04 October 2016

Iraq: Alkarama Reports Three Cases of Disappearances by the Army to the UN

Iraqi army, http://wilayah.info/en/tag/iraqi-army/ Iraqi army, http://wilayah.info/en/tag/iraqi-army/

Between July and September 2014, Mohammad Al Janabi, Imad Al Janabi and Hisham Al Masari were in their respective houses in Latifiya and Mahmoudiyah when officers of the 17th Division of the Iraqi army, a key force in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), broke in and arrested them. The day of their arrest was the last time their relatives could see them, as they remain disappeared up until today. Concerned about their fate, on 30 September 2016, Alkarama and Al Wissam Humanitarian Assembly submitted their cases to the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) hoping that the UN experts’ intervention will help locate them.

On 5 July 2014, Mohamad Al Janabi, a 32-year-old employee at the office of the Ministry of Interior, was in his house in Al Zohour neighborhood, Latifiya, when patrol of the 17th division of the army broke in and dragged him outside with two of his relatives. As a masked man sitting in one of the soldiers’ vehicule identified him as the person to arrest, he was brought away without being shown an arrest warrant nor provided with any explanation, while his two relatives who had been dragged outside with him were set free. 

Similarly, a month later, on 5 August 2014, Imad Al Janabi, a 40-year-old employee at the offices of the Ministry of communications in Mahmoudiyah, was in his house when officers of the 17th division of the Iraqi army, all in military uniforms, arrived driving Hammer cars, broke in and arrested him.

Hisham Al Masari, a 30-year-old daily worker from Latifiya, disappeared on 4 September 2014 following his arrest at his aunt’s house near Mahmoudiyah by officers of the 17th division of the Iraqi army accompanied by members of the  Hezbollah brigade, a Shia militia part of the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU), an umbrella organisation reuniting more than 40 militias officially recognised and financially supported by the government in its fight against the Islamic State (IS).

The respective families inquired about their fate and whereabouts with the Iraqi authorities, including, amongst others, at the Al Muthanna airport and the Central Criminal Court but were always denied any information.  

We are extremely concerned over the enforced disappearance of these three men, as they were carried out by forces mandated to combat the Islamic State (IS),” comments Inès Osman, Legal Officer for the Mashreq at Alkarama. “It is unacceptable that enforced disappearances are systematically carried in the name of the fight against terrorism and with complete impunity. Iraq must be recalled that human rights are non derogable and must be respected at all times.

There has been up to one million missing persons in Iraq, which is currently the most affected country by enforced disappearances worldwide. Starting from the time of Saddam Hussein, during which already about 250,000 people had been disappeared, this phenomenon increased during the US-led invasion in 2003 and is currently widespread and systematic practice, the authorities invoking the fight against terrorism and the war against the IS to carry out mass arrests and detentions outside any legal framework.

For more information or an interview, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Dir: +41 22 734 1008).

support us
follow_fb follow_tw follow_yt

algeria report cover page FR