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MRG’s reaction to the report of the UN fact-finding mission on the situation of human rights in Iraq

25 March 2015

Geneva, Wednesday 25th March 2015

Speaker: Ms. Miriam Puttick
Human Rights Council – 28th Regular Session

Thank you Mr. President, Mr. High Commissioner

Minority Rights Group International welcomes the report of the investigative mission on Iraq.

The assaults committed by ISIS and associated groups since June 2014, including summary executions, mass detentions and sexual violence, have resulted in the removal of entire minority populations from their homelands. The report rightly underlines the importance of establishing the individual criminal responsibility of the perpetrators of such crimes under international law.

MRG also notes with concern the documentation in the report of violations committed by pro-Government forces, including ‘Popular Mobilization’ volunteers and Shi’a militias, in the course of the military campaign against ISIS.

While the report details incidents that led to mass displacement, MRG would like to also stress the urgent circumstances of those that remain internally displaced in Iraq. IDPs are suffering deteriorating humanitarian conditions and the resources available are not adequate to address their basic needs.

As the military campaign against ISIS is likely to intensify, including in the city of Mosul, the situation of civilians in ISIS-held areas will become critical. MRG therefore recommends that:

  • The Iraqi Security Forces should be organised under a chain of command that is transparent and directly accountable to the Government of Iraq
  • Iraq should accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and accept its jurisdiction from the start of the conflict
  • The Government of Iraq should immediately begin planning for the post-ISIS era, including making a commitment to protect and resettle minority IDPs to their former homes and lands
  • Finally, in view of the serious violations documented in this report, it is the responsibility of this Council to mandate a mechanism to duly and independently monitor and report on human rights violations committed by all parties in Iraq

I thank you.