Erbil – The Islamic State group (ISIS) summarily executed at least 13 people, including two boys, following a village uprising in northern Iraq in October 2016, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.
The development was deemed another sign of desperation among the militant group.
The executions, described by HRW as war crimes, took place in the neighboring villages of al-Hud and al-Lazzagah, 50 kilometers south of Mosul, following local attempts to expel ISIS fighters who controlled the villages.
“ISIS responded to the village uprising by unlawfully executing people captured in the uprising and civilians who weren’t involved,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Security forces who capture ISIS fighters should properly investigate their participation in alleged war crimes like these.”
“Iraqi security forces should appropriately investigate incidents of alleged war crimes so that those responsible, if in government custody, can be fairly prosecuted,” Human Rights Watch said.
ISIS captured al-Hud and al-Lazzagah on June 10, 2014. Under ISIS, villagers said they lived in constant fear of punishment, including death, for activities like smoking or using a cell phone.
Human Rights Watch spoke to seven residents of the villages, who said that on the morning of October 17, as Iraqi security forces were closing in, about 30 villagers in al-Lazzagah and 15 in al-Hud attacked ISIS forces to clear them from their villages, killing 19 ISIS fighters. In response, ISIS killed and execute several civilians.
“After two years of ISIS abuses committed with complete impunity, Iraq’s government has an opportunity to bring real justice to some of its victims,” Fakih said. “Prosecutors should give particular attention to ISIS war crimes committed against people who were forced to live under its control.”
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News