Navi Pillay, the UN High Commission for human rights, today pointed out “horrific human rights violations” are being committed by ISIS on a daily basis. That’s certainly not in dispute, but the focus on mass execution of Shi’ite prisoners is telling.
The puzzling aspect of this is that the Iraqi government has repeatedly done the exact same thing, with police routinely mass executing Sunni prisoners instead of bothering to transport them away from combat zones, on the grounds that as Sunnis they’re liable to join ISIS.
The Iraqi prison convoy executions have all followed the same narrative, a false claim of a “convoy attack” which is later admitted to have been a pretext for the executions. To the extent the ISIS killings are different, it is that they were honest about executing detainees on the basis of religious affiliation from the start, instead of trying to sugarcoat the massacres.
Yet it must be the policy, and not the pretense which counts, and if the UN is determined to probe “ethnic cleansing” over the ISIS executions, there is no good reason to see why Iraq’s government shouldn’t be facing a similar probe.