26 Feb 2015

As NZ commits to Iraq, what's the true human rights situation?

From Nine To Noon, 9:33 am on 26 February 2015

As the militant group Islamic State has carved a swathe through Iraq, Syria and Libya, it has become known for high-profile murder videos - posted online - of journalists, aid workers, a pilot, and Egyptian Coptic Christians.

It comes along with horror stories about widespread rape, public beheadings and floggings, and reports of suspected homosexuals being thrown from buildings, in cities that IS has taken control of.

Will Western-led air strikes, and shoring up the Iraqi army - as New Zealand is planning to do in a training capacity - help prevent such atrocities?

Yifat Susskind is the executive director of Madre, an international women's rights organisation, and has been working closely with human rights activists on the ground in Iraq. She talks to Kathryn Ryan.