UN Backs $1.2M Inquiry Into Islamic State

Diplomats OK probe of alleged crimes in Syria, Iraq
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2014 1:00 PM CDT
UN Backs Inquiry of Islamic State's Alleged Crimes
Baudelaire Ndong Ella, right, President of the Human Rights Council, sits next to Flavia Pansieri, left, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Sept.r 1, 2014.   (Salvatore Di Nolfi)

The UN's top human rights body today overwhelmingly approved the Iraqi government's request for an investigation into alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and parts of Iraq. Diplomats agreed by unanimous consent to approve a nearly $1.2 million UN fact-finding mission at a daylong special session of the 47-nation Human Rights Council about Iraq and the extremist group.

Iraq's request for the UN to investigate alleged abuses by the Islamic State was included in a resolution that more broadly condemns the group's severe tactics but also calls on Iraq's government to protect human rights. Its aim is to provide the Geneva-based council with a report and evidence next March that could shed further light on Iraqi atrocities, and be used as part of any international war crimes prosecution. Today's session focused on the threat posed by the militants, who have seized cities, towns, and vast tracts of land, and carried out a number of massacres and beheadings. "We are facing a terrorist monster," Iraq's human rights minister, Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, said shortly before the vote. (Read more Islamic State stories.)

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