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UN Report Finds Unfair Trials, Torture, Overreliance on Confessions

Over the past two years, Iraqi courts have processed more than 20,000 terrorism cases against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects, including hundreds of children. But a new United Nations report finds that far from…
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7 Missing, 2 Known Arrested

(Beirut) – At least seven people, including a boy of 16, were reported missing since October 7 from or near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where they were participating in ongoing protests in Iraq’s capital, Human Rights Watch said today.…
An image that a friend of Mustafa Munthir Ali, who was arrested from a Baghdad protest on November 15, posted to an Instagram account, lostiraqiprotesters2, where people across Iraq are posting information about protesters who have gone missing, asking fo
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Women, Children With Perceived ISIS Ties to Be Transferred from Syria

(Erbil) – A local Iraqi organization managing a camp for displaced people is making preparations to unlawfully confine families scheduled to be transferred from northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The Jadah 5 camp…
The beginnings of a gate erected in Jadah 5 camp intended to enclose a section of the camp to prevent free movement. © 2019 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
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Reject Plan to ‘Intern’ Up to 280,000 Women, Children

(Baghdad) – The Iraqi government should reject a plan that would unlawfully detain families with perceived Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation, Human Rights Watch said today. In early 2019, Iraq’s Implementation and Follow Up National…
Graffiti that reads "Daesh (ISIS)," marks the home of relatives of an ISIS member in a west Mosul neighborhood, Iraq. © 2018 Private.
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Children Should Be Rehabilitated, Reintegrated

(Geneva) – Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities have charged hundreds of children with terrorism for alleged Islamic State (also known as ISIS) affiliation, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The prosecutions are…
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  Summary “Nasim” grew up in Mosul, Iraq, and attended school for five years until the Islamic State (ISIS) took control of the city in 2014. Nasim, who was 13 at the time, didn’t like the curriculum ISIS imposed in his school, so he dropped…
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He was just a 14-year-old schoolboy when the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) took over his city, Mosul, in northern Iraq. His school soon shut down. With little else to do, he said, he joined ISIS to make money. He said he received twenty days of…
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Beatings, Electric Shock to Coerce ISIS Confessions

(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq is torturing children to confess to involvement with the Islamic State (ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today.  Children told Human Rights Watch that in…
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State Department Restores Burma and Iraq to its Annual List of Violators

I held my breath yesterday, waiting for the US State Department to issue its latest annual list of governments implicated in the use of child soldiers. Last year’s list was a disaster: then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson overruled his…
Child soldiers put down their guns in a disarmament and release ceremony in Jonglei state, South Sudan, February 10, 2015.
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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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Undermines Justice for Victims

(Baghdad) – The Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are conducting thousands of trials of Islamic State suspects without a strategy to prioritize the worst abuses under Iraqi and international law, Human Rights…
An ISIS suspect held for questioning by Iraqi forces near Mosul.
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Unnamed US Detainee Held 2 Months in Iraq

(Washington, DC) – The US government has been holding a US citizen suspected of fighting with the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) for two months in an undisclosed military prison in Iraq without access to legal counsel, Human Rights…
The American flag flies next to a statue of the scales of justice at United States Court House, February 6, 2002.
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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
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Investigate, Punish Any War Crimes

  (Beirut) – Allegations are emerging of Iraqi forces beating and unlawfully killing men and boys fleeing Mosul in the final phase of the battle against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today.…
A member of Iraqi security forces stands on the turret of an armoured vehicle along a highway near west of Mosul, Iraq, June 22, 2017.
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Tillerson Takes Burma, Iraq Off List Despite Evidence

Dozens of children were part of Burma’s armed forces as recently as last week. In Iraq, children have died fighting the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) with Iraqi government military units. But United States Secretary of State Rex…
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S. June 21, 2017.
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Tillerson Undermines US Law by Removing Violators

(Washington, DC) – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should return Burma and Iraq to the US list of governments using child soldiers, Human Rights Watch said today. Reuters reported that Tillerson overruled State Department officials and senior US…
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
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Investigate and Shutter Unofficial Police Lock-Up Cells

(New York) – The Philippine government should immediately release the alleged drug suspects unlawfully detained in a Manila police station “secret jail,” and ensure their protection after release, Human Right Watch said today. The…
Philippines: Release and Protect “Secret Jail” Detainees PHOTO
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"Daoud" said he wanted to fight "for revenge" after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) swept into Iraq's Sinjar district in August 2014, killing thousands of adherents of the Yazidi religious minority and taking thousands more captive.…
Martyr Khairy school in Khanasoor, Sinjar, run by YBŞ/HPG-affiliated staff, implementing the Rojava curriculum in Roman script.
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Armed Groups Should Immediately Demobilize Children

(Beirut) – Armed groups in Iraq affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party have recruited boys and girls, Human Rights Watch said today. In two cases the armed groups abducted or seriously abused children who tried to leave their forces. The groups should…
Commemoration monument for fallen YBŞ/HPG fighters in Sinjar.
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Recruited Children as Fighters From Camp for Displaced People

(Erbil) – Iraqi government-backed Hashad al-Asha’ri militias detained and beat at least 22 men from two villages near Mosul. The militias also recruited at least 10 children in a camp for displaced people as fighters against the Islamic State, also known…
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