• Since the Arab Spring began, Iraqi security forces have clamped down violently against peaceful demonstrators who demanded better services and an end to corruption. Since late 2011, authorities have curtailed demonstrations by flooding Baghdad’s weekly protests with pro-government supporters and undercover security agents. Iraq remains exceptionally dangerous for journalists, with security forces routinely threatening or even beating and arresting media workers. Authorities also confiscate or destroy their equipment. Armed groups kill hundreds of civilians and security forces every year. Abusers are rarely brought to justice for violating the rights of Iraq's most vulnerable citizens – women and girls, minorities, members the LBGT community, and detainees.

  • The Khanke IDP camp outside of Dohuk is home to more than 18,000 Yezidis and other Iraqi families who were displaced by the conflict.
    The extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch conducted research in the town of Dohuk in January and February 2015, including interviewing 20 women and girls who escaped from ISIS, and reviewing ISIS statements about the subject.

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Reports

Iraq

  • Apr 26, 2015
    I recently met “Noor,” a 16-year-old Yezidi girl who had escaped from ISIS six months earlier. The extremist group abducted her from her hometown in Iraq in August and locked her in a house with young women and girls who were being forcibly married off or sold to ISIS fighters.
  • Apr 15, 2015
    Last August, the world watched in horror as the extremist armed group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, attacked Iraq’s Yezidi community. Thousands fled without food or water into the nearby Sinjar mountains, but ISIS fighters waylaid many, executing men and abducting thousands of people, mainly women and children. Rumors of forced marriage and enslavement of Yezidi girls and women swirled, and were later confirmed as a trickle of women and girls – number into the hundreds – escaped. Human Rights Watch researchers Samer Muscati and Rothna Begum interviewed 20 of these women and girls and shared their findings with Amy Braunschweiger.
  • Apr 14, 2015
    The extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch conducted research in the town of Dohuk in January and February 2015, including interviewing 20 women and girls who escaped from ISIS, and reviewing ISIS statements about the subject.
  • Apr 14, 2015
    The nightmare of 12-year-old “Jalila” began when Islamic State fighters abducted her, along with her family, in northern Iraq. They separated her from her family and imprisoned her in a house in north-eastern Syria with other abducted Yezidi women and girls. Then the jihadist fighters came, one after another, to inspect them. One singled Jalila out, took her home, and proceeded to rape her for three days. Six other Islamic State fighters eventually took possession of Jalila during her captivity, she told me recently—three of them raped her.
  • Apr 13, 2015
    US President Barack Obama should place Iraq’s abusive sectarian militias at the top of his agenda for his meeting with the Iraqi prime minister, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the president. Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi is scheduled to meet with Obama on April 14, 2015, in Washington, DC.
  • Apr 13, 2015
    As you know, Human Rights Watch and others have documented numerous horrific abuses by the extremist group Islamic State (ISIS) and by Iraqi security forces and sectarian militias that have assumed a major role in the government’s fight against ISIS. As militias and government forces have advanced in recent months, violations of the laws of war and other abuses by these forces have increased. in the area around Amerli and more recently in and around Tikrit.
  • Apr 7, 2015
  • Apr 1, 2015
    For too long, the United States and its allies have turned a blind eye to abuses by Shiite militias. With the militias now in the city of Tikrit, that has to stop.
  • Mar 27, 2015
    The United Nations Human Rights Council has missed a key opportunity to address war crimes and rights abuses by all sides to the conflict in Iraq. The council adopted a resolution on the Iraq conflict by consensus on March 27, 2015, that denounces atrocities by the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS), but failed to condemn the abuses by militias, volunteer fighters, and Iraqi forces.
  • Mar 25, 2015