IS ‘sum­mar­ily ex­e­cuted’ 13 Iraqi civil­ians: HRW

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Is­lamic State group fight­ers “sum­mar­ily ex­e­cuted” 13 civil­ians af­ter vil­lagers rose up against them at the start of the Iraqi army’s of­fen­sive to re­take Mo­sul, Hu­man Rights Watch said yesterday. The killings took place in the vil­lages of Al-Hud and Al-Laz­za­gah, 50 kilo­me­ters south of Mo­sul on Oc­to­ber 17, the day gov­ern­ment forces launched the mas­sive op­er­a­tion to oust the ji­hadists from the city.

“ISIS re­sponded to the vil­lage up­ris­ing by un­law­fully ex­e­cut­ing peo­ple cap­tured in the up­ris­ing and civil­ians who weren’t in­volved,” Lama Fakih, deputy Mid­dle East di­rec­tor at HRW, said in a state­ment. “Se­cu­rity forces who cap­ture ISIS fight­ers should prop­erly in­ves­ti­gate their par­tic­i­pa­tion in al­leged war crimes like these,” she said, us­ing an al­ter­nate acro­nym for the ji­hadist group.

In to­tal, the IS fight­ers “sum­mar­ily ex­e­cuted at least 13 peo­ple in­clud­ing two boys,” HRW said. The re­port in­cluded the pic­ture of one of the slain boys, a 13-yearold who had not been in­volved in the up­ris­ing, it said, cit­ing his fa­ther Muham­mad. IS had cap­tured Al-Hud and Al-Laz­za­gah in June 2014, with vil­lagers say­ing they lived in con­stant fear of pun­ish­ment, in­clud­ing death, for ac­tiv­i­ties like smok­ing and us­ing mo­bile phones, said HRW.

As Iraqi forces closed in on the morn­ing of Oc­to­ber 17, about 30 vil­lagers at­tacked the ji­hadists, killing 19 of them, said the New York-based watch­dog. IS fight­ers be­gan the ex­e­cu­tion-style killings in the af­ter­noon, leav­ing bod­ies ly­ing in the streets. Iraqi forces en­tered Al-Laz­za­gah that evening and Al-Hud the next morn­ing.

Hu­man Rights Watch called on Iraqi se­cu­rity forces to “ap­pro­pri­ately in­ves­ti­gate in­ci­dents of al­leged war crimes so that those re­spon­si­ble, if in gov­ern­ment cus­tody, can be fairly pros­e­cuted”.

Af­ter seiz­ing con­trol of large parts of Iraq and neigh­bour­ing Syria in mid-2014, IS de­clared a cross-bor­der “caliphate”, im­posed its harsh in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Is­lamic law and com­mit­ted wide­spread atroc­i­ties. Iraqi forces have been tight­en­ing the noose around Mo­sul since launch­ing the of­fen­sive. — AFP

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