Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) security forces are arbitrarily detaining men and boys ages 15 and over who are fleeing Mosul and Hawija during the offensive against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in a facility near the Debaga displaced persons camp.
The men and boys fleeing from ISIS-held territory into the KRG are being detained for indefinite periods even after they pass an initial security check for possible ties to ISIS by KRG security forces. They are denied access to lawyers and detained, sometimes for weeks, even if they are not individually suspected of a crime, while KRG authorities conduct further security screenings on them. The only legal basis for detention under national law is individualized suspicion of having committed a crime recognized in the penal code, and individuals should only be detained under criminal justice system rules.
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After over two grueling years living under the control of the Islamic State (ISIS), Mosul’s1.2 million civilians may suffer yet more abuse when the government tries to retake the city if recent lessons from the operations to retake Fallujah, Tikrit and other areas are any guide. To avoid this scenario, the US, other international forces, and the government in Baghdad should prevent abusive forces from entering Iraq’s second-largest city during and after the military operation.
Just take a look at past operations against the extremist group in Iraq to see why. Most recently, in the May-June battle to retake Fallujah, members of the Badr Brigades and Hezbollah Brigades (two powerful units within the Iraqi government’s Popular Mobilization Forces), and, in at least one instance, Iraqi federal police officers, detained and beat men fleeing the fighting, summarily executed and forcibly disappeared others, and mutilated corpses.
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Unaccompanied Children Behind Bars in Greece
Filiates, Greece, is a small, picturesque town of white stucco houses topped with red tile roofs, and begonias in full bloom. But “Babrak,” a 16-year-old who fled Afghanistan to seek safety in Europe, experienced a much darker side of the town, spending much of his time there locked up in a cramped, dirty cell.
He is one of thousands of children who left their home countries for various reasons – violence, armed conflict, discrimination, poverty – but now find themselves trapped in Greece.
When Babrak lived in Afghanistan, Taliban fighters killed two of his classmates, at which point Babrak quit going to school. Then the Taliban sent a threatening letter to his home. Babrak’s brother was in the police force, making his family a target.
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