Detaining families of ISIS members is unlawful, says HRW

Detaining families of ISIS members is unlawful, says HRW
Representational photo.

(IraqiNews) Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Iraqi plan to arrest 280,000 people, who are alleged to be the families of ISIS members is illegal, while pointed out that the majority of these families are women and children.

HRW called the Iraqi government to stop the plan, while revealed in a report published, today, that the plan was submitted by Iraq’s Implementation and Follow Up National Reconciliation Committee in Iraq to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The report quoted Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch saying, “The Iraqi government proposal to confine alleged families of ISIS members not only violates international law but is also contrary to the government’s stated aim of reconciling populations post-ISIS.”

She also added, “Detaining families not accused of any crimes is a form of collective punishment that will fuel resentment and put the lives of thousands of people on endless hold.”

Furthermore, the HRW stated that in a meeting on April 7, the committee’s president, Dr. Mohammed Salman al-Saadi, shared the plan’s draft it, and he said that it would affect all spouses, children, siblings, and parents of alleged ISIS members, whether the member is dead, disappeared, or in detention. Human Rights Watch raised its concerns with the proposal in letters to Abdul-Mahdi and President Barham Salih last Month.

It also pointed out that al-Saadi said that the Ministry of Immigration will build compounds outside the cities to accommodate the families of ISIS, while indicated that the families who will be detained there will be allowed to leave only in certain circumstances, such as going to the hospital or to courthouse.

He also mentioned that the “Sunni Endowment” will participate in this plan through the provision of mandatory programs to end extremism, while added that the Iraqi forces will guard these compounds.

Human Rights Watch also explained, “The government’s proposal, if implemented, would violate Iraq’s obligations under international law. In the context of a non-international armed conflict, such as in Iraq, international human rights law continues to apply. International human rights law prohibits arbitrary detention and requires promptly taking people in custody before a judge and charging them with a criminal offense or releasing them.”

It also said, “Any deprivation of liberty must be according to law that is “accessible, understandable, non-retroactive and applied in a consistent and predictable way, and allows individuals being detained to have their detention judicially reviewed. Any detention that lacks such legal basis is both unlawful and arbitrary.”

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