UN urges Iraq, Libya to abide by international laws
Ravina Shamdasani - REUTERS
By AYA SAMIR

CAIRO: The human rights committee in the United Nations has issued a statement Friday concerning the situations in Iraq and Libya, as RavinaShamdasani, the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement, adding that they are very concerned and alarmed by the situation in northern Iraq and Libya.

Shamdasani said in her statement that the UN is gravely concerned for the physical safety and the humanitarian situation of the large number of civilians trapped in areas under the control of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or in areas affected by the violence, particularly the situation of vulnerable minority groups, including the Yezidi, Christian and Turkomen communities.

He described any attack against communities based on ethnic backgrounds or religion reasons as a “crime against humanity”.

The Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights mentioned in her statement the situation in Libya and the conflict between multiple armed groups that lead to the death of civilians, including children. “Living conditions for civilians in Benghazi and Tripoli have steadily deteriorated. Health facilities have been severely affected by the violence. Armed groups from both sides have taken prisoners and the attacks against media professionals still continue,” she said.

Concerning Iraq, the statement called on the international community and the governments to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of civilians, in particular those belonging to vulnerable communities. Shamdasani also reminded the involved parties in Libya of international law, asking them to commit to it.”We wish to remind all parties involved in the hostilities that under international law indiscriminate attacks are war crimes, and torture is a war crime,” she added.

The Yezidicommunity in Iraq faced a crisis when “ISIS” started its terrorist attacks against Iraq as al-Hayat newspaper reported Wednesday that VianDakhel, the representative of Yezidicommunity in Iraqi parliament, gave a very emotional speech about their situation in Sinjar.”Save us. Until now more than 400 men and children were killed. Our women are being slaughtered and taken as slaves to be sold in the slave market,” Dakhel said crying.

Reuters reported last July that IS distributed statements in Mosul demanding that Christians who wanted to remain in IS’s self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract. A “dhimma” contract was a historic practice under which non-Muslims were allowed to remain in Muslim lands in return for a tax known as “jizya.”

IS has threatened death to non-Muslims who refuse to pay “jizya” or convert to Islam.

“We offer them three choices: Islam, the ‘dhimma contract’ or if they refuse this, they will face nothing but the sword,” the announcement said according to Reuters.

In Libya, the situation has been worse lately. The clashes started to escalate since the revolution in 2011, as militias from different parties and backgrounds started to fight to control different parts of state including essential spots such as airports.

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