• Human rights conditions in Iraq continued to deteriorate in 2013. Security dramatically declined as sectarian tensions deepened. Al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent groups emboldened by the Syrian conflict and Iraq’s political crisis carried out nearly daily attacks against civilians, making 2013 the bloodiest of the last five years. Suicide attacks, car bombs, and assassinations became more frequent and lethal. The government responded to largely peaceful protests with violence and to worsening security with draconian counterterrorism measures.
  • Demonstrators in Baghdad call International Women's Day a "day of mourning" in protest of Iraq's new draft Jaafari Personal Status Law, which would restrict women's rights in matters of inheritance, parental and other rights after divorce, make it easier for men to take multiple wives, and allow girls to be married from age 9. March 8, 2014.
    Iraq’s Council of Ministers should withdraw a new draft Personal Status Law and ensure that Iraq’s legal framework protects women and girls in line with its international obligations. The pending legislation would restrict women’s rights in matters of inheritance and parental and other rights after divorce, make it easier for men to take multiple wives, and allow girls to be married from age nine.

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Reports

Iraq

  • Mar 26, 2014
    Few disagree that the Iraqi government’s increasingly Shia character has alienated its Sunni population—but what has mounting sectarian division meant for the rights of women and girls?
  • Mar 11, 2014
    Iraq’s Council of Ministers should withdraw a new draft Personal Status Law and ensure that Iraq’s legal framework protects women and girls in line with its international obligations. The pending legislation would restrict women’s rights in matters of inheritance and parental and other rights after divorce, make it easier for men to take multiple wives, and allow girls to be married from age nine.
  • Feb 26, 2014
    In a news briefing on Monday, the State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said the United States has “serious concerns” about recent media reports that Iraq may have signed a $195 million weapons deal with Iran. If the unconfirmed reports are true, the deal would violate UN Security Council Resolution 1747, which bans Iran from transferring arms to any third country. Yet the US, in going ahead with its own arms sales to Iraq, misses the point. The US should focus on the strong likelihood that Iraq’s security forces will use US weapons to commit abuses and further entrench sectarian divisions within the country.
  • Feb 6, 2014
  • Feb 6, 2014
    Iraqi authorities are detaining thousands of Iraqi women illegally and subjecting many to torture and ill-treatment, including the threat of sexual abuse. Iraq’s weak judiciary, plagued by corruption, frequently bases convictions on coerced confessions, and trial proceedings fall far short of international standards. Many women were detained for months or even years without charge before seeing a judge.
  • Feb 6, 2014
  • Feb 6, 2014
  • Feb 5, 2014
    The execution-style killing of four members of Iraq’s SWAT forces, apparently by the ISIS armed group, is the latest atrocity in a campaign of widespread and systematic murder that amounts to crimes against humanity.
  • Jan 21, 2014
    Violent deaths in Iraq doubled in 2013 as al-Qaeda in Iraq and other armed groups carried out attacks that killed more than 8,000 Iraqis, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014. The government failed to protect its citizens, and security forces instead carried out brutal counterterrorism measures.
  • Jan 16, 2014
    Ten years after the UK joined in the invasion of Iraq, the repercussions continue to hit at the heart of the establishment. This week a law firm and a leading international justice organization jointly sent a 250-page submission to the International Criminal Court, asking the prosecutor to open an investigation into alleged war crimes by UK nationals in Iraq, including the possible responsibility of senior military and political figures.