IRAQ: UN calls on government to investigate disappearance of citizen Amer AL KARTANI


Iraq was recently called upon by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to reveal the fate of Amer Al Kartani, an Iraqi citizen who has been missing for ten years now. 

The UN Committee, which is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, ratified by Iraq on 23 November 2010, regularly calls on the State party to cooperate effectively within the framework of the procedure provided for in the Convention. 

Disappearance of Amer AL KARTANI 

Amer AL KARTANI was arrested on 21 May 2014 at around 1:30 p.m. at his home by a group of uniformed US military personnel accompanied by a civilian who identified themselves as members of the intelligence services of the 2nd Division of the 7th Brigade of the Federal Police. The victim was dragged out of the house and forced into one of the Chevrolet Silverados after his identification documents and phone were confiscated. 

Despite searches by his family, the authorities have never acknowledged his detention. 

Mandated by the victim's family, the Al Wissam association and Alkarama had submitted the situation of AL KARTANI to the UN Committee in an urgent communication dated 20 November 2017. 

The CED stresses the urgency and seriousness of the situation 

The Committee, which stressed the "urgency and gravity of the situation", expressed its regret at Iraq's inaction despite the six years that have elapsed since the disappearance of Al Kartani was recorded. The UN experts noted that the State party "does not provide any information that would allow the whereabouts of Mr. Amer Al Kartani, nor does it describe any measures taken to establish and implement a comprehensive strategy for the search and investigation of his disappearance, and to identify the perpetrators". 

Like Alkarama, the Committee expressed concern about the arrest warrant issued by the Iraqi authorities more than five years after the victim's disappearance, noting that it was issued after his arrest. In this regard, the Committee reminded the State party that, in order to be valid in respect of detention, the arrest warrant must be issued prior to the date of the reference detention. 

The experts also stressed that, in any case, "the Convention does not provide for any exception to the obligation to search for and investigate missing persons, regardless of their profile or any suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities." Finally, the Committee noted that the State party "has not provided any information on the measures taken to formally notify the family, relatives and representatives of Mr. Amer Al Kartani of the search for and investigation into his alleged enforced disappearance and to enable them to participate." 

For all these reasons, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances called on Iraq to take all necessary measures to locate AL KARTANI and to investigate his disappearance without delay, demanding that the relatives of the disappeared also be informed of his situation. 

The government has until 1 March 2024 to answer the experts' questions.