acts against IS to ensure measures are put in place to protect civilians.