The United Nations voiced concern over acts of violence, including sexual assault on women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities.
“We are gravely concerned about continued acts of violence, including sexual violence against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities”, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Nickolay Mladenov and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura said in a statement, Alforat news agency reported.
“Atrocious accounts on the abduction and detention of Ezadi, Christian, as well as Turkmen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner”, Bangura and Mladenov stated, pointing out that some 1,500 Ezadi and Christian people may have been forced into sexual slavery.
“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the explicit targeting of women and children and the barbaric acts the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)’ has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control, and we remind all armed groups that acts of sexual violence are grave human rights violations that can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity”, SRSG Bangura said, urging all parties to the conflict to adhere to their responsibilities to protect civilians.
SRSG Mladenov called on regional governments and the wider international community for the immediate release of the women and girls held in captivity and to support the Government of Iraq’s efforts to protect its citizens.
“The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) will continue to monitor the situation in Iraq as it pertains to sexual violence to ensure accountability for perpetrators and to advocate for support and assistance to the survivors of these barbaric acts”, Bangura and Mladenov asserted.