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Iraq PM orders disclosure of fate of thousands of forcibly disappeared

May 18, 2020 at 11:09 am

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Baghdad, Iraq on 6 May 2020 [Iraqi Parliament/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi yesterday ordered the Ministry of Interior to expedite the disclosure of the fate and whereabouts of thousands of men and boys who were forcibly disappeared during the war against Daesh.

In a statement, the government said Al-Kadhimi made his instructions during a visit to the Ministry of the Interior where he met with Interior Minister Othman Al-Ghanmi and other officials.

The statement gave no further details.

Since he took office last week, Al-Kadhimi has taken a number of decisions regarding the human rights file, including the release of all anti-government protesters held since October 2019 and ordered an investigation into the existence of secret government prisons in which demonstrators are being held.

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Thousands of Iraqis in Sunni-dominated areas in the north-west of the country disappeared during the war between Iraq and Daesh from 2014 to 2017.

A number of political parties, residents and international human rights organisations accuse Iran-backed Shia factions of abducting the men.

There are no official figures regarding the number of forcibly disappeared persons in Iraq. However, in September 2019, the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said there are approximately 25,000 Iraqis who are missing in the governorates of Nineveh, Saladin and Anbar.