Interior ministry dismisses HRW’s Mosul minors detention accusations

A photo by Human Rights Watch depicting a prison facility in Mosul where minors are allegedly held without charge.

Baghdad ( The Iraqi Interior Ministry denied claims by Human Rights Watch that it was holding minors without charges at poor detention facilities in Mosul, stressing it ensures medical care for inmates.

On Tuesday, a report by Human Rights Watch said the ministry was 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.

“ At least four prisoners have died, in cases that appear to be linked to lack of proper medical care and poor conditions and two prisoners’ legs have been amputated, apparently because of lack of treatment for treatable wounds,” said the report.

The HRW report focused on inmates conditions at three prisons in Nineveh, two in the town of Qayyara and a third in Hammam al-Alil.

The ministry, however, said that even if there were “a few cases” of minors detention, they are carried out based on arrest warrants issued by the judiciary. The ministry stressed it made sure minors are locked up separately from other older offenders.

“No negative points were pointed at,” the ministry said commenting on HRW’s remarks on poor health care, maintaining that the provision of food and medicine was carried out in coordination with government bodies and rights organizations.

HRW has issued several reports criticizing several alleged human rights violations by Iraqi government forces, allied militias and Islamic State extremists since security campaign launched to recapture IS-held regions last year.

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