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UK nationals committed abuses in Iraq after 2003 on a significant scale. The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Final Report on the UK and Iraq on December 9 is the latest official report to find that members of UK…
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British Authorities Have Dismal Record of Addressing War Crimes

(London) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s decision to close a preliminary examination of alleged war crimes by British forces in Iraq is likely to fuel the perception of a double standard in international justice, Human Rights…
News

Government Should Pursue Full Investigations, Fair Trials

The Australian government is taking an important step by helping eight Australian children of suspects of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) return home from northeast Syria. The children were held for months without charge under horrific…
Rusafa Central Criminal Court in Baghdad.
News

New UN Investigation on ISIS Has Limited Mandate

(New York) – A new United Nations investigation of crimes committed by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in Iraq was not given the mandate that the situation calls for, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 31, 2018, the…
The United Nations Security Council meets to discuss adopting a resolution to help preserve evidence of Islamic State crimes in Iraq, during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, U.S., September 21, 2017. © 2017Reuters
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Case Studies of Colombia, United Kingdom, Georgia, Guinea

(The Hague) – The prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court (ICC) has important leverage to encourage countries to investigate and prosecute grave international crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.…
Relatives hold pictures of their beloved during a March 6, 2009 march in Bogota against the “false positive” killings and enforced disappearances.
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At the height of its power in Iraq, Islamic State (also known as ISIS) controlled 40 percent of the country’s territory and the daily lives of millions of Iraqis. Tens of thousands of Iraqis came to serve the ISIS administration, including…
Iraqi Security Forces stand guard at the gate of a camp holding families of men suspected of being ISIS affiliates in Bartalla, east of Mosul, Iraq July 15, 2017.
News

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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UN Security Council’s ISIS Probe Omits Other Forces’ Abuse

(New York) – The United Nations Security Council has missed a key opportunity to address war crimes and rights abuses by all sides to the conflict in Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today. The council unanimously adopted a resolution on September 21, 2017,…
Heads of state and their representatives take part in a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to address the situation in the Middle East during the General Assembly for the 71st session of the U.N. General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New Yo
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
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Security Forces, Prisoners, Women, Among Those Executed

(Erbil) – The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) executed and dumped the bodies of possibly hundreds of detainees at a site near Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. Multiple witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the bodies of those killed,…
‘Hammam al-Alil mass grave marked and fenced’ Caption: A marked and fenced ISIS mass grave in Hammam al-Alil, 30 kilometers south of Mosul, discovered in November 2016.
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Multiple witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the bodies of those killed, including bodies of members of Iraqi security forces, were thrown into a naturally occurring sinkhole at a site known as Khafsa, about eight kilometers south of western Mosul.…
Report
Summary Since early 2014, when the extremist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, launched its offensive in Iraq, fighting has displaced over three million Iraqis from their homes. Of these, an estimated 1.5 million Sunni Arabs now live in the…
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Seeking justice for the ongoing grave human rights abuses in Syria has proven largely elusive. Now the shield of impunity is beginning to crack. Several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and France are in the process of investigating some…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Refugee Crisis and Universal Jurisdiction Cases in Europe

What’s the basis for European courts to try atrocities committed in Syria and Iraq? What is universal jurisdiction? Does universal jurisdiction mean that every country can investigate any grave international crime committed in Syria and Iraq? What…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
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Video, Q&A Highlight Cases Spurred by Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch released a question-and-answer document and video on October 20, 2016 that highlight the groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in European countries of people accused of kidnappings, ill-treatment, and torture in…
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Ground-breaking investigations and prosecutions are underway in some European countries against people accused of torture, beatings, and kidnappings in Syria and Iraq. These cases are made possible by the arrival in Europe of both victims and suspects in…
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Today the Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot, published its report on lessons to be learned from the United Kingdom’s involvement in the Iraq war. The following comment can be attributed to Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor at Human…
Iraq Inquiry Report 2016
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“Unimaginable Horrors”

The “unimaginable horrors” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing against the minority Yezidis, documented in a report released on June 16 by the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic, shows the…