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Iraq Cannot Try Islamic State's Atrocities in Mosul, Says UN

Cars burnt and destroyed by clashes are seen on a street during a battle between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, in Mosul, Iraq (File photo/ REUTERS)

Cars burnt and destroyed by clashes are seen on a street during a battle between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, in Mosul, Iraq (File photo/ REUTERS)

At least 2,521 civilians were killed during the nine-month battle including 741 people who were executed, the report said. Most died as a result of Islamic State attacks.

Geneva: Iraq is not capable of trying atrocities committed by Islamic State during the battle for Mosul so it must find other routes to justice such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), a UN human rights report said on Thursday.

At least 2,521 civilians were killed during the nine-month battle including 741 people who were executed, the report said. Most died as a result of Islamic State attacks.

"Iraqi courts and tribunals do not have jurisdiction over international crimes (such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) - and prosecutors, police investigators and judges lack capacity to ... (investigate), charge and try persons in relation to such crimes," it said.

In addition, Iraqi law did not do enough to guarantee due process or fair trials, it said.

Accepting the jurisdiction of the Hague-based ICC and finding other ways to ensure crimes were tried by a competent court "would reassure the international community that Iraq is serious about ensuring the accountability of individuals who have committed international crimes", it said.

Ensuring justice was key to rebuilding trust and reconciliation, it said.

The UN report also called on Iraqi authorities to investigate alleged human rights violations committed by Iraqi-backed forces during the operation, and called for a separate investigation into air strikes by the international coalition.

It said the UN had recorded 461 civilian deaths from air strikes during the most intensive phase of the battle, from Feb. 19.
first published:November 02, 2017, 20:20 IST