Hundreds of Iraqi activists, journalists and social media users launched a new campaign on social media calling to reveal the fate of tens of thousands of forcibly disappeared persons.
The activists launched the Arabic hashtag for “where are they”, demanding the fate of thousands of Iraqis who were kidnapped or forcibly disappeared by various parties over the past two decades be revealed.
Earlier this month, the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, ordered the disclosure of the fate and whereabouts of thousands of men and boys who were forcibly disappeared during the war against Daesh.
The first category of forcibly disappeared Iraqis were kidnapped after the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, and after the sectarian war that swept across the country in 2005.
The second were kidnapped after Daesh occupied large swathes of the Gulf state in 2014 and later after government forces recaptured the territories in 2017.
The third category of forcibly disappeared Iraqis are anti-government protesters who had been kidnapped after October 2019.
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.