Skip to main content

Filter by:


© UNICEF/Muhannad Al-Asadi

News in Brief 13 February 2023

  • Earthquake humanitarian update: UN agencies
  • Construction begins on Yazidi genocide memorial: IOM
  • Cambodia: OHCHR chief condemns closure of last independent newspaper
  • Top rights experts say Israel should be held accountable for destroyed homes
UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

Yazidis in Iraqi city of Mosul face an uncertain future

Ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq, like the so-called Yazidis, face an “uncertain future” with the ongoing liberation of Mosul, a women’s rights activist has warned.

Ameena Saeed Hassan, a Yazidi from Sinjar in Northern Iraq, spoke at the UN’s headquarters about the persecution of her people by the ISIL terrorist group, also known as ISIS.

Many women and girls from the minority group remain in ISIL captivity where they are subject to “unimaginable horrors”, a UN human rights panel recently found.

UNICEF/Wathiq Khuzaie

“Heart-wrenching” testimony from survivors of atrocities in Iraq

Testimony from the survivors of atrocities committed by the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq has been described as “heart-wrenching” by the United Nations.

Over 300,000 people from the Yezidi community escaped from the city of Sinjar following an attack in 2014.

Many have detailed systematic and widespread killings, sexual violence and sexual slavery.

Alpha Diallo has been speaking to Ravina Shamdasani, from the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR).

Duration: 4'27"

UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

ISIL “committing genocide against Yazidis”

Extremists of the ISIL terrorist group have committed genocide against the Yazidi people caught up in the Syria conflict and the brutality is still happening, UN investigators said Thursday.

Paulo Pinheiro, who heads a UN Commission of Inquiry report into abuses in the war-torn country, said that “every Yazidi man, woman and child” captured by the group has been subjected to “the most horrific of atrocities”.


Bringing justice and support to ISIL survivors in Iraq

Documenting crimes committed by the terrorist group ISIL, or Daesh, is among the most painful tasks of the human rights section at the UN’s mission in Iraq, UNAMI, says the man in charge of that office.

Francesco Motta and his team have gathered testimony from people who have escaped ISIL’s control and have helped to connect them with medical and psycho-social support.

Survivors include women and girls from the Yazidis, a religious minority community, who ISIL have kidnapped and used as sex slaves.

UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Protecting Iraq’s minorities “part of our humanity” says genocide expert

Protecting Iraq’s “mosaic” of minorities is “part of our humanity”.

That’s according to Adama Dieng, the UN Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, who has just returned from visiting those parts of Iraq where minorities are most at risk from violence, and even extinction.

He’s especially concerned that the methodical atrocities carried out by ISIL, or Daesh, against minorities such as the Yazidis in northern Iraq, are accounted for under international law, with the support of the Iraqi government.