“The mass grave sites documented in our report are a testament to harrowing human loss, profound suffering and shocking cruelty,” said the UN’s representative in Iraq, Jan Kubis.
“Determining the circumstances surrounding the significant loss of life will be an important step in the mourning process for families and their journey to secure their rights to truth and justice,” he said.
IS overran swathes of Iraq in 2014, executing fighters and civilians en masse and using other forms of repression to seize and keep territory in the country’s north and west.
The mass graves may “contain critical forensic material” that could help uncover the details of these violations, as well as identify the victims, the UN said on Tuesday.
UN investigators in August began collecting evidence on war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide for Iraqi courts to use in trials of accused IS militants.