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Acquittals and Sentences Served Ignored

(Beirut, October 28, 2021) – Dozens of Sunni Arab men who served prison time or were acquitted in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region for Islamic State (ISIS) connections risk rearrest or retaliation if they try to reunite with their families in areas controlled…
Iraqi soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in Nineveh, Iraq. Friday Dec. 4, 2020.
News

Vulnerable People Stripped of Services During Pandemic

Update 8/25/21: In a letter dated August 13, 2021, the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut responded to Human Rights Watch laying out the measures the government is taking to ensure that returns are not forced, and saying that it is providing food, shelter, and…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News
What is the background in the Central African Republic to these cases?   How did the ICC become involved in the Central African Republic? Who are Alfred Yékatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona? When did Yékatom and Ngaïssona first face…
Alfred Yékatom, left, and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, right, taken on Nov. 23, 2018 and Jan. 25, 2019 respectively when they appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
News
Who is Dominic Ongwen? What is the Lord’s Resistance Army? How did the ICC come to bring charges against Ongwen? What are the charges against Ongwen? How does Ongwen’s experience as a child soldier affect judicial proceedings against…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
News

Push to Close Camps Ignores Residents’ Well-being

(Beirut) –The ongoing closures of Iraq’s displaced persons camps on short notice is forcing some residents into homelessness and poverty, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly said that the authorities should allow…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

Security Forces Shoot Demonstrators, Burn Tents

(Beirut) – Iraqi authorities ramped up violent tactics to quash ongoing protests across Baghdad and southern Iraq between January 25 and 27, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces set fire to protesters’ tents, fired live…
Security forces fire tear gas at protesters in Baghdad, Iraq, on January 27, 2020.
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Total Security Force Killings Since Protests Resumed at Over 100

(Beirut) – Security forces have fired teargas cartridges directly at protesters in Baghdad, Iraq on numerous occasions since protests resumed on October 25, 2019, killing at least 16, Human Rights Watch said today. The dead are among the…
Protesters in Tahrir Square arrange the tear gas canisters that security forces fired at them in Tahrir Square in different patriotic constellations.
News

Attacks on Fleeing Demonstrators, Ambulances, Media

(Beirut) – Iraqi security forces have used excessive and unnecessary lethal force in confronting at times rock-throwing protesters, killing at least 105 and wounding over 4,000 since October 1, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today…
Mourners carry the flag-draped coffin of a protester killed during a demonstration in Najaf, October 8, 2019.
News

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

Donors, Government Should Increase Support

(Nairobi) – The Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court should intensify investigations and urgently recruit additional staff to deliver justice for war crimes and other serious offenses, Human Rights Watch said today. The new…
International Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (left) and former Central African Republic prime minister Mathieu Simplice Sarandji (right).
News

Group’s Leader an Adviser to Prime Minister

(Nairobi) – Fighters from the armed group Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation, or 3R, killed at least 46 civilians on May 21, 2019, in three attacks in Ouham Pendé province in the Central African Republic. In February, 14 armed groups,…
Top row, from left to right: Augustin Vote (Killed in Koundjili); Raphael Haoumi (Killed in Lemouna); Zachée Gong-Pou (Killed in Lemouna); Sosthène Kobaikera (Killed in Lemouna); Evariste Ngororo (Killed in Bohong) Bottom row, from left to right: Olivier
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
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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…
CRD
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

Coerced Deportees at Risk of Arrest, Torture in Iraq

(Beirut) – The United States government has deported at least 30 of a planned 1,400 people originally from Iraq back to their country, in some cases threatening long imprisonment if they don’t consent, Human Rights Watch said today. In…
Protesters rally outside the federal court just before a hearing to consider a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Iraqi nationals facing deportation, in Detroit, Michigan, US, June 21, 2017. © 2017 Reuters/Rebecca Cook
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ISIS Suspects Put at Risk of Torture, Unfair Trials

(Beirut) – The United States has transferred foreign nationals suspected of Islamic State ties from northern Syria to Iraq without apparent regard for the risk of torture and unfair trials in Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today. …
Rusafa Central Criminal Court in Baghdad.
News

At Least 7 Non-combatants Killed; Residents Say No Military Targets Nearby

(Erbil) – Four apparent Turkish military operations against the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq dating back over a year should be investigated for possible violations of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today.…
The home of Sharo Mahmoud Braym in Sarkan village which was hit by an apparent Turkish airstrike on March 22, 2018, killing four men inside. © 2018 Private
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