UN rights chief urges justice and healing after Mosul

FILE PHOTO: Civilian children stand next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Mosul, Iraq June 10, 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 July 2017
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UN rights chief urges justice and healing after Mosul

GENEVA: UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called Tuesday for accountability and dialogue to heal the trauma of Mosul after Iraqi troops retook the country’s second city from the Daesh group.
Zeid demanded that offenders be brought to justice and all violations thoroughly probed, and urged Iraq to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The root causes of violence and conflict in Iraq need to be addressed in terms of human rights violations suffered by all communities in the country over several decades. Only then can secure foundations be laid for the lasting peace that the Iraqi people deserve,” Zeid said.
“(...) Dialogue between communities needs to begin now to try to halt the cycle of violence, and to promote accountability for the crimes against Iraqis.”
Iraqi forces launched their campaign in October. The city was seized by the jihadists during a 2014 offensive that also saw them take control of large parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.
“The women, children and men of Mosul have lived through hell on earth, enduring a level of depravity and cruelty that is almost beyond words,” Zeid said.
“ISIL (Daesh) forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in and around the city and used them as human shields, a war crime under international humanitarian law and a violation of the most basic standards of human dignity and morality,” he said.
He said other rights abuses included the sexual slavery of women and girls and the “abduction of 1,636 women and girls, and 1,733 men and boys from the Yezidi community who remain unaccounted for.”
Zeid also cautioned that although the Daesh had been ousted, their “fighters can still terrify and kill through bombings and abductions, and people are still being subjected to daily horrors and suffering in remaining ISIL (Daesh) strongholds.”


Damaged Japanese tanker arrives at UAE anchorage

Updated 42 min 46 sec ago
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Damaged Japanese tanker arrives at UAE anchorage

  • “Kokuka Courageous has arrived safely at the designated anchorage at Sharjah,” according to a statement
  • The other ship, the Front Altair, has left Iran’s territorial waters, multiple sources said Saturday

DUBAI: A Japanese tanker, attacked in the Gulf in an incident that sparked a new standoff between Washington and Tehran, “arrived safely” Sunday at an anchorage off the UAE, its management said.
The Kokuka Courageous was carrying highly flammable methanol through the Gulf of Oman on Thursday when it and the Norwegian-operated Front Altair were rocked by explosions.
The US and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of responsibility.
“Kokuka Courageous has arrived safely at the designated anchorage at Sharjah,” an emirate neighboring Dubai, the vessel’s Singapore-based BSM Ship Management said in a statement Sunday.
The crew, who remained on board, were “safe and well,” it said, adding that a damage assessment and preparations for transferring the ship’s cargo would start “once the port authorities have completed their standard security checks and formalities.”
BSM Ship Management had said earlier Kokuka Courageous was heading toward an anchorage on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, facing the Gulf of Oman.
The other ship, the Front Altair, has left Iran’s territorial waters, multiple sources said Saturday.
It was “heading toward the Fujairah-Khor Fakkan area in the United Arab Emirates,” the ports chief of Iran’s southern province of Hormozgan told the semi-official news agency ISNA.
A spokeswoman for Frontline Management, the Norwegian company which owns the ship, said “all 23 crew members of the tanker departed Iran” and flew to Dubai on Saturday.
The US military on Friday released grainy footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an “unexploded limpet mine” from the Japanese vessel.
Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement.
Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the strategic Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the United States.
Doing so would disrupt oil tankers traveling out of the Gulf region to the Indian Ocean and global export routes.