Shi'a Militias Committing War Crimes Against Iraqi Civilians: Report
As the U.S. expands its war on the Islamic State (ISIS), rising Shi’a militias within Iraq—many of them armed and backed by the U.S.-allied Iraqi government—are “taking advantage” of a climate of violence and impunity to abduct, execute, and disappear scores of Sunni civilian men, according to a report released Tuesday by Amnesty International.
“By granting its blessing to militias who routinely commit such abhorrent abuses, the Iraqi government is sanctioning war crimes and fueling a dangerous cycle of sectarian violence that is tearing the country apart,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser.
Entitled , the investigation is based on information obtained through six weeks of field research in central and northern Iraq, including meetings with victims, witnesses, doctors, NGOs, and lawyers.
Increasingly powerful Shi’a militias in Baghdad, Samarra and Kirkuk are abducting Sunni civilian men from homes, jobs, and checkpoints and then killing and disappearing them, the report finds. Researchers uncovered evidence of summary executions, including reports from Health Ministry workers that they are receiving “scores” of dead bodies found handcuffed and shot in the back of the skull. Numerous other victims “are still missing, their fate and whereabouts unknown, weeks and months after they were abducted,” the report states.
The relative of one victim from Kirkuk told Amnesty, “I have lost one son and don’t want to lose any more. Nothing can bring him back and I can’t put my other children at risk. Who knows who will be next?”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT