Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.jpg
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein of Jordan addresses his statement during the opening of the 32th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 13 June 2016.
Photograph: EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

Islamic State terrorists must be defeated with smart strategies rather than heavy-handed measures that could drive more people into the hands of the radicals, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Tuesday.

The UN high commissioner for human rights condemned the group's bombing in Bagdad on Sunday, which has left more than 200 dead and more than 300 wounded.

"Along with other recent abominations associated with ISIL in Dhaka, Istanbul and Orlando, the sheer unrestrained viciousness of these people defies belief," Zeid said in Geneva, using one of the common acronyms for Islamic State.

"We need not just to be stronger than they are, but cleverer than they are," the Jordanian UN rights chief said.

"And in this we are failing badly, not just in Iraq but in a variety of responses all over the world, enabling them to tap into resentments about heavy-handed or unlawful responses to recruit more followers, create more fanatics and suicide bombers,” Zeid warned.

Iraqi authorities must stop militias from taking revenge on civilians who are fleeing towns that are freed from Islamic State control, Zeid demanded.

He highlighted the fate of 600 missing Iraqi civilian men and boys who have been abducted by a government-affiliated milita that was involved in recapturing the city of Fallujah from Islamic State fighters in June.

Some 50 abductees are believed to have been executed or tortured to death in the incident.

Latest news

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

French centrist leader offers conditional support to Macron

The leader of France's centrist Democratic Movement party, Francois Bayrou, said Wednesday he was willing to support reformist former economy minister Emmanuel Macron in the country's upcoming presidential election.

Amnesty International warns of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech in Croatia

Croatia continues to have problems with discrimination against ethnic minorities and with freedom of the media, while heightened nationalist rhetoric and hate speech during election time contributed to growing ethnic intolerance and insecurity in the country, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report on the state of human rights in the world in 2016/2017.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Council: Nixing grants to "Novosti" would cause far-reaching implications

The Council for National Minorities, a state-level autonomous umbrella organisation for all ethnic minorities in Croatia, has stated that the cancellation of financial grants to the "Novosti", a newspaper of the ethnic Serb minority, would produce far-reaching implications and stir criticism for reduction of free speech and of freedom of expression of the most numerous ethnic minority.

Russia to build replica Reichstag for schoolchildren to storm

A military-themed park in a suburb of Moscow will soon install a replica of Berlin's Reichstag for Russian schoolchildren to storm, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

Alitalia strike set for Thursday, hundreds of flights cancelled

Employees of Italy's loss-making airline Alitalia will go on strike Thursday, air transport unions confirmed, after government talks with both sides failed to break the deadlock.

EU calls on Germany to reduce large current account surplus

The European Commission on Wednesday called on Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, to reduce its large current account surplus and focus on boosting domestic consumption.

Germans' demand for Croatian destinations on steady rise

Bookings for Croatia's destinations in some regions of Bavaria have been rising and some statistics show a 30% increase year-on-year, according to the preliminary information from the "f.re.e." fair for leisure and travel, which opened in Munich on Wednesday and runs through Sunday.