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U.N. to Iraq: halt “collective punishment” for suspected IS affiliates

Civilians leave the city to escape from clashes during a battle with Islamic State militants, in al-Zirai district in Mosul, Iraq, January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed


Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The United Nations on Monday urged the Iraqi government to halt what it described as “collective punishment” as Baghdad continues to crackdown on civilians believed to be linked to Islamic State militants.

Stressing on the need for “enforcement of law and order, rule of law, justice and accountability,” Jan Kubis, the U.N. representative in Iraq, told the Security Council in a briefing that Iraqis perceived to have links with the Islamic State were subjected to forced evictions, confiscation of homes and other retribution and revenge measures.

“In May and June 2017, leaflets demanding that such families vacate their homes or suffer the consequences, including death, were distributed in areas of Anbar, Diyala, Ninawa, and Salah al-Din Governorates, leading to reports of the fleeing or the eviction of hundreds of families from Heet, Ramadi, Fallujah and Mosul cities,” Kubis said.

The U.N. representative stressed that such measures taken against civilians without sufficient evidence represent violations of the Iraqi constitution and Iraq’s obligations under international law.

“It is fundamental to ensure that crimes and human rights violations and abuses are properly documented to support possible prosecutions where perpetrators can be identified and apprehended. Preserving the evidence of crimes committed by Da’esh is important to ensure that justice will be done,” said Kubis.

Iraq’s war against Islamic State militants has displaced more than one million since October. Iraqi security forces vetted displaced civilians for IS members who could be hiding among refugee groups.

Mosul authorities decided last month to not to receive migrant IS fighters families in the city, and to shelter them in rehabilitation camps.

 


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