U.N. Has Reports Of Iraqis Escaping Fallujah Being Abused, Killed
The United Nations has credible reports of Iraqi men and boys being abused by armed groups working with Iraqi security forces after escaping from the Islamic State-held town of Fallujah, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday (June 7).
The Iraqi army is assaulting Fallujah, a bastion of Islamic State (ISIS) militants close to Baghdad, while U.S.- and Russian-backed forces are conducting separate offensives against the Muslim jihadists in neighboring Syria.
The spokesman for the U.N.'s human rights chief Rupert Colville told Reuters TV that there were also allegations of executions of men and boys who had fled Fallujah into surrounding territory controlled by government forces and their Muslim militia allies.
"We've had reports of some of the men and teenage boys being separated from the women, being interrogated not in a kind of legal process of any sort, and in some cases physically maltreated, beaten, abused, threatened and so one, seemingly to get some kind of forced confession out of them that they're members of ISIL or Daesh [ISIS], and obviously this is a very dangerous situation because there is no proper process there," Colville said.
"We're urging the Iraqi government and authorities and military to really put pressure on the armed groups operating alongside them to play by the law and that effectively means handing people over very quickly into the hands of proper authorities and that those authorities themselves also operate in accordance with the law. So you can't just assume someone, because he's male and he's been in Fallujah for two and a half years, that he's a member of ISIL," he added.