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ACT welcomes urgent UN action to investigate ‘crimes against humanity’ in Iraq

Source: ACT Alliance - Switzerland - Wed, 3 Sep 2014 15:18 GMT
Author: Estelle Marais
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International humanitarian and development network ACT Alliance has welcomed a UN Human Rights Council resolution this week to urgently investigate alleged violations and abuses of international law in Iraq committed by the Islamic State and associated terrorist groups.

The resolution was made at the 22nd special session on Iraq, in Geneva, where ACT Alliance presented a statement to the Human Rights Council calling for crimes to be investigated and those responsible held strictly accountable by the Government of Iraq and the international community.

The alliance also called for a stop to the direct financing of the Islamic State and the purchase of resources from areas under its control, saying these would be used to finance terror activities.

“The human rights and humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to escalate, with horrific violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, some of which might amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna said.

“Summary executions of clerics, unabated destruction of cultural monuments, historical sites and archaeological sites, burning of crucial manuscripts targeting specific ethnic and religious groups such as Christians and Yazidis are ongoing and must stop. The right to freedom of religion and worship must be respected and Iraq has to return to its multi-religious context in which religions can co-exist peacefully.”

ACT Alliance, which is on the ground in Iraq providing humanitarian aid to displaced communities, also called for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2170, which condemns the violence in Iraq, and to mobilise more life-saving aid as part of the humanitarian response.

“We repeat our demand for more immediate assistance, not only for the people directly affected by the violence but those who are in danger of more suffering and even death resulting from hunger and lack of water.”

Perpetrators must be stopped and brought to justice. “A culture of impunity must end and those responsible for the crimes must be held to account,” Nduna said. “It is fundamental that results and recommendations from the investigation mission are implemented.”

The full written ACT Alliance statement to the UN Human Rights Council can be accessed at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/SpecialSessions/Session22/Pages/22ndtSpecialSession.aspx

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