Iraq: Enforced Disappearance of Brothers Al Janabi from Babil Governorate since November 2016

أحمد و عبد الله الجنابي Ahmad and Abdullah Al Janabi

On 8 November 2016 Ahmad and Abdullah Al Janabi, two brothers from Al Mahawil, Babil governorate, were arrested at a military checkpoint situated in Al Iskandariya, Babil governorate. Their relatives have no information on their fate and whereabouts since, and they remain disappeared up until today. Concerned over their disappearance, on 23 March 2017 Alkarama and Al Wissam Humanitarian Assembly sent their case to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED), − a committee of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) by its State parties among which Iraq−, asking this treaty body to urgently request the authorities to locate them and inform their family.

On 8 November 2016, Ahmad, aged 23, and his 25-year old brother Abdullah, were travelling by car when they reached a checkpoint Al Dallah, west of the city of Al Iskandariya, in Babil governorate. They were stopped by members of the Iraqi Army and the Hezbollah brigade, a Shia militia affiliated with the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), an umbrella organisation composed of 67 militias currently embedded in the Iraqi army. Bystanders reported that the brothers were forcibly taken into cars before being taken to an unknown place.

Fearing retaliations, their relatives did not denounce the brothers’ disappearance to the authorities.. In fact, their older brother Khalid and their father Hameed also disappeared after members of the Baghdad Operations Command – which are formally part of the Iraqi Army but in practice remain under the direct control of the Prime Minister’s Office – arrested them on 21 July 2014 at their family house in Latifiya.

"The Iraqi Army and the PMU militias have established a troubling pattern of enforced disappearances” says Inès Osman, Legal Officer for the Mashreq at Alkarama. "The Iraqi authorities have a legal duty to put an end to all the serious human rights violations carried out by armed groups supported by the State and acting on their behalf. Human rights must be respected at all times: armed conflict or counterterrorism can never be invoked as an excuse for such violations."

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