ISIS War Crimes: 15,000 Dead In 72 Mass Graves Documented In Survey, And They Are Just Getting Started

ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) members will undoubtedly face war crimes charges following their tenure as a territorial entity in Iraq and Syria, and an extensive survey conducted by the Associated Press that found 72 mass graves containing over 15,000 bodies will help in the prosecution of those brought up on charges. Although there are several governing bodies that have declared the genocidal nature of ISIS towards certain groups, including the vicious persecution of Shiite Muslims, Christians, the Yazidis and the Alawhites, without documentation as to the specific crimes committed, bringing the leaders that ordered the atrocities to justice will be a difficult matter. Unfortunately for the victims and their families, the survey, the largest conducted thus far, shows the horrifying lengths to which ISIS was (and is) willing to go to expand and protect their so-called Islamic Caliphate. The Associated Press reported this week that it had conducted an extensive survey, the most comprehensive so far, using exclusive interviews, photos, and research to document the existence of 72 mass graves in Syria and Iraq that can be attributed to ISIS. The number of bodies in the mass graves range from three to a horrifying few thousand. It is estimated that the total body count will top 15,000. The survey found 17 mass graves in Syria, one of which included hundreds of members of the same tribe; a mass killing that all but erased the tribe when ISIS moved through the area on its way to creating the Islamic State, which declared its sovereignty in June 2014. One of the largest mass graves in Iraq was discovered via satellite photography by AllSource Analysis. In the photos, a long snake-like grave parallels a ravine at Badoush Prison where it is believed some 600 prisoners are buried, massacred by their ISIS captors in June 2014. To date, no one but members of ISIS has seen the area where the slaughter took place. One man, a witness who survived by playing dead when prisoners were being killed, told Human Rights Watch that the prisoners at the Shiite prison had been separated by religion by the extremists. He was part of the Shiite contingent that was loaded into trucks and taken to the ravine and summarily machine-gunned. After the slaughter, the bodies were subsequently covered with dirt by earth movers. He and 14 others detailed the atrocity to Human Rights Watch. Sirwan Jalal, the director of Iraqi Kurdistan’s agency in charge of mass graves, said ISIS doesn’t even bother to hide the crimes they commit. “They don’t even try to hide their crimes. They are beheading them, shooting them, running them over in cars, all kinds of killing techniques, and they don’t even try to hide it.” This was made apparent to the world when ISIS started posting videos of mass killings on the internet. The Islamic State even used the videos to proselytize and recruit. Who the militants killed seemed discriminate only if seen through the lens the group’s extremism. For instance, how to reconcile the necessity of killing hundreds of children and capturing the act on video, as was reported by Breaking 911. But the most horrific mass killings, if any can be labeled “most,” might be the intended genocide of the Yazidi Kurds. As noted by the Associated Press, the Islamic State group “made clear its intention to wipe out the Yazidi community. In an issue of its online English-language magazine Dabiq, it scolded Muslims for allowing the Yazidis to continue existing, calling their ancient religion a form of paganism. It quoted Quranic verses to justify killing the Yazidis unless they become Muslim.” It is as yet unknown just how many mass graves will ultimately be found. With some, by the time they are documented, much of the usable forensic evidence will have been lost. And as for a more extensive account of war crimes that could and might be leveled against ISIS leaders, the sometimes filmed and/or photographed executions of civilians and prisoners (civil and war, including members of their own organization) will likely be used. But where video and photo imagery is not, the accounts of eyewitnesses will probably suffice, given that Islamic State courts tend to sentence many to death in public settings. For example, as the Inquistr has reported, ISIS burned alive 19 Yazidi girls in June for refusing to “marry” their fighters, shot and killed 12 women who dared to protest ISIS rule in July, lowered six living individuals into vats of burning tar for allegedly collaborating with the enemy in August, and, also in August, took a chainsaw and cut nine young men in half for allegedly being part of a resistance faction against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq. [Image via Shutterstock]

Feminism In Pakistan: 'Light Beating' Of Wives Recommended For Offenses Like 'Speaking To Strangers'

Feminism in the Middle East has progressed more slowly than many other regions in the world, and a new recommendation in Pakistan by the country’s Islamic Council illustrates just how strongly these gender roles still shape women’s lives there. The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) recently released a set of recommendations that call for men to have the legal right to “lightly beat” their wives for a lengthy list of offenses. The anti-feminist move was in response to a law passed last year which advocated for the protection of women from domestic violence. The CII disagreed. “A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods.” The archaic set of regulations doesn’t end there. The CII presented a lengthy list of reasons why violations of Koranic and Sharia law could result in a beating. If passed, Pakistani woman would be beaten for “interacting with strangers; speaking loud enough that she can easily be heard by strangers; and providing monetary support to people without taking consent of her spouse.” An affront to Pakistani feminism has hit the nation as the Islamic Council advocates “light beating” of women for violations of sharia law. [Image via Chris Hondros/Getty Images]Outside of the home, the CII also argued that women should not be able to appear in media, nor should women have any contact with men without the approval of her husband. Farzana Bari, an Islamabad-based human rights activist, the The Washington Post that this was illustrative of the state of feminism in Pakistan. “It shows the decadent mindset of some elements who are part of the council. The proposed bill has nothing to do with Islam and it would just bring a bad name to this country… Violence against women can’t be accepted, and it’s time for the nation to stand up to people who come up with such proposed laws.” Despite this renewed effort to dial back feminism, Pakistan is actually known as one of the more progressive majority Islamic states in the region. It gave women the right to vote at a relatively early date of 1947, and it elected a female prime minister with Benazir Butto in 1988. Furthermore, women are allowed to freely choose their attire and, in contrast to Saudi Arabia, can drive. Pakistani women have enjoyed suffrage for more than 50 years, a right to vote with which they elected Benazir Bhutto — the first female head-of-state in the Islamic world. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images) In United States, the issue of violence at home first began to preoccupy Americans along with the rise of feminism in the 19th century — Tennessee becoming the first state to fully outlaw wife beating in 1850. Prior to that, however, the Massachusetts Bay colonist also denied the right of husbands to inflict “bodilie correction or stripes” as early as the 1650s. By the 20th century, it became common for law enforcement to intervene. In some states, abuse is still not considered grounds for divorce. Today, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) estimates that more than 10 million men and women suffer abuse from an intimate partner every year in the U.S. — that’s about 20 people a minute, according to NCADV’s definition. A study released by Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) in 2014 found that domestic violence severely affects both genders, with men suffering more from abuse like slapping and pushing, and women reporting higher rates of other forms like ual assault. The overall rates were also relatively even: 31.5 percent of women reported experiencing some kind of intimate partner victimization in their life compared to 27.5 percent for men. [Image via Paula Bronstein/Getty Images]

ISIS Shreds Prisoner With Artillery Gun In Sick Video Execution

ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) released another atrocity-laden video to the internet this week, this time depicting a helpless prisoner being executed with a gun normally used to fire at military vehicles, aircraft, and buildings. The prisoner, supposedly a member of the New Syrian Army, is literally torn to pieces under the hail of gunfire. The Sun reported this week that ISIS uploaded a video to the internet condemning the presence of American troops in Iraq, just as the U.S.-supported Iraqi forces, along with the Kurdish Peshmerga, Turkish troops, and various allied militia groups, tighten their siege on Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the capital of ISIS’ territory in Iraq. The video shows numerous scenes of fighting (including clips supposedly taken from combat footage of American soldiers), prefaced by a clip of President Barack Obama stating how there were no American combat troops in Iraq. It also shows two men alleged to be members of the New Syrian Army (of which ISIS claims to have a list), a faction of the Syrian Army that defected to fight ISIS and drive them out of Syria, that are summarily beheaded. Beheading is a traditional execution method in the Middle East. However, the method is looked upon as barbaric in the West, although the vast numbers of beheadings by ISIS over the past few years — not to mention the videos of those beheadings — have ceased to have a shock value. So, for the desensitized and those that might see beheadings as ordinary, ISIS seems to occasionally prepare heinous methods of execution by which to continue to instill shock for its propaganda. And sometimes they capture it on video and post it online. The latest video concludes with ISIS members leading a lone prisoner, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, out into an open courtyard. Also accused of being a member of the New Syrian Army, the young man is forced to kneel as two ISIS members roll out in a jeep mounted with an artillery gun. They open fire on the prisoner, the large-caliber bullets quickly tearing him apart. The ISIS video is said to have been recorded in the “Wilaya al-Furat”on the Euphrates River bordering Syria and Iraq. The area is currently under ISIS control. As noted, blowing apart a man with an artillery gun is just the latest execution method used by the Islamic State. The Inquisitr has reported on the organization’s prior atrocities, which include burning prisoners alive, lowering them (also alive) into burning vats of tar and a pool of nitric acid, and slaughtering them by using a chainsaw. The unfortunate young man in the ISIS video isn’t the first to be blown apart by the extremists, either, although using an artillery weapon to do so might be a first. In a similar vein, though, a video of a man bursting into flames as he was executed with a bazooka was posted by ISIS in May, 2015, according to the Daily Mail. Back in September, 2015, a video of two prisoners being executed by blowing them up with dynamite was uploaded to the internet. As The Mirror reported, the men, accused of spying on the Islamic State, were forced to watch the fuse as it burned its way toward their deaths. Heavy reported a month before on a graphic video claimed by ISIS that depicted the killing of ten so-called “apostates” in a region called Khorasan (which includes territory in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India). In the video, the ten men, accused of being followers of the Taliban, were bracketed by armed fighters and forced to kneel. The ISIS extremists can be seen suddenly running away from the group of kneeling men, seconds before a bomb was detonated beneath them, killing all ten. [Featured Image by Prazis/Shutterstock]

Latest ISIS Suicide Attacks Try To Force Division Against Iraqis

ISIS Claims More Suicide-Bombing Attacks The Associated Press is reporting on three ISIS suicide-bombing attacks against the mainly Shiite neighborhood of al-Rashidiya in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, on Wednesday, on the eve of the 58th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy. A military parade is scheduled on Thursday when Iraq will celebrate the declaration of its independence as a republic. The male suicide bomber reportedly rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a checkpoint which wounded up to 23 people, killing six civilians and two police officers. Two other attacks took place elsewhere in the capital, which authorities confirm killed four. An Iraqi policeman inspects the scene of a deadly car bombing in al-Rashidiya district of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Three bombings in Iraq’s capital on Wednesday killed more than 10 people, and more than 20 other people were wounded, including a suicide-bombing in a mainly Shiite neighborhood that had been attacked the day before, Iraqi officials said. [Photo by Karim Kadim/AP Images]The attacks on Wednesday followed a Tuesday attack from another suicide car bombing in the same district which killed another 12 at a fruit and vegetable market. ISIS Attacks Escalated Against Shiite Majority Prior to the latest attacks, suicide bombers recently attacked the tomb of Muhammad ibn Ali al-Hadi, a mausoleum referred to as the Sayyed Muhammad Shrine. According to al-Manar News, ISIS suicide bombers detonated themselves at the shrine in Balad, Iraq, resulting in a death of 37 which reportedly would have been greater if it hadn’t been for a man named Najih Shakir al-Baldawi who is said to have hugged one of the suicide bombers before the bomb exploded right next to another bomber who also detonated theirs; Shakir absorbed the impact of the blast. The suicide bombers were disguised as local militia, and when they stormed the shrine to detonate the bomb, Shakir stopped them at the entrance. Prior to the attack, according to the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, ISIS militants had launched several mortar shells near the mausoleum. A policeman stands guard at the scene of a suicide attack on Shiite shrine of Imam al-Sayed Mohammed bin Ali in the town of Balad, 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, July 8, 2016. At least 35 people were killed in a suicide attack claimed by the radical Sunni Islamic State on a Shiite shrine in northern Iraq, hospital officials said on Friday. [Photo by Unknown/AP Images]The Shiite militant group Hezbollah released a statement condemning the attack and saying that it was proof that the terrorist group does not distinguish their targets away from the most sacred and holiest of sites. Their statement further leaned on this as proof of the terrorists group’s contempt, imploring the people that they should not support terrorism to achieve partisan gains. Everyone Against ISIS Last month, the Inquisitr reported on the battle between U.S.-led coalition forces and ISIS in the predominately Sunni majority Fallujah, which pushed the group out as part of multiple operations against the terrorist group across Iraq and Syria. U.S. is stepping up its military campaign against Islamic State ahead of Mosul offensive: https://t.co/ron2DKoMWv pic.twitter.com/fzX4T1y9jG — Reuters World (@ReutersWorld) July 11, 2016 As forces put more pressure on the group in Mosul, suicide bombing attacks have increased in Baghdad, which many agree are designed to stir up more sectarianism in the country. In the past, in the battle with al-Qaeda and the U.S. during the Bush administration across Iraq in 2003 thru 2011, the rift of sectarianism has been exploited by all ends. But since ISIS had gained territory in both Syria and Iraq in 2013-2014, many have changed their positions on sectarianism and have collaborated to push the terrorist group out completely. News Pundits Prepare Us For A New World Of Random Terrorist Attacks https://t.co/2N4DmUHTSe — Inquisitr News (@theinquisitr) July 11, 2016 The concern expressed from all sides is that suicide-bombing attacks will increase throughout Europe and in the West, which Inquisitr analyzed recently. A piece from CNN on the narrative of the recent battle over Fallujah as a Sunni versus Shiite war claims that this assertion is incorrect. In the case of Fallujah — which is mostly Sunni as the ISIS group also is — when forces entered the city to relieve the people, they began working with them to find out who worked for the terrorist group, relying on the community to oust them which has been widely reported and also featured in a documentary by VICE News. In the case of the reports, many of those people caught working with ISIS were bomb makers, and the Iraqi government has been under pressure to do something after each suicide-bombing attack as they try to work diligently to prevent more of them. [Photo by Hadi Mizban/AP Images]

Iran Gunboats Swarm, Harass US Navy Ship: With Provocations Escalating, Is Iran Trying To Start World War 3?

With the close maneuverings of seven Iranian gunboats around the USS Firebolt over the weekend, the number of provocative harassment episodes against U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf by Iranian fast-attack boats has nearly half again the number of such actions in 2015. There is obvious concern among American military leaders over these close calls and not unintentional quasi-confrontations. And the salient question is: What does Iran hope to gain from its high seas antics? Is Tehran eager to provoke a military response from the U.S.? Is Iran trying to start World War 3? CNN reported September 7 that seven Iranian fast-attack gunboats swarmed around the USS Firebolt, a Cyclone-class naval coastal patrol boat with a complement of 30 sailors, while it navigated the Persian Gulf over the weekend. One fast-attack boat came within 100 yards of the ship, coming to a complete stop in front of the U.S. Navy ship. A U.S. defense official noted that the maneuver was unsafe and unprofessional, an act that could have led to a collision. Of particular concern to the U.S. Navy and officials in Washington is the growing number of close or harassing maneuverings by Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf. The defense official told CNN that there had been 31 unsafe encounters with Iranian vessels in Gulf waters so far this year. Up from 23 in all of 2015, the total number for 2016 threatens to double last year’s list of near-confrontations. The Firebolt incident occurs less than two weeks after a couple of close encounters between U.S. Navy ships and Iranian vessels. In a previous report, CNN described the provocative actions of an Iranian Revolutionary Guard boat that came within 200 yards of the USS Squall on Wednesday, August 24. The Squall fired flares and spoke with the Iranians over the radio to warn the encroaching boat away from the area. When it did not heed the first two entreaties, the Squall fired three shots into the water, a standard maritime warning, to further warn away the Iranian vessel. The same boat was reported to have harassed two other ships in the area as well. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau called the maneuverings actions that “unnecessarily escalate tensions” between the U.S. and Iran. She added that Iran’s intentions regarding the incident was unknown. The USS Squall incident occurred just a day after four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels engaged in a “high-speed intercept” of the USS Nitze near the Strait of Hormuz. A U.S. Navy official told CNN that the maneuver was deemed “unsafe and unprofessional.” He said that two of the boats turned away, but only after approaching to within 300 yards of the Nitze, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer with a complement of 380 officers and crewmen, which was moving through international waters at the time. The harassing gunboats only backed off after the USS Nitze sent multiple visual and audio warnings. Prior to the USS Firebolt incident, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of US Central Command, admitted that Iranian conduct in the Persian Gulf was “concerning.” “In recent days,” he said, “we have witnessed even more provocative activity by the IRGC and Navy vessels. That type of behavior is very concerning, and we hope to see Iran’s naval forces act in a more professional manner.” Votel believes Iran is attempting to “exert their influence and authority in the region.” At the same time, it must be noted that the relationship between Iran and Russia, though somewhat strained, has grown closer of late as well. Russia, as The New York Times noted in August, signed a deal with Iran to use its Hamadan air force base, the first time a foreign power has had access to a base of operations within Iran since World War II. But when Russia used the base to fly bombing missions into Syria to hit terrorist and/or rebel positions in that country’s civil war (in which Iran has sided with the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad) in August, Iran revoked permission for Russian use of the base. It is as yet unclear why Tehran did so, but they claimed Russia’s usage for the bombing missions was a “betrayal of trust.” It is also unclear the duration of the revocation might be. Still, given Russia’s moves to become a key player in the region, with its involvement in the Syrian civil war and its recent cozying up to Iran (the Hadaman-based air strikes into Syria notwithstanding), Iran’s provocative naval maneuverings could be a sign not only of exerting “influence and authority” in the region but also a dangerous disregard for maintaining the peace. Provoking the United States with Russia in support could be Iran’s way of thumbing its nose at America, given that the U.S. will likely do major diplomatic calisthenics to stay out of a war with Iran, especially one that could very well escalate into a major war between major powers. Such a scenario inevitably leads to the fears of confrontations leading to World War 3. Some, like NationalSecurity.news, have put forth the idea that Iran and Russia have already started World War 3. According to the site, in agreements made between Iran and Russia to prop up a flailing al-Assad regime in Syria (where government forces had lost most of the country to the rebels), the idea was hatched to help ensure the security of Russia’s sole naval port in the Mediterranean and for Iran to lend direct support to al-Assad’s regime to bolster its pro-Shiite governance agenda in the Middle East. In doing so, the actions may have given rise to the onset of World War 3. Quoting from former GOP congressman and retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West’s own site, NationalSecurity.news maintains that the many nations involved in the various conflicts (the Syrian civil war, Turkey’s conflict with its Kurdish rebels, the war against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq) could lead to military confusion, and that just in war-torn area’s ever-crowdening airspace. It is considered a ticking time bomb that could lead to World War 3. “Folks, say what you will, but there is a global conflagration forming — yes, a World War. That is not fear mongering. That is the truth. Evil looks for voids to fill, [President Barack] Obama has given it a very big one.” And now, with the escalation in gunboat harassments against the U.S. Navy, there might be another worrisome aspect to consider with regard to a multinational conflict that could easily spiral out of control. So, could the shaky alliance between Iran and Russia, both nations which are currently under economic sanctions from the United Nations and diplomatically belligerent with the U.S., lead to a devastating World War 3? Is that what Iran is willing to risk with its gunboat harassments in the Persian Gulf in an effort to stand up to the U.S. and try to attain some sort of presence in the Middle East? Or are the fears of a looming World War 3 the hobgoblins of conspiracy theorists and at least one former U.S. congressman? [Photo by Vahid Salemi / AP Images]

Iraq Says Battle To Liberate Fallujah From ISIS Has Begun

The Iraqi Army declared on Saturday that the operation to take back the center of Fallujah from ISIS has begun. The major city center is considered to be the ISIS stronghold in the western province of Anbar. The Iraqi Defence Ministry says its Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), Iraq’s best-trained and most battle-hardened units, have surrounded Fallujah and completed the first phase of the operation to liberate the city. The U.S.-led coalition has hit the city with constant airstrikes for the past four days, and Maher Al-Bilawi, the commander of the ISIS forces in the city, was among 70 terrorists killed. Government forces launched a huge offensive against occupied Fallujah on May 22, with the ground forces being supported by U.S. airstrikes. Hundreds of civilians fled the city, located about 37 miles (60 km) west of the capital of Baghdad, in the early hours of the morning on Friday as fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIS fighters intensified. Security forces evacuated many civilians away from the war zones after two years living under the brutal reign of the terrorist group, but around 50,000 civilians are still trapped inside. ”Phase one is over and we have achieved our objectives,” Brigadier Rasool Yahya, a defence ministry spokesman, told Al Jazeera. “Our forces have isolated and surrounded the city of Fallujah. We are advancing on and closing in… We are ready and the presence of civilians inside the city could delay us. The enemy left the outskirts and stationed itself inside Fallujah.” American airstrike kills ISIS's top commander in Fallujah as Iraqi military presses forward. https://t.co/Ogay7p7796 pic.twitter.com/91MON73VDy — ABC News (@ABC) May 27, 2016 Around 350,000 civilians live in and around the sprawling city on the Euphrates River, which has been occupied by ISIS since January of 2014. Both Iraqi and Coalition leaders have accused the Islamic State of using civilians as human shields, according to the Telegraph. “As Iraqi forces close in on Fallujah, they are facing what is essentially a city-wide hostage crisis. Some 1,700 Isil fighters are believed to be holding perhaps 50,000 civilians in the centre of the city, hoping that government troops and their Shia militia allies will refrain from launching an all-out assault for fear of killing innocents. ‘It has become one of the world’s largest prisons,’ said Issa al-Issawi, the exiled mayor of Fallujah. ‘They are just waiting for us to save them.’” Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for the Western coalition, echoed these sentiments by saying that ISIS terrorists “are holding the civilian population captive so that they can hide behind them.” The Telegraph report stated that while people were being evacuated to safety, this was mostly around the outskirts of the city where ISIS control is weaker. “Isil is escalating its violence as its reign over Fallujah reaches a bloody denouement. Men and boys who refuse to fight for the jihadists are being executed, said the United Nations, while women and children are being dragged from their homes to be used as human shields.” The battle of Fallujah: take three https://t.co/uSGCgqXVDI pic.twitter.com/FLKrILisHZ — The Economist (@TheEconomist) May 28, 2016 Fallujah is one of only two major Iraqi cities controlled by ISIS, the other being Mosul. Liberating the city would be a major victory for Syria, Iraq, and the coalition. Despite the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions, Abdelwahab al-Saadi, the top commander in charge of the Fallujah operation, remained optimistic about the Iraqi forces’ chance of success, according to RTE News. “CTS forces, Anbar emergency police and tribal fighters… reached Tareq and Mazraa camps,” in the south and east of Fallujah, he said. “These forces will break into Fallujah in the next few hours to liberate it from Daesh,” he added, using an acronym for IS. Tens of thousands of Iraqi forces, which include military, police, and militias, have been deployed to retake the city, supported from the air by coalition forces. On Saturday, Al Arabiya news channel reported that ISIS had retaliated with a suicide car bombing. Col. Warren has stated that 20 airstrikes in the besieged Fallujah had severely damaged the militants’ fighting positions and gun placements. [Photo by Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images]

In Iran, A Man Who Blinded A 4-Year-Old Girl With Acid Got His Own Eyes Gouged Out In A Literal 'Eye-For-An-Eye' Punishment

An Iranian man who blinded a 4-year-old girl has himself been blinded in a punishment described as a literal “eye-for-an-eye” form of retribution for the young victim. As the Daily Mail reports, the unidentified man threw acid on a 4-year-old girl in 2009. The specifics of the crime are not clear, and it has not been made known where or how or why he brutally attacked the young girl. Mohammad Shahriari, the head of criminal affairs for the Tehran prosecutor’s office, would only say that the attack left the girl blind. “In 2009, this man threw lime into the face of a little girl of four years in the Sanandaj region, leaving her blind.” Under Islamic law, a crime victim has several options for getting justice from his or her assailant, as opposed to Western law, where the punishment is usually the incarceration of the assailant, leaving little or nothing to the victim. One option is referred to in the Western media as “blood money” — that is, the victim (or his or her family) accepts a mutually-agreed-upon sum of money in exchange for a lighter prison sentence (or no prison sentence). Another option — and the option which came into play here — is the so-called “law of retribution.” This means that the victim directs the court to inflict the same injury on their assailant that was done to them. The concept dates back thousands of years; you may recall that the Bible mentions “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” metaphorically as a fair way to right a wrong. And some Islamic nations even observe the concept of “qisas,” in which, according to the Sun, the victim himself can deal out the punishment to his or her assailant. “Today, the law of retribution was applied in my presence and that of experts.” This is not the first time Iran has allowed a victim of an acid attack to get “justice” by having the same thing done to their attackers. #October 15th, #International #Peasant #Women´s Day;In #mullahs #regime in #Iran acid is thrown at women´s faces pic.twitter.com/lbY5VU1PEC — Mehr Iran (@IranianSolidar8) October 17, 2016 Mojtaba Saheli, for example, was convicted of blinding a taxi driver with acid in 2009. Just last year, news emerged from Iran that he had been blinded in one eye as the first phase of his punishment. The second phase of his punishment, the destruction of his remaining eye, is scheduled to take place any minute now. Similarly, in 2011, a young Iranian woman named Ameneh Bahrami was blinded and disfigured in an acid attack. Ameneh Bahrami, victime agression à l’acide en #Iran totalement abandonnée à son sort par les autorités #FreeIran pic.twitter.com/fWgw035bJz — CNRI Femmes (@CNRIfemmes) May 26, 2016 Her attacker was scheduled to be blinded in retribution, but Bahrami called it off at the last minute, saying she didn’t want her attacker to endure what she went through. According to the Gatestone Institute, acid attacks are an all-too-common crime in Iran, as well as elsewhere in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and India. “Victims of acid violence are attacked for many reasons, and the patterns of attack vary from country to country. Sometimes they result from domestic or land disputes, dowry demands or revenge. In many cases they are a form of gender based violence, perhaps because a young girl or woman spurned ual advances or rejected a marriage proposal.” Even though acid attacks are unspeakably cruel, several human rights groups take exception to the idea of their victims getting justice by inflicting the same pain and suffering on their attackers. Amnesty International, for example, calls on Iran to put an end to the practice. “Amnesty International is urging the Iranian authorities to immediately stop carrying out these cruel punishments and only implement sentences in line with international human rights law. They must also initiate public education campaigns aimed at preventing acts of violence including acid attacks, and ensure that survivors of such attacks are provided with effective remedies, including psycho-social and medical rehabilitation.” Do you think Iran is doing the right thing in allowing victims of acid attacks to blind their own attackers as punishment? [Featured Image by nito/Shutterstock]

Saddam Hussein's Executioner Returns With Protesters To Put Political Pressure On Iraqi Government

As the Iraqi government continues to force the Islamic State out of their Iraqi strongholds, the terrorist group have increased their suicide bombing attacks in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq over the past few months, causing devastation and much frustration among state officials. The Iraqi government has been working to try and secure as much of the city as it could, discovering at some point that fake metal detectors were being used and getting rid of some people within the government who were complicit with the sale and the constant use of these devices. One of the security measures has been to ban protests and the assembly of large groups in the city, but a well-known Shiite cleric from a prestigious line of Ayatollahs, has defied the ban once again and organized a mass demonstration of several thousand people to demand reform and protest government corruption on Friday in Tahrir Square. Thousands of supporters for Muqtada al-Sadr showed up on Friday to protest in Iraq. [Image by Karim Kadim/AP Photo]Muqtada al-Sadr’s role in Iraq has fluctuated from extremist to moderate over the past thirteen years as he and his Mahdi militia were the first to organize attacks against American troops when the United States returned to Iraq in 2003, ousting the dictator Saddam Hussein. Once the brutal leader was captured later that year, it would take three more years before Hussein would be executed but not by the Iraqi government put in place, but by one of many plotting revenge against him. According to various reports compiled by DailyKOS, his execution was taken over by a Shiite militia which infiltrated the transition, led by Muqtada al-Sadr who according to the article, executed the former president himself. #OTD – November 6th 2006. Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging. #nytimes pic.twitter.com/3Y9Jt37or6 — New York Times OTD (@OnThisDayNYT) November 6, 2015 Right before Saddam Hussein was executed in 2006, he was confronted with the fact that he had executed Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr, who was Muqtada al-Sadr’s father-in-law killed in 1980, another Shiite clerics. Since then the Shiite cleric has become very active in his role in politics in Iraq, attempting to hold the Iraqi government to account where he maintains the loyalty of many officials. As the presence of American troops in Iraq began to wane, al-Sadr began to adjust his demands from violence to more peaceful protests, for more political reasons, even running for office at some point. Muqtada al-Sadr’s first major stand against the Iraqi government was in May of 2016, when he hand thousands of protesters broke into the Green Zone, staging a sit-in and a swim-in as many took advantage of the location’s splendor. [Image by Karim Kadim/AP Photo]This year he returned “armed” with well-organized protests against the Iraqi government over corruption of many officials who have financial safe-havens in the country, and even made headlines in the Western press in May when he and his protesters broke into The Green Zone which originally held American troops to stage a sit-in. During that time and even with the recent assembly, Iraq’s Prime Minister Adabi says that these kinds of mass protests could “hamper” the war against the Islamic State. Iraqi security forces ave said recently that these demonstrations were “unauthorized.” It’s been reported that security forces cut the internet during the protests, and made sure no one got out of hand but for the most part, they were looking out for the Islamic State who could have taken advantage of the gathering for more attacks, being that the Sunni terrorist group has no qualms about killing Shiites in large numbers. Iraqi security force members parade in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, July 14, 2016. Iraq has marked the anniversary of the 1958 overthrowing of the monarchy and recent victories over the extremist Islamic State group with a military parade staged in central Baghdad. [Image by Karim Kadim/AP Photo]Prior to the mass protest on Thursday, the city held a parade for the anniversary of the country’s independence, which went by without a problem as the area was surrounded by Iraqi forces, signalling that their increased security measures might be effective after all. The people in Baghdad whose communities have been hit by terrorist attacks, have greeted the Prime Minister by hurling stones and shoes when he’s come into those areas. He recently said that if anyone in al-Sadr’s group of protesters came armed, they would be treated as terrorists. Muqtada al-Sadr made his demands calling for the resignation of the president, the prime minister and the parliament speaker; those who promised to crack down on corruption within the Iraqi government. [Image by Karim Kadim/AP Photo]

Peace Agreement With Syria Will Give Humanitarian Aid A Chance, At The Very Least

What many were skeptical of ever happening in relation to the Syrian civil war finally did on Saturday when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly reached a deal with Russia’s counterpart Sergey Lavrov. However, hours after the agreement according to a report on ABC News, says that there was an escalation of airstrikes on Aleppo which killed 45 people, likely in order for the Syrian government to dominate as quickly as possible before the cessation of hostilities would go into action on Monday. In recent months, the conflict in the Middle East took a sharp turn when Syrian government forces began attacking the Kurdish city of Hasakah, which was said to have American special forces who were there to train the Kurdish fighters against ISIS. This was the first time U.S. fighter jets would be sent scrambling to the area in order to protect those Kurdish forces, which AFP via ABC News Australia details. Syrian man runs with child after an attack. [Photo by Chris post/AP Images] At the same time, Russian forces also continued their attacks on terrorist groups outside of Aleppo as reported by al-Arabya, along with reports of civilian casualties from airstrikes conducted by both Russian and Syrian military. Soon after these reports, Turkish military responded to Kurdish forces on their border with Syria, by attacking them and ISIS, after an alleged coup attempt against their president Erdogan. As Inquisitr says through an op-ed about the attacks, it might have been more than acoincidence that the Turks attacked U.S. allies as they had accused the U.S. of instigating the coup attempt. And it doesn’t help that the U.S. will not hand over the man who they believe was the mastermind behind it, Fethulla Gulen. Fethullah Gulen lives in the United States and Turkey is demanding his extradition, accusing him of attempting to overthrow the country. [Photo by Chris Post/AP Images] Before the U.S and Russia made the alleged peace agreement in Geneva, the relationship between both countries was that of adversaries and for the most part, it still is; with Russia appearing to dominate diplomatic deals that many opposed to the Obama administration feel is taking place in America’s stomping grounds being the Middle East. News around this agreement is certainly positive but is appropriately criticized for being too ambitious. David Sanger of The New York Times talked about this new agreement on the PBS NewsHour Saturday evening, based off of his article with the paper. Sanger explains the possible problems with the agreement where he says that without the involvement of some of the other powers in the region — such as Saudi Arabia and Iran — there could be influencing Assad. The central problem with it Alison is that there are so many other players here. The Iranians, different opposition groups, the Saudis; that, if they’re not all buying into this agreement to which they were not a party to negotiating, this whole thing could fracture apart. An article by Inquisitr that refers to the agreement as a ray of hope explains the agreement even further, but it includes the Cessation of Hostilities that have been tried in the area repeatedly, but have not held as Sanger would suggest, because of lack of regulatory action against the Assad regime. According to the ABC News article referred to above, Syria’s State run SANA News Agency announced that the Syria government would accept the deal to stop hostilities in Aleppo for humanitarian reasons, but there was no acknowledgement as to when this would take place. Nonetheless it would appear that much of the effort to complete the agreement lies on Russia, which many agree is terrible idea, to letting Russia call the shots in this case, and whether that includes reaching a consensus on the goal of ousting Syrian president Assad. For the time being, the consensus to this agreement as a start would be in order to allow humanitarian aid into those areas that are in need of it the most. [Photo by Kevin Lamarque/AP Images]

Sarah Netanyahu To Be Indicted For Fraud

Reports released today confirm that the Israeli Police have sufficient evidence to recommend indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sarah, for fraud. The Prime Minister himself is no longer suspected of wrong doing in this case, but a senior staffer in his office, Ezra Seidoff, and Avi Fahima, an electrician who did work in the Netanyahu private residence are likely to be charged along with Sarah Netanyahu. Israeli Police Recommend Sara Netanyahu Stand Trial for Corruption has been published on – https://t.co/VUUvtt3vvn pic.twitter.com/hhoMh6xije — The Media Line (@TheMediaLine) May 29, 2016 Sarah Netanyahu’s Fraud Charges Emerged After Abuse Charges Filed Against Her in Labor Court While Bibi is a controversial Prime Minister, Sarah Netanyahu stirs up much controversy on her own. Earlier this year, she was found guilty of abusiveness toward her staff. On the strength of evidence presented to the labor court, the government was forced to pay compensation and damages on her behalf to former Prime Minister Residence Custodian, Meni Naftali. The courts rejected her appeal challenging this court decision. Throughout Bibi’s terms of office, Netanyahu has been in the news concerning her poor behavior toward those working in the Prime Minister’s residence. It was during investigations related to Naftali’s suit against Sarah that evidence arose leading to suspicions of misuse of public funds and the current fraud charges. Three Issues Included In Fraud Charges Against Netanyahu Sarah Netanyahu is likely to be indicted on misuse of funds allocated to both the official residence in Jerusalem and their private home in Caesaria, where they sometimes entertain as part of Bibi’s role as Prime Minister. One section of the fraud indictment alleges that she removed furniture from the Jerusalem residence that had been purchased with state funds and moved it to their private home in Caesaria in northern Israel along the coast. The furniture from their private home was apparently placed in the Jerusalem residence. A second issue concerns the electrician, Avi Fahima. He was rejected when he applied for the position of electric contractor for the official Jerusalem residence because he was already the Netanyahu’s electrician for their private home and a long-time acquaintance; this was considered to be a conflict of interests. Sarah Netanyahu got around this by having him subcontract under the official electrician and by calling for him on the weekends, and even Jewish holidays, when the official residence in-house contractor was not available. This involved greater charges to the taxpayer than week day work. Furthermore, records were not properly maintained and it is impossible to know what work was required on such an emergency basis and whether or not the work was actually done at the Jerusalem residence or at their private home. Police recommend #SaraNetanyahu stand trial on graft allegations https://t.co/pgSnNuLKxd — Miguel Sihman (@MiguelSihman) May 29, 2016 A third section to the indictment for fraud involves return of recyclable bottles. Drinks for official entertainment and events were purchased using public monies; however, over the years, Netanyahu kept the refunds received for the bottles when they were deposited for recycling. When first called on this, Sarah returned 4000 New Israeli Shekels (NIS) to the public coffers. It appears, however, that the correct sum should have been over 24,000 NIS (over $6000). The complaints against Sarah Netanyahu have been named “Furnituregate”, “Electriciangate” and “Bottlesgate”. The public has long been suspicious that Sarah exerts a hold over her husband and interferes with his decision making as Prime Minister. It is not clear how or if the fraud charges, if laid, will affect Bibi’s relationship with the electorate. Israeli journalist claims Sara Netanyahu has secret agreement to veto her husband’s… https://t.co/4z8Vi5PCN9 pic.twitter.com/08R13rhCxn — Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) May 10, 2016 While Bibi has been cleared of any involvement in fraud regarding the expenditures concerning his residences, he is still under investigation for misuse of public funds when he traveled overseas while Finance Minister in 2003-2005. The investigation is ongoing and there are allegations of double billing, personal use of frequent flier miles that should belong to the government, use of public funds for family tickets, and more. [Photo by Oded Balilty/AP Images]