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Important Step, but More Action Needed to Rein in Continued Attacks

(Beirut) – On February 15, Iraqi authorities detained at least four men, with alleged ties to a unit within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF or Hashad, formally under the control of the prime minister) who are alleged to have killed at least four…
Ali Naseer Alawy, after armed masked men beat him and used an acid mixture to try to remove a tattoo on his arm.
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Ankara Should Investigate Attacks Harming Civilians, Compensate Victims

(Beirut) - A Turkish military attack on an Iranian armed group in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in late June 2020 failed to take adequate precautions to minimize civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. The apparent airstrike, on June 25…
Payman Thalib Thaher lost her left leg in the Turkish airstrike at Kuna Masi water resort on June 25, 2020.
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Unsanitary Cells Prime Condition for Spreading Virus Outside Walls

(New York) – The unsanitary, overcrowded prisons and juvenile detention centers in most Latin American and Caribbean countries offer prime conditions for outbreaks of COVID-19 that could severely affect the health of detainees and of…
Inmates point from inside of La Modelo prison in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, March 22, 2020.
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Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished

(Bogotá) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report, “…
201904AME_Columbia_Catatumbo
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Displaced People Fear Arrest Over Actions of their Relatives

(Erbil) – Iraqi military have accompanied police in entering a camp for displaced people south of Mosul and started “screening” over 3,500 households there, Human Rights Watch said today. The screenings appear to include questioning…
The school at Hammam al-Alil 1 camp for displaced people south of Mosul that security forces occupied on July 6, 7 and 9 in order to conduct security screenings of camp residents. © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
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Take All Needed Measures to Minimize Civilian Harm

(Washington, DC) – The use of artillery-delivered white phosphorus by the United States-led coalition fighting Islamic State (also known as ISIS) forces in Syria and Iraq raises serious questions about the protection of civilians, Human Rights…
Photo of smoking and burning white phosphorus streaking to the ground in west Mosul on June 2, 2017.
News

Evidence Points to Killings by Government Forces

  (Beirut) – At least 26 bodies of blindfolded and handcuffed men have been found in government held areas in and around Mosul since the operation to retake the city began in October 2016, Human Rights Watch said today.…
The gravestone of an unidentified man found dead in a trench in Gogjali and buried by residents.
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After Passing Security Screening, Taken from Displaced People’s Camps

(Erbil) – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces are detaining men and boys who have fled the fighting in Mosul even after they have passed security clearances, Human Rights Watch said today. The KRG forces have detained over 900 displaced men and…
The Khazir camp in northern Iraq housing thousands of people internally displaced by the fight against ISIS. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces have detained over 900 displaced men and boys from five camps and the urban area of Erbil between 2014,
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Attack West of Mosul Highlights Need for Lawful Targeting

(Erbil) – A strike on a vehicle 80 kilometers from the Iraqi city of Mosul in December 2016 killed one civilian and wounded 11 others, Human Rights Watch said today. The apparent unlawful attack, in an area held by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS),…
Smoke rises from an airstrike during a battle with Islamic State militants in the Tahrer neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq on January 10, 2017.
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Peshmerga Attacks Have Dire Implications for Mosul Fight

(Erbil) – Security forces of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government have unlawfully destroyed large numbers of Arab homes, and sometimes entire villages, in areas retaken from the Islamic State, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
House marked with red “X” for destruction in Qarah Tappah in May 2016.
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Inform Families of Whereabouts; Allow Outside Contact

(Erbil) – Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces have detained at least 37 men from areas around Mosul and Hawija suspected of being affiliated with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) since the beginning of the Mosul operation, Human…
Three suspected ISIS members who travelled alongside families escaping areas around Mosul recently retaken from the group are held by KRG’s security forces at a checkpoint east of the city. November 4, 2016.
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At least 31 Dead, 24 Children, in Attack on School Sheltering Displaced

(Erbil) – The Iraqi government should promptly investigate an airstrike that hit a school housing displaced people near Tikrit on September 1, 2014. The attack killed at least 31 civilians, including 24 children, and wounded 41 others. According to three…
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Torture Allegations Underscore Urgent Need for Criminal Justice Reform

(Baghdad) – 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…
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Plight of Prisoners Points to Urgent Need for Reforms

(Juba) – Flawed processes, unlawful detentions, and dire conditions in South Sudan’s prisons reflect the urgent need to improve the new nation’s fledgling justice system, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 105-page report, “Prison Is…