A new report produced by Amnesty International has found that a majority of the victims of the Islamic State-allied militants in Marawi were Christians, some of whom were used by the group as human shields or sex slaves.
Over 1,100 combatants and civilians have been killed, including 900 Filipino and foreign militants, and about half a million have been displaced from Marawi since the siege that began on May 23.
The U.K.-based human rights group said that it had conducted 48 interviews with survivors and witnesses to produce its report detailing the violations of humanitarian law during the siege.
The report found that nearly all of the civilians who were executed by the group during the six-month conflict were Christians.
Multiple witnesses recounted 10 separate incidents in which the militants unlawfully killed at least 25 civilians, most of whom were targeted because of their Christian faith.
"Militants often executed Christians at de facto checkpoints, which the Christians were approaching in order to exit the city," the report noted, according to The Christian Post.
"Militants usually performed the killings with a pistol, a rifle, or by cutting the victim's throat. Journalists have reported cases where civilians were beheaded. Most victims were shot and killed immediately after being questioned by the military. Most victims were shot and killed while standing or kneeling on the ground; some were shot and killed while running away," it continued.
Apart from the executions, the militants had taken numerous civilians hostages, who were physically abused, made to do forced labor, used as sex slaves or human shields and forced to make bombs and fight the military.
Amnesty had also accused government forces of committing abuse against civilians. The human rights group cited instances in which civilians fleeing the conflict were detained by members of the Philippine military and subjected to torture.
One victim of the alleged abuse recounted that he and his companions had just crossed a bridge to flee a militant-controlled area, but they were soon detained and beaten up by Philippine marines, who suspected them of being militants.
Amnesty called on the government to conduct an investigation into the allegations and ensure reparations for victims.
Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the armed forces spokesman, said that the military is committed to respecting humanitarian law and human rights, and vowed to respond to Amnesty's report as soon as it receives a copy of the document.
Last month, U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim had asserted that there were no credible reports or allegations that the armed forces committed any abuse or rights violations against civilians in Marawi.
"It's quite positive that the Philippines military behaved in a responsible manner in a very difficult situation," the ambassador stated.
- Judge nixes California law allowing assisted suicide for terminally ill
- Chinese officials pressure Beijing landlords to cancel contracts with house churches
- Church of England hands out £250,000 to charity head despite failing to reach investment return target
- Pope castigates Chilean bishops over sexual abuse cover-up
Church of England hands out £250,000 to charity head despite failing to reach investment return target
The Church of England has reportedly handed out a large bonus to investment director Tom Joy last year despite falling short of its investment return target.
A judge has struck down a California law that legalized assisted suicide for terminally ill people because it was unconstitutionally approved by the state legislature during a special session that was intended to address healthcare issues.
A judge in California has issued a final judgment on the case of a Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.
Chinese officials in Beijing have reportedly been pressuring landlords in the past week to cancel their leases to house churches.
U.K. politician Tim Farron has reportedly canceled an appearance at a Christian conference in Manchester over concerns about a promotional material that criticizes the "gay lobby" for the "onslaught" on the Church.
A Presbyterian minister has recounted how he and other chaplains hosted a service to bless a Planned Parenthood facility in Portland last week.
Pope Francis reportedly issued a harsh rebuke against Chile's bishops on Saturday for their role in the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Church as well as their failings in caring for victims.