ICC Note: The last two months in Iraq have been filled with reports of brutal murders, mass executions, and other atrocities that have resulted in “ethnic cleansing on a historical scale.” Over 800,000 people, including many Christians, have fled their homes since mid-June. An in-depth report from Amnesty International highlights many of these atrocities through interviews with eye-witnesses and survivors of these attacks.
09/04/2014 Iraq (CNS News) – Amnesty International released a 26-page report “that provides harrowing new evidence” of the Islamic State’s “ethnic cleansing on a historic scale,” the “systematic targeting of ethnic and religious minorities,” along with dozens of eyewitness accounts of gruesome mass executions within Iraq.
Survivors recount horrific massacres of men and boys by Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq and the Sinjar region. Women and children are captured, enslaved, raped or sold into sexual slavery. Thousands, feared to have been abducted, have not been heard from again. Over 830,000 people have been driven from their homes in fear of their lives.
“The Islamic State is carrying out despicable crimes and has transformed rural areas of Sinjar into blood-soaked killing fields in its brutal campaign to obliterate all trace of non- Arabs and non-Sunni Muslims,” Donatella Rovera, Senior Adviser to Amnesty International said Tuesday.
The report states that minorities that have lived together in the Ninevah province for centuries, like the Assyrian Christians, Turkmen Shi’a, Shabak Shi’a, Yezidis, Kakai and Sabean Mandaeans, have been threatened with death if they do not convert to Islam. When they refuse to convert, there have been mass executions of men and boys, while women and girls have been abducted. There are reports that they have been sold into sexual slavery or forced into marriage.
Here is the account of eyewitness Hawwas Hashem, who had hidden himself nearby Qiniyeh in June:
“After hours of clashes with the IS militants who were attacking our village we were overpowered and fled toward the mountain. Many of us stopped in Qiniyeh; there had been no clashes there and we thought we would be safe. There were many families, men, women and children. Hundreds all together. The IS men left and after a while they came back with several vehicles. Four of the vehicles surrounded the house where I was with my family.