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Citizens for Justice and Peace

HRW reports on shoddy prosecution of ISIS suspects

05, Dec 2017 | CJP Team

According to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, Iraq’s government and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in their efforts to prosecute several thousand ISIS suspects, lack a “national strategy” to ensure that prosecutions of those who have committed the “worst abuses” take priority, or to levy charges that apply to the “broad range of crimes” committed by ISIS members. According to HRW, all suspects are being prosecuted under counterterrorism laws, mainly for being members of ISIS, rather than for particular crimes or actions. The human rights group also says that authorities have not worked to involve victims in the trials. Highlighting this disorganised strategy and “violations of due process rights,” HRW says victims of some of ISIS’ gravest crimes may not be afforded justice. “Iraqi justice is failing to distinguish between the culpability of doctors who protected lives under ISIS rule and those responsible for crimes against humanity,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group’s Middle East director.

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