Islamic State jihadists are using Sharia courts to dole out barbaric punishments against educated women, children, and other civilians, the United Nations (UN) human rights office has found.
The UN warned on Tuesday that the Islamic State, known as ISIS, ISIL, or IS, is showing a “monstrous disregard for human life” in the areas it has conquered, which include swaths of Iraq and Syria.
Nevertheless, President Obama, during his State of the Union address delivered Tuesday night, proclaimed that the United States “is stopping ISIL’s advance” in Iraq and Syria.
Just last week, The Daily Beast, citing an unnamed Pentagon official, reported that despite U.S.-led airstrikes, ISIS is gaining ground in Syria.
The UN warned that the jihadist group is meting out “cruel and inhuman punishments against men, women and children” through “unlawful” Sharia courts it has established in territory under its control.
The civilians falling victim to ISIS’ wrath are accused of “violating the group’s extremist interpretations of Islamic shari’a law or for suspected disloyalty,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.
ISIS has killed fellow jihadists and local residents for violating the harsh version of Islamic law imposed on the areas it now controls.
In response to severe punishments imposed by its sharia courts, ISIS has executed numerous women in Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul and other areas under the jihadist group’s grip, the UN revealed.
“Educated, professional women, particularly women who had run as candidates in elections for public office seem to be particularly at risk,” proclaimed Shamdasani. “In just the first two weeks of the year, reports indicated that three female lawyers were executed.”
The UN highlighted photos distributed last week on ISIS social media accounts of a woman accused of adultery being stoned to death.
Women are not the only civilians who have fallen victim to ISIS’ wave of terror.
“The ruthless murder of two men, who were thrown off the top of a building after having been accused of homosexual acts by a so-called court in Mosul, is another terrible example of the kind of monstrous disregard for human life that characterized ISIL’s reign of terror over areas of Iraq that were under the group’s control,” said Shamdasani.
The UN also highlighted the photos posted on the group’s social media accounts showing two men charged with thievery being “crucified” — they were hung up by their arms and then fatally shot.
ISIS’ barbarity has also reached civilians suspected of being pro-Iraqi government and doctors who have refused to render their services to members of the jihadist group.
Four doctors were recently killed in central Mosul because they refused to treat ISIS fighters, the UN reported.
Furthermore, the UN confirmed that 15 civilians from a Sunni Arab tribe in Fallujah, Iraq were executed “in front of a large crowd for their suspected cooperation with Iraqi Security Forces.”
“In another incident, on 9 January, ISIL executed at least 14 men in a public square in Dour, north of Tikrit, for refusing to pledge allegiance to it,” Ms. Shamdasani added.
The UN indicated that ISIS is reportedly keeping sick and elderly members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority in captivity.
A U.S.-led coalition continues to launch airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.