Isis 'executes hundreds of Iraqi prisoners' in horrific war crime, UN claims

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights fiercely condemned the group in a statement on Monday

The UN has accused Isis fighters in Iraq of carrying out crimes against humanity, including a reported mass execution in the second city of Mosul.

Up to 670 inmates from Badush prison in the city of Mosul were reportedly killed by the militants on 10 June, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said in a statement on Monday, in which she cited the accounts of some 20 survivors and 16 witnesses.

During the incident, Isis militants – now calling themselves the Islamic State - loaded between 1,000 and 1,500 prisoners from the institution on to trucks and drove them to an uninhabited area. They then separated Sunni inmates, and removed them from the group.

Fighters verbally abused the remaining Shia prisoners, before lining them up in four rows and ordering them to kneel on the floor. Fighters proceeded to shoot and kill the inmates, Pillay said.

“Such cold-blooded, systematic and intentional killings of civilians, after singling them out for their religious affiliation, may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Pillay said of the extremist Sunni fighters.

Kurdish officials in Irbil confirmed that Islamic State had separated Sunni and Shia inmates after taking over Badoush and other prisons, the Guardian reported. They added that some Shia prisoners from Badoush were killed by Islamic State, with Sunnis freed after swearing allegiance to Isis. However, they raised doubts that the number of people executed was as high as 670.

As the group has expanded its self-appointed caliphate across the border between Syria and Iraq, it has carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, trafficking, slavery and sexual abuse.

Read more: Isis: There is no reason for US leaders to start talking about the apocalypse

It has also destroyed places of religious and cultural significance, and besieged entire communities for ethnic, religious or sectarian reasons, Pillay warned.

“They are systematically targeting men, women and children based on their ethnic, religious or sectarian affiliation and are ruthlessly carrying out widespread ethnic and religious cleansing in the areas under their control,” she said.

Hundreds of members of the Yazidi community in Nineveh have been killed and up to 2,500 were kidnapped at the beginning of August. And in Cotcho village in Southern Sinjar on 15 August, hundreds more Yazidis were killed and abducted.

Meanwhile in the town of Amirili, at least 13,000 Shia Turkmen, including 10,000 women and children, have been besieged since 15 June.

As the West has grappled with how to deal with the group, the beheading of American journalist James Foley last week prompted international calls for tougher action against the jihadists, including methods to tackle those who return to the West from Iraq and Syria having been radicalised.

Video: Isis in Iraq

After Washington signalled it would consider extending the battle against the militants into Syrian territory, Syria said on Monday it would cooperate in any international efforts to fight Islamic State in the country.

The country has been regarded as a pariah since an uprising culminated in a vicious civil war.

But following a series of US air strikes on Iraq, Syria warned Washington against similar moves with Damascus' consent. It said any such attack would be regarded as an act of aggression. 

Additional reporting by AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project