A photo from a jihadi website shows ISIS capturing Iraqi soldiers. AP file photo.
LONDON - The United Nations said Tuesday that the Islamic State has been meting out “cruel and inhuman” punishments against scores of men, women and children in areas under its control, especially in Iraq.
“Those who are punished are accused of ‘violating the group’s extremist interpretations of Islamic shari’a law or for suspected disloyalty,’” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at a news briefing in Geneva.
She cited “the ruthless murder of two men, who were thrown off the top of a building after having been accused of homosexual acts by a so-called court in Mosul,” as one of the punishments carried out by so-called Sharia courts set up in territories in Syria and Iraq controlled by the insurgent group that is known as ISIS or ISIL.
She said that was “another terrible example of the kind of monstrous disregard for human life that characterized ISIL’s reign of terror over areas of Iraq that were under the group’s control.”
Her statement noted photos posted by ISIS on the web of two men being “crucified” after they were accused of robbery. They were hung up by their arms and then shot dead. Photos were also posted of a woman being stoned to death, allegedly for adultery, the statement added, noting that educated women have been especially at risk of being singled out for punishment.
“OHCHR has received numerous other reports of women who had been executed by ISIL in Mosul, Iraq, and other areas under the group’s control, often immediately following sentences passed by its ‘shari’a courts,” the top UN official for human rights noted.
“Educated, professional women, particularly women who had run as candidates in elections for public office seem to be particularly at risk. In just the first two weeks of the year, reports indicated that three female lawyers were executed,” Shamdasani said.
It also cited the case of four doctors who were recently killed in central Mosul, allegedly after refusing to treat ISIS fighters. On 1 January, ISIL reportedly executed 15 civilians from the Jumaili Sunni Arab tribe in al-Shihabi area, Garma district, Fallujah.
“They were apparently shot dead in front of a large crowd for their suspected cooperation with Iraqi Security Forces. In another incident, on 9 January, ISIL executed at least 14 men in a public square in Dour, north of Tikrit, for refusing to pledge allegiance to it,” according to Shamdasani.
She said OHCHR also had been following reports of the release of a group of sick and elderly Yazidis, which included accounts that a ransom was paid.