• Iraq’s human rights situation has worsened since January 2014, when armed clashes between government and insurgent forces enveloped the mostly Sunni Anbar province. The crisis deteriorated further in June, when an array of Sunni armed groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), launched a major offensive, taking control of the cities of Mosul and Tikrit as well as other areas. By July the violence had displaced more than one million Iraqis, according to UN figures. Serious violations by ISIS have included abductions and mass executions, and persecution of Iraq’s ethnic and religious communities. The government has also committed serious abuses, including mass executions of Sunni prisoners, and kidnappings and summary executions by security forces and government-backed Shia militias. The government in June issued new media guidelines that violate Iraq’s obligation to protect free expression. Both ISIS and government-aligned Shia militias are apparently using children under 18 in their forces.
  • A man walks past near remains of burnt vehicles belonging to Iraqi security forces in Mosul, Iraq on June 13, 2014.
    There is no justification for the ongoing unlawful attacks on civilians by car and suicide bombs in Iraq.

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  • Nov 25, 2014
  • Nov 21, 2014
    There is no justification for the ongoing unlawful attacks on civilians by car and suicide bombs in Iraq.
  • Nov 12, 2014
  • Nov 4, 2014
    Marauding pro-government militias are using the fight against the Islamic State as a pretext to destroy Sunni Arab communities across the country.
  • Nov 1, 2014
    Victims of a massacre in a mosque in Diyala province by Iraqi pro-government militias and security forces recognized the attackers and knew them by name. The Iraqi government should promptly make public any investigation of the attack on the Musab Bin Omair mosque on August 22, 2014, which killed 34 people, and bring those responsible to justice.
  • Oct 30, 2014

    Gunmen from the Sunni extremist group Islamic State systematically executed some 600 male inmates from a prison outside the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on June 10, 2014, according to survivors’ accounts. The vast majority of those killed were Shia.


  • Oct 23, 2014
    The traffic on the road to Tuz Khurmato, a town about an hour south of Kirkuk, was light on a recent morning when we set out to meet senior officials from the Kurdish security forces, the pesh merga. Their fortified bases, lean-tos flying various Shiite militia flags and makeshift camps for displaced families dotted the side of the highway. Official Iraqi security forces were nowhere to be seen, even at checkpoints.
  • Oct 11, 2014
    The armed group Islamic State is holding hundreds of Yezidi men, women, and children from Iraq captive in formal and makeshift detention facilities in Iraq and Syria.
  • Oct 1, 2014
    The British government is still fighting case after case concerning allegations of abuses by its forces during the 2003 Iraq conflict.
  • Sep 27, 2014
    Discussions about the latest turns in U.S. military policy in Iraq have centered on President Obama’s plan to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Yet that conversation doesn’t seem to include the elephant in the room – how to end abuses by the Iraqi government and its allies.