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Iraq: Alkarama deplores the authorities’ unwillingness to hold accountable those responsible for crimes of enforced disappearances

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Alkarama’s director, Rachid Mesli, said during his online participation in a human rights symposium on the occasion of the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances, “The Iraqi authorities are unwilling to hold those involved in the crimes of enforced disappearance to account.”, pointing to the clear complicity between successive governments and the militias that commit these crimes.

Rachid Mesli touched upon the role of international human rights organisations in uncovering the practice of enforced disappearance in Iraq, and the challenges they are facing in their work. He also described the different types and forms of enforced disappearances that have been documented and their recurrence over the past two decades.

In addition, he commented on the work of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, stressing the lack of good faith of the authorities in their responses to cases submitted – an issue also raised by the UN committee itself.

The symposium, organized by the Human Rights Division of The Association of Muslims Scholars in Iraq, aimed to shed light on the situation of Iraq, which has the highest number of enforced disappearances in the world.

According to several human rights and media sources, as per mid-2022, as high as eleven thousand complaints of enforced disappearance have been reported.
Entitled: (Hundreds of thousands of mothers in Iraq do not know their children's fate), the symposium was held with the participation of specialized researchers in law and human rights.

Alkarama renewed its call to all Arab countries to put an end to the suffering of the disappeared and their families, pointing out that many cases have been documented in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

In war-torn countries, both governments and non-state armed groups resort to this practice as a means of intimidation and spreading terror among civilians.

The Iraqi Afada Observatory also shared a distressed call by a mother of a victim of enforced disappearance in Iraq, saying that her son was a prisoner in Nasiriyah prison and pleading for her son to be saved from severe torture. Due to its importance, Alkarama decided to republish it.

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