Iraq collectively punishing Daesh families-HRW

Iraqi security forces stand with an Daesh flag which they pulled down in the town of Hit in Anbar province, April 2, 2016. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 July 2017
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Iraq collectively punishing Daesh families-HRW

ERBIL: Human Rights Watch has accused Iraqi security forces of forcibly relocating at least 170 families of alleged Daesh members to a closed “rehabilitation camp” as a form of collective punishment.
“Iraqi authorities shouldn’t punish entire families because of their relatives’ actions,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
“These abusive acts are war crimes and are sabotaging efforts to promote reconciliation in areas retaken from ISIS (Daesh).”
Daesh is also known as Daesh. An Iraqi military spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has announced victory over Daesh in Mosul, ending three years of jihadist rule in the stronghold of their self-proclaimed caliphate.
Iraq’s government now faces the task of preventing revenge attacks against people associated with Islamic State that could, along with sectarian tensions, undermine efforts to create long-term stability in the country.
“The camps for so-called ISIS families have nothing to do with rehabilitation and are instead de facto detention centers for adults and children who have not been accused of any wrongdoing,” Fakih said. “These families should be freely permitted to go where they can live safely.”
Iraqi authorities have opened the first of what they describe as “rehabilitation” camps in Bartalla, just east of Mosul. Human Rights Watch says the official purpose of the camp is to enable psychological and ideological rehabilitation.
“Forced displacements and arbitrary detentions have been taking place in Anbar, Babil, Diyala, Salah Al-Din, and Nineveh governorates, altogether affecting hundreds of families,” the group said.
“Iraqi security and military forces have done little to stop these abuses, and in some instances participated in them.”
Human Rights Watch said it visited Bartalla camp and interviewed 14 families, each with up to 18 members.
“New residents said that Iraqi Security Forces had brought the families to the camp and that the police were holding them against their will because of accusations that they had relatives linked to ISIS,” said Human Rights Watch.
“Medical workers at the camp said that at least 10 women and children had died traveling to or at the camp, most because of dehydration.”


Berlin backs Macron’s Iran plan

In our view this agreement should be maintained, Merkel said. (AFP)
Updated 7 min 33 sec ago
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Berlin backs Macron’s Iran plan

  • Merkel will discuss Iran with Trump on a visit on Friday
  • Macron acknowledged that he does not know what Trump will decide

BERLIN, PARIS: Proposals presented by French President Emmanuel Macron on Iran’s nuclear deal are based on the existing international agreement but would add some new elements, a senior German official said on Thursday.

Speaking before Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Washington for talks with US President Donald Trump, the official said: “The premise of Macron’s proposal is that the agreement remains in its existing form and additional elements come on top.” The official added: “In our view this agreement should be maintained.”

Trump has said he is not happy with the 2015 accord and may pull out of it. 

Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani insisted the deal cannot be changed or built on. 

The plan announced during Macron’s trip is part of European efforts to persuade Trump not to abandon the accord next month.

Merkel will discuss Iran with Trump on a visit on Friday.

The French president has meanwhile defended discussions with Trump for a new plan to curb Iranian nuclear weapons. Speaking to reporters before leaving Washington on Wednesday night, Macron said the new four-pronged agreement would be a “very important complement” to the existing 2015 accord.

Macron insisted on the importance of talking to all sides, including Iran ally Russia, and said the world should not force anything on Iran. He acknowledged that he does not know what Trump will decide.