Iraq probes charges of human rights violations in Mosul

Iraq probes charges of human rights violations in Mosul
A member of Iraqi forces climbs out of a house on the frontline in the old city of Mosul on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 25 May 2017

Iraq probes charges of human rights violations in Mosul

Iraq probes charges of human rights violations in Mosul

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Interior Ministry said it launched an investigation into allegations of human rights violations perpetrated by its forces fighting Daesh in Mosul.
The allegations were first reported by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine last weekend. The report, authored by an Iraqi photographer reportedly embedded with the police unit, claims he witnessed killing, torture and rape of Daesh suspects.
The ministry’s spokesman, Brig. Gen Saad Maan, said on Tuesday that the newspaper report identifies the Emergency Response Division — an elite unit that answers to the Interior Ministry and has been closely backed by the US-led coalition in the Mosul fight — as the perpetrator of the abuses. Maan did not give a time frame for the investigating but said “legal measures will be applied ... against wrongdoers.”
An officer said his unit is not authorized to comment and that all inquiries should be directed to the Interior Ministry.
In other developments, Amnesty International released a report on Wednesday saying the US Army in Iraq and Kuwait failed to keep track of more a $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment provided to forces in the fight against Daesh, according to a 2016 Department of Defense audit obtained by the rights group.
The report “makes for especially sobering reading, given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (Daesh),” said Patrick Wilcken, a researcher with Amnesty.
Following the Interior Ministry statement, Brett McGurk, US envoy for the global coalition against Daesh, said Iraqi security forces have “bravely placed civilian protection as top priority” throughout the Mosul campaign but that “individuals or units failing to uphold that standard ... must be investigated and held accountable.”