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Overturning Acquittals in Terrorism Cases

(Beirut) – A close study of appeals court decisions in terrorism-related cases in Iraq shows that judges in close to two dozen cases in an 18-month period appeared to ignore torture allegations or to rely on uncorroborated…
Presidency of the Federal Court of Cassation of Baghdad
News

Lift Unlawful Restrictions Blocking Thousands

(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is preventing about 4,200 Sunni Arabs from returning home to 12 villages east of Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. More than three years after the Hamdaniya district was retaken…
A destroyed home near Ashqala al-Sagheer village in Hamdaniya, July 2019. Hasansham camp is in the background.  © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

200 Held in Squalid Camps and Prisons in Libya, Syria, Iraq

(Tunis) – Tunisian officials have been dragging their feet on helping bring home Tunisian children held without charge in foreign camps and prisons for families of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members, Human Rights Watch said…
A woman walks with a child in Roj camp, which holds foreign wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) members, in northeast Syria, September 2018. © 2018 Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
News

Lack of Coordination Between 2 Justice Systems

(Beirut) – Sunni Arab boys who serve prison time in Iraq’s Kurdistan region for Islamic State (also known as ISIS) connections risk rearrest after their release if they try to reunite with their families in areas controlled by Baghdad,…
Cigarette burns cover the hands and arms of 18-year-old “Karim.” Kurdish authorities held him for 13 months.  He then returned home and was rearrested by authorities under Baghdad’s control, who tortured and held him for months. © 2018 San Saravan
News

Blocks Services for ISIS Suspects and Their Families

(Erbil) – Iraqi security officers are threatening, and in some cases arresting, lawyers seen to be providing legal assistance to Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and families perceived to be related to ISIS members, effectively denying…
Mosul’s Civil Status Directorate. © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Investigate Abuse During Interrogations in Mosul

(Beirut) – Two former detainees and the father of a man who died in detention have provided details of ill-treatment, torture, and death in facilities run by the Iraqi Interior Ministry in the Mosul area, Human Rights Watch said today…
Mahmoud said he was hung in the “bazoona” position at least six times while in detention, for hours. He said that at least four of those times, he lost consciousness before being taken down. Sometimes officers threw water at him before beating his back wi
News

Ex-Detainee Describes Degrading Conditions

(Beirut) – Iraq’s National Security Service (NSS), an Iraqi intelligence agency reporting to Iraq’s prime minister, has acknowledged for the first time that it is detaining individuals for prolonged periods of time, despite not having a clear mandate to…
A blank NSS arrest warrant provided to Human Rights Watch. © 2018 Private
News

Rushed Proceedings, Lack of Due Process, Disproportionate Sentences

  (Beirut) – Iraq’s judiciary should change its approach to dealing with detained foreign women and children who are accused of affiliation with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said…
Russian women, sentenced to life in prison on grounds of joining ISIS, sit with children in a hallway of Baghdad's Central Criminal Court, April 29, 2018. © 2018 Ammar Karim/AFP/Getty Images
News

Mass Grave Located Near Bardiya Village

  (Erbil) – New evidence suggests that between August 28 and September 3, 2017, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Asayish security forces from the West of the Tigris branch carried out mass…
Mass grave site near Bardiya village visited by Human Rights Watch on January 30.   © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Families Seek Whereabouts After Iraqi Takeover of Kirkuk

  (Beirut) – More than 350 detainees held by the Kurdistan Regional Government in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk are feared to have been forcibly disappeared, Human Rights Watch said today. Those missing are…
Vehicles of Kurdish Peshmarga Forces are seen near Altun Kupri between Kirkuk and Erbil, Iraq October 20, 2017. REUTERS/Azad LashkariVehicles of Kurdistan Regional Government’s Peshmerga military forces on the road between Kirkuk and Erbil, Iraq October 2
News

Investigate Killings, Abductions of Foreign Men

  (Beirut) – Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,400 foreign women and their children who surrendered with ISIS fighters in late August 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The detentions appear to have no legal…
Iraqi Ministry of Transportation buses taking internally displaced families to Hammam al-Alil in May 2017. In late August, Iraqi authorities bused 1,400 foreign women and children to the site. © 2017 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Government-allied Troops Hold, Torture Mosul-Area Residents

(Erbil) – Iraqi government-allied troops arbitrarily detained at least 100 men in late April 2017, in some cases torturing them during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch interviewed three men from al-Hadar, a…
News

Mosul Civilians Describe Deadly Attack

(Erbil) – Procedural changes for authorizing airstrikes in Iraq raise concerns about the protection of civilians, especially following airstrikes in Mosul on March 17, 2017, that allegedly caused dozens of civilian deaths, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Relatives carry the bodies of civilians killed in an attack in New Mosul neighborhood of west Mosul on March 17, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News

Over 1,200 ISIS Suspects in Filthy Overcrowded Jails

(Erbil) – The Iraqi interior ministry is holding at least 1,269 detainees, including boys as young as 13, without charge in horrendous conditions and with limited access to medical care at three makeshift prisons, Human Rights Watch said today. At least…
A hole in the ceiling of the second prison house, from a projectile that hit the building while the area was still under ISIS-control. Staff said the prison, holding 270 detainees, was structurally unsound and could collapse at any point.
News

No Access to Family Months After Detention

(Erbil) – Seventeen children detained since July 2016 by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on suspicion of involvement with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, say that government security forces tortured or otherwise abused them in detention,…
Boy prisoners in the yard of the Women and Children's Reformatory in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Many boys were detained on suspicion of links to the Islamic State
News

Calls ‘Unbelievers’ Valid Targets

(Erbil) – Fighters with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) have indiscriminately attacked civilian areas in eastern Mosul with mortar rounds and explosives, and deliberately shot at fleeing residents, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Displaced Iraqi civilians hold white flags as they flee a battle with the Islamic State in Kokjali village near Mosul, November 03, 2016.