New UN rights boss urges world to protect civilians in Iraq, Syria
Reuters: The new U.N. human rights chief called on Monday for the world to protect women and religious and ethnic minorities targeted by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria which he said were “increasingly conjoined conflicts”.
Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, Jordan’s former U.N. ambassador, in a hard-hitting maiden speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council, warned that any state run by Islamic State, also known as ISIL, “would be a harsh, mean-spirited, house of blood.”
“In particular, dedicated efforts are urgently needed to protect religious and ethnic groups, children – who are at risk of forcible recruitment and sexual violence – and women, who have been the targets of severe restrictions,” Zeid told the Geneva forum.
He also called on Iraq’s new government and prime minister to consider joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) to ensure accountability for crimes committed there.