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U.S. Intervention on the UN OHCHR Report on Iraq Human Rights Situation
March 25, 2015

28th Session of the Human Rights Council

March 25, 2015

Mr. President,

The United States welcomes the recent report of the High Commissioner on the human rights situation in Iraq, which describes an alarming pattern of violations and abuses committed by ISIL and associated terrorists.

We are appalled by the horrific acts committed by ISIL.  Its widespread atrocities against the Iraqi people include what the report characterizes as serious human rights abuses and what it says may amount to crimes against humanity, war crimes, and even genocide.  These abuses include those involving systematic killings of religious and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender based violence, and the conscription of children.

We are also concerned with the report’s findings on alleged violations committed by members of the Iraqi Security Forces and affiliated armed groups, including non-government militias.  According to the report, these include extrajudicial killings, forced displacement, and indiscriminate attacks against mostly Sunni populations in areas liberated from ISIL control.  We reiterate OHCHR’s recommendation to the Iraqi government to ensure that all alleged crimes are investigated in accordance with its international obligations and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.  There should be no suggestion of equivalence between ISIL’s atrocities and violations committed in the fight against ISIL, but all are deplorable.  We commend the government of Iraq for its commitment to address all human rights violations and abuses by all parties, including all Iraqi parties.

The United States is committed to supporting the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL, including in helping to address atrocities in Iraq.  We support keeping the situation in Iraq on the agenda of the Council.

We also applaud the courageous Iraqi witnesses and victims who, despite trauma and grave risks, spoke out about violations and abuses committed against them to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.


  • As the Government of Iraq begins planning to address post-conflict stabilization needs, what are the OHCHR’s recommendations for human rights priorities it should consider in this effort, particularly with respect to the religious and ethnic minorities who have been driven from their homelands by ISIL?