BAGHDAD (AFP) - The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has executed more than 2,000 people in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul since seizing it last year, officials said Friday.
Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi confirmed “the execution of more than 2,000 innocent citizens at the hands of the terrorist Daesh organisation,” his office said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
According to sources in and around Mosul interviewed by AFP, a total of 2,070 people were executed since ISIS seized Iraq’s second city on June 10, 2014.
The names of 2,070 people were posted on a list compiled by the militant organisation, part of which was displayed on a wall of the local health ministry branch, several residents said.
The list came with an order from ISIS, which has administered Mosul since taking over last year, for the ministry staff to deliver death certificates.
A source at the ministry’s department of forensic medicine confirmed the list had been received.
The source said the people whose names were listed were accused by ISIS of “promoting ideas that distort Islam”.
A senior security official who used to be based in Mosul and still monitors ISIS activities there gave the same number of 2,070, saying it covered a period starting on June 10, 2014 and applied to the entire Nineveh province.
ISIS controls most of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital.
“I think my cousin is one of the victims. He was arrested by ISIS in his house in central Mosul. He used to work for the election committee,” said a Mosul resident, who would not give his name for fear of retribution.
“Then we heard nothing... I think his body must have been buried in a mass grave,” he said, adding he had not yet been able to consult the list.
Among those listed on the ISIS order were policemen, former army officers, local officials, lawyers, journalists, doctors and rights activists. The names show that many women were also executed.
“We are very appalled to hear that the health ministry has been provided those lists of 2,070 people killed in cold blood by Daesh,” said the Civil Movement for Reform rights group.
ISIS has made no secret of its campaign of executions against those refusing to submit to its rule or who are simply suspected of secretly working against them.
It has carried out several public executions, including by decapitation, firing squad, stoning or in at least one case pushing the accused off a high building.
“Daesh hasn’t even handed over the bodies, it’s an unprecedented and barbaric crime. What happened in Mosul is equivalent to what happened in Speicher. It should be considered a war crime.”
Up to 1,700 mostly Shi'ite military recruits were kidnapped near the Speicher base close to the city of Tikrit as ISIS swept through Iraq’s Sunni heartland in June last year.
Their massacre by the Tigris has played a key role in the mass mobilisation of Shi'ite volunteers to fight the extremists and is considered one of the worst crimes of the conflict.
A 35-year-old unemployed resident of western Mosul, who gave his name as Abu Nuri, said he and many fellow Muslawis felt abandoned by both the Baghdad government and the international community.
“They should speed up operations to liberate Mosul... Blood is spilt every day this is delayed,” he said.