UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said June 17 that the numerous executions that have occurred over the past week in Iraq "almost certainly amount to war crimes." Pillay cited reports of "cold-blooded" killings of hundreds of non-combatant men and civilians, including religious leaders and government affiliates, by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The killings have taken place primarily in the Tikrit area and have included several Imams who allegedly refused to swear allegiance to ISIS. Pillay commented on Iraq's struggles over the past decade and commended its citizens on their resilience. Pillay fears the provocative language of the Sunni insurgents indicates that more chaos and bloodshed is likely and urged national leaders to unite in resisting the opposition's "efforts to rip the country apart along sectarian or geographic lines."
From Jurist, June 18. Used with permission.