General Comment on item 10: Resolution Entitled “Technical Assistance and Capacity Building in strengthening human rights in Iraq in light of the Abuses committed by ISIL and associated groups,”

Item 10:  Resolution Entitled “Technical Assistance and Capacity Building in strengthening human rights in Iraq in light of the Abuses committed by ISIL and associated groups,” A/HRC/28/L.29

General Comment by the Delegation of the United States of America

Human Rights Council 28th Session

Geneva, March 27, 2015

 

We thank the Iraqi delegation for presenting this important resolution on “Technical Assistance and Capacity Building in strengthening human rights in Iraq in light of the Abuses committed by ISIL and associated groups.”  We are pleased to co-sponsor this text and strongly encourage its consensus adoption.

We are deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Iraq, in particular the horrific acts committed by ISIL, or Da’esh.  Da’esh’s widespread atrocities against the Iraqi people include what OHCHR’s report characterizes as serious human rights abuses and what it says may amount to crimes against humanity, war crimes, and even genocide.  This resolution rightly condemns those atrocities, as well as all violence committed against persons based on their religion or ethnicity, and attacks on civilians as such, in particular women and children.

As Da’esh is defeated in population centers and military forces move on to other objectives, we note that successful stabilization efforts begin with fair treatment during military operations, and urge the Iraqi government to be vigilant in this regard.  We note that many Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Abadi and Grand Ayatollah Sistani, have called publicly for the protection of civilians and warned against acts of revenge, recrimination, or abuse against civilians or prisoners.  Such protections will support the process of reunifying Iraq and building trust between liberated communities and the Government of Iraq.

We also commend the Government of Iraq for its commitment to address and investigate alleged abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by all parties, including members of the Iraqi Security Forces and affiliated armed groups such as non-government militias.  We urge the Iraqi government to act on that commitment as quickly as possible.

The United States is committed to supporting the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL, including in helping to address atrocities in Iraq.  We welcome continued OHCHR technical assistance to the Government of Iraq concerning the full range of challenges in promoting and protecting human rights in Iraq.  We also and look forward to the report by the High Commissioner that this resolution requests.  We expect this report to address technical assistance regarding all such challenges, including abuses and violations of human rights by all Iraqi parties.

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