17 February 2016

IRAQ: Ethnic and Sectarian Cleansing In Diyala

Executive Summary

Diyala province in Iraq is witnessing an unprecedented increase in the displacement and killings of people on an ethnic and sectarian basis that has been taking place since the beginning of 2016.

This seems to be a continuation of well-planned operations ongoing in the province since the US-led invasion in 2003. The evidence and testimonies derived from the facts on the ground confirm that this is a major international crime underway, that has been well planned and is currently being systematically executed and is coherent with the results of an implementation process that takes place on several episodes, with the participation of associated powers existing within Iraq’s current state organs and orchestrated through its branches and units.

The Iraqi authorities are covertly trying to reduce their guilt, by saying the perpetrators are forces from outside the realms of law, which they further conveniently have labelled as “terrorists.” The authorities know full and well that these acts of violence are organized and ongoing operations, carried out by militia forces associated with and backed by them, under an umbrella name of “Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi” or known in English as “Popular Mobilization Forces” commonly abbreviated as “PMF”. This state backed militia acts on orders of the government, carries out operations together with the regular Iraqi army, and in many instances even commands the Iraqi regular forces; this gives them immunity from any form of legal prosecution in Iraq.

GICJ has collected documented information and evidence in regards to these crimes, some of which have been obtained from people on the ground as well as members of the local authorities, emphasizing the active participation of the organs of power in the implementation of this heinous crime which is done due to the ethnic and religious background of the victims, the crime this time being directed intentionally against one specific category of people; the Sunni Arabs. This particular community is facing death, displacement and detention of hundreds of thousands of its members.

There are also widespread cases of house demolitions and looting. The burning and desecration of their mosques, together with the humiliation and insult of their imams and preachers is a clear policy that aims at deliberately degrading their dignity in front of the community and their peers. Underlining the fact that what is going on in Diyala undoubtedly constitutes the crime of ethnic cleansing.

Geneva International Centre for Justice strongly accuses the government of Haider al-Abadi, of being legally responsible in being engaged unequivocally and intentionally in committing a crime of "ethnic cleansing" on the grounds of ethnicity and religion in the Diyala province of the Republic of Iraq.

Hence, the international community as a whole and in the forefront of it the United Nations bodies, particularly the UN Security Council; the Human Rights Council; the International Criminal Court; the Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention; the United Nations offices in Iraq; members of the United Nations; regional groups (the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference), have the legal and moral responsibility to intervene immediately and without delay to stop the ongoing progression of this crime in accordance with the clear responsibilities set forth in the relevant charters and conventions.

GICJ calls on them to take all measures in order to refer the situation to international or local tribunals and to prosecute all those involved in this crime against humanity, to prevent the aggravation of the situation and an increase in the number of victims.

The situation requires an immediate and urgent dispatch of an international independent investigative mission, and under no circumstances trusts the promises of investigations from within Iraq’s state institutions; neither the judiciary, the military, the government nor the parliament should be allowed to part-take in this investigation.

Key Suspects

Geneva International Centre for Justice will provide an initial list of the most prominent individuals accused of committing the crime of ethnic and sectarian cleansing in the province of Diyala in the following chapters of this report. The list, although still in the process of completion, will list and archive the names and the details of certain prominent individuals and their participation in the planning and execution of the crimes in question.

Key suspected of taking part in the crime includes: Nouri al-Maliki,  Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi, Qassem Soleimani, Hadi al-Amiri, Salim Al-Jabouri, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Minister of Defence Mohammed al-Obaidi,  Minister of Interior Mohammed al-Ghabban, Former Diyala province police chief Jamil al-Shammari.

Some of the key suspects of the crime of ethnic cleansing in the province of Diyala;
from left to right: Prime Minister al-Abaddi, Iranian Quds forces general Qassem Suleimani and Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

Ethnic Cleansing

The UN "General Assembly resolution 47/121 referred in its Preamble to "the abhorrent policy of 'ethnic cleansing', which is a form of genocide." It is in practice used, by reference to a specific region or area, to mean "rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area." This describes exactly what is being reported to GICJ on the ground in Diyala at this very moment. The situation in Diyala is very dire and if not acted upon immediately will be a disastrous stain on the reputation of the international community and most of all humanity. There is no crime more cruel and evil in this world than ethnic cleansing.

Badr militia leader, Hadi Al-Amiri (in the middle) leading the military and security operations in Diyala; on his left is the interior minister Mohammed Al-Ghabban, surrounded by military commanders. Al-Amiri is one of the main accused of the crime of ethnic cleansing in Diyala

Iraq has ratified the Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This gives Iraq and obligation to respect and abide by the laws set out in this Convention. Iraq has failed, as defined in article 2, to prevent the killing of members of a particular group with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. The actions in Diyala constitute violations that fall well within both the clauses of crimes against humanity as well as genocide according to both article 6 and 7 of the Rome Statute. More needs to urgently be done by the international community in order to pressure the Iraqi government to own up to its crimes and bring forward those individuals who are guilty. In so doing one must stress that Iraq’s current policy of impunity towards the alarming situation in Diyala province, it of itself constitutes ethnic cleansing, with all the processes and signs of a grave crime of historic proportions that if not stopped immediately will constitute genocide.

What is going on in Diyala province?

Geneva International Centre for Justice receives messages, testimonies and documented evidences on a daily basis concerning what is a clear and evident policy of systematic forced displacement in the province of Diyala on sectarian basis, deliberately targeting a component that has ethnic and religious specificities; the Sunni Arabs. These acts fall under the description of the crime of “ethnic cleansing” according to international criminal law.

GICJ follows a very precise methodology in verifying sources referring to a human rights violation and comparing between different data; in many instances the information is reviewed and reassessed before the Centre begins drafting its analysis and determines the legal framework that applies to a particular case.

Parliamentary Speaker and Prime Minister denied entry by the militias

GICJ was on the ground, at the end of the second week of January 2016 when the Parliamentary Speaker Salim Al-Jabouri and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi failed to enter al-Muqdadiyah, as a result of being denied entry by the militias. One of our collaborators was there, sending us names of culprits and describing the situation on the ground.

The province of Diyala is controlled by the Badr militia, the Saraya Al Salam militia (formerly Mahdi army militia) and Hezbollah since the departure of ISIS last year (2015). Some parts of the province were under ISIS control for a brief period following its entry into Iraq in June 2014, which resulted in many tragedies, horrors and violations. The militias that now control the province have taken advantage of the tense situation to seize control of all its resources, and prevented a large number of citizens who were forced to leave because they were targeted by ISIS or anti-ISIS forces from returning to their homes. Most of the citizens deprived from returning to their homes are residents of al-Muqdadiyah and the Sinsil Bassin which includes more than 33 villages. Militias and security forces have expropriated their villages and homes, took what could be stolen, as well as burned and destroyed much of the remaining farmland.

In the meantime, the destruction of mosques on a clearly identifiable sectarian basis continued at the hands of these militias, along with the senseless murder of many worshipers and religious leaders.  The events unfolding in al-Muqdadiyah are part of a systematic policy implemented by the Iraqi authorities through its affiliated militias that clearly aims at displacing Sunni Arabs residents and provoke a forcible demographic change within the Province of Diyala. The presence and involvement of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, commander in chief of the Quds force, is clear evidence of the involvement of the Iranian authorities in the crimes that are being committed against the resident of Diyala.

Qassem Suleimani, commander in chief of the Iranian Quds force and Hadi al-Amiri, leader of the Badr militia and the al-Hashd al-Shaabi

Iranian strategic interest in the province of Diyala

The geographical location of Diyala province is of strategic importance economically for the Iranian authorities. The route that crosses the border point of Al-Manzaryah from Iran passes through the main cities of the province of Diyala - Khanaqin, al-Muqdadiyah, Ba’quba - all the way to Baghdad in one hour.

From a cultural and ideological point of view, Iran is trying to reinforce its presence in the Province through the establishment of “cultural offices”. Our source confirms the existence of several cultural offices in the province that are used to propagate a sectarian ideology, based on hate speeches that deeply affects civil peace and security. These also serve the purpose of mobilizing a specific component of the Iraqi society against another group whilst encouraging them to join the Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi.

The presence of agents on the ground from the Iranian armed forces and secret services is a well-known and established fact. The Quds Force have established Centres of Operation in Khaless, Adhim and Al-Mansoriya, controlled by the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, and commanded by the leader and secretary general of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Amiri and other individuals, amongst them are three Iranian officers, according to our local source. The number of militiamen affiliated to these Centres of Operation is estimated to be more than 30’000 fighters from the Badr militia, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, and other militias and armed groups such as Hezbollah.

Implementation methods

The ethnic cleansing policy is implemented mainly through the numerous militias active in Iraq - either acting individually or under the Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi umbrella, who threaten citizens and intimidate them in order to expel them from their places of residence, leaving behind them their land, homes and belongings. Once people have left, the militias come and systematically loot every house, often burning or destroying them in the process so that they become uninhabitable for their legitimate owners. In other instances, the houses are given to those who the militias decide will inhabit it as from that moment, according to information gathered from the area and closely monitored by the Centre.

The inhumane treatment of civilians at the hands of the militias

Testimonies confirm that parliamentarians and political elements are clearly involved, in exchange for political gains and profitable business deals, in the implementation of this dangerous plan whose final outcome will be a demographic change in the population. This represents a threat to the civil peace and security while it atomizes a social fabric that has been already immensely damaged as a result of decades of war and sanctions.

Forced displacement has been one of the main reasons for the protests and demonstrations that erupted in Diyala in 2013, which was met with repressive policies enacted by the government and its agencies, reaching its most violent peak with the massacre at the Sarya mosque on Friday the 17th  of May 2013, killing and wounding around 100 worshipers as documented by GICJ. This massacre signaled a steady increase in violence, especially with the escalation of sectarian unity that has been used by senior leadership figures, government, religious, military and militia leaders in order to build-up their power base.

The massacre of Sarya mosque in Diyala on 17 May 2013

On the evening of Monday the 26th of January 2015, Hadi al-Amiri, leader of the Badr militia declared victory over ISIS in al-Muqdadiyah. Then, according to orders from Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia leader Qais al-Khaz’ali, militiamen were asked to gather people from the surrounding towns and villages, near the mosque. Witnesses confirmed that his fighters brought scores of men and boys by force from their homes, beating and insulting them whilst using terms of a sectarian nature, they then took them in small groups to a nearby field where they forced them to sit facing the ground as the militiamen began to open fire, killing 72 people in this single incident alone.

The area being targeted more than others (at the moment) is al-Muqdadiyah, which is one of the largest cities in Diyala Province.

Indeed, in the second week of January 2016, dozens of innocent people were killed in that place, before a bombing campaign was launched, blowing up more than a dozen mosques and killing a number of worshipers. At the very same time, the militias were roaming the streets of the city using loudspeakers and shouting sectarian slogans, threatening the Sunni Arabs or those who they designate as “Nawassib”; ordering them to leave the city or find their death, and conducting mass executions on a sectarian basis. One of our collaborators confirmed this exact course of event; on 11 January, following two explosions in the city, the Badr militia, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia and Hezbollah militia started to roam the streets executing people and burning mosques and stores on purely sectarian grounds. Violence did not stop at the door of the city, with the vast majority of villages surrounding the area witnessing the same atrocities from the militias, including mortar shelling on civilian populated areas.

Qais al-Khaz'ali, founder of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia and one of the main perpetrator;
actively participating in the ethnic and sectarian cleansing of Sunni Arabs in Diyala

Moreover, the former chief of the security committee of Diyala Province Hussein al-Zobaydi confirmed to Al-Jazeera TV on 12th of January that the slaughter of people of al-Muqdadiyah was “a preplanned operation” that immediately followed the bombing of a mosque blamed on ISIS. Subsequently, the militias controlled by Hadi al-Amiri, Commander of the Badr militia, resorted to atrocities in the province.

Similarly, the former Governor of Diyala, Omar al-Hameiri, stated in his interview with Al-Jazeera and Al-Taghier TV stations on January 12 that “the militias have executed over 90 young locals in the al-Orubeh and al-Asri districts of Muqhdadiyah. They have set fire to Sunni mosques in front of the eyes of the local and the federal police. The militias conduct patrols in the region, enter all homes, and resort to systematic executions. Hameiri confirmed that the Badr militia and the Governor of Diyala are responsible for these massacres and added that the Badr militia that is commanded by Hadi al-Amiri who is affiliated with the Iranian Qods Force.

The threat campaign in Diyala takes various forms including organized assassinations and summary executions. Testimonies from members of the Iraqi parliament certify that mass execution have taken place and indicate that the number of murders in al-Muqdadiyah alone has reached seven to ten cases a day. These cases are presented to the parliament and to the responsible parties but with no result whatsoever. Kidnappings, often targeting young people, are also one of the numerous methods used by the militias to intimidate people.

Several reports document the bombing of five mosques on the 11th of January 2016 alone, the execution of 30 people, and the wounding of more than 60 in appalling liquidation operations. Within a few days, the number of mosques that have been blown up reached 13. Since the beginning of January 2016, and as of 19/01/2016, figures also indicate an increasing number of mass assassinations, totalling more than 120 victims, the vast majority of them being young men.

It is also worth recalling that two reporters from the Iraqi news channel “AlSharqya”, Saif Talal and Hassan Al Anbaki have been assassinated on the 12th of January while they were trying to cover these events.

Informed sources in the city of al-Muqdadiyah confirm that all liquidation operations are carried out by militias on sectarian basis.  The same methodology is used when militias conduct the burning of shops, markets and property belonging specifically to Sunni Arab families.

One of tens of mosques looted, burned and destroyed by the militias in Diyala province in January 2016

Our information indicates that al-Muqdadiyah has been subjected to a blockade since the 11th of January, and that the militias were surrounding the area while forbidding any entry to the Iraqi army and security services. Electricity and all means of communication (including internet) were shut down by the militias, that went on to carry out mass executions, looting and destruction of houses and other heinous crimes against the local residents.

The killing of imams and preachers

The systematic campaign of assassinations targeting imams in Diyala is continuing since 2003, specifically targeting Sunni Arab religious scholars and imams from mosques in the province. The center keeps a record of the names of a number of these victims.

Arbitrary arrests continue

Arbitrary arrests in Diyala province represent one chapter in the implementation of the crime of forced displacement. In addition to the central prisons in the headquarters of the police's repressive security apparatus, there are more than 30 places of detention and suffering. According to illustrative reports and information received by the Centre, people in these places suffer from overcrowding, neglect, and the spread of skin diseases amongst others. The detainees in these places are subjected to the worst methods of brutal torture and degrading treatment towards human dignity, not to mention having to tolerate insults and verbal abuse on a daily basis which go as far as insulting their religious beliefs and Imams.


The tragic case of impunity as enacted by the government of Iraq is such that since the dawn of the 2003 Iraqi invasion, law and order have totally disappeared from the country, having been replaced by a state of anarchy and sectarian revanchism and violence. The post invasion period has suffered from a high occurrence of violent acts by various militias enacted against certain sectarian and ethnic communities in the country. The situation has deteriorated so much that even the government itself has begun to mobilize its own militias so as to further their own criminal interests and shift the balance of power in their favour, whilst at the same time appearing to portray a clean image in the eyes of the international community.

The situation within the country’s state and judicial organs is one that has made a mockery of both the ideals of responsible governance and what is expected of a fully functioning and law enforcing judiciary. Summary executions are common and investigations into criminal acts are rarely carried out, allowing the situation to become worse and as a result leaving many people with no choice but to resort to vigilantism in the interest of their own security. This is in response to the government sponsored militia’s own defiance and wrongful enforcement of the law.

The investigations, committees and inquiries led by the Iraqi authorities into crimes against humanity have yielded no tangible results after 13 years since the US led invasion. The UN should realize now that the same mistake should not be repeated, by entrusting the Iraqi government to conduct its own investigations, which have always led to nothing. Hence the UN should immediately enact steps to launch an independent and impartial inquiry into gross human rights violations in the Republic of Iraq, free of any government meddling and cover ups. The goal being to publish a report that is transparent and impartial, which will enable those guilty to be brought to justice and in turn assure that such acts shall not recur again. The UN should understand this now so as not to fall again for the same tricks.

Outside of Iraq the news in recent times has primarily been focused on the crimes committed by the terrorist group ISIS. Thus diverting the entire attention of the world at large away from the crimes of the government backed militias, to which the government further emboldens their impunity by saying that these militias are in the process of conducting “anti-terror operations.” Hence allowing the militias to freely carry out their campaigns of ethnic cleansing against other ethnic and sectarian groups. Leaving the country to the mercy of genocidal bandits whilst the world looks away. GICJ calls on those responsible for these crimes to be brought to justice in order to finally bring an end to the impunity that is plaguing the country at this time.

On the left image, a unit of the Iraqi army raises a sectarian flag while on the right one, a militia unit operating in Al-Muqdadiyah, Diyala, raises another sectarian flag

The authors of the crime

In these serious and complex crimes, with overlapping phases, the authors of the crime may be structurally linked apparatus’ or institutions. The execution is made through specific individuals that belong to a given institution and who have been carefully selected in order to avoid being suspected, and thus enable them to attribute the crime to a criminal group or individual. For that reason, such acts are often committed on the basis of instructions issued by individuals who hold power or authority within the State or by individual members of the dominant group, but they are actually carried out by other individuals in an attempt to cover the responsibility of key public figures and officials thus guaranteeing their impunity and perceived innocence.

What is fundamental here is the systematic form in which these instructions are implemented and the fact that these are part of a planned persecution and discrimination in the treatment of citizens, in a deliberate intent to harm a particular group. Several parties or groups are involved in the commissioning of the crime, and each part of the group is tasked with executing a particular aspect of the crime.

Although Iran plays the biggest role of all the outside powers in commissioning this crime, it has also been revealed that the Iraqi militia Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi, have been receiving US made and supplied weapons according to multiple sources on the ground and beside what brought up in the media, and by some US officials. This revelation puts the US in a situation that makes them willing or unwilling accomplices to crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. Although it is claimed that these arms were destined for the armed forces of Iraq, many of them ended up in the hands of government loyal militias notorious for enacting violent crimes against innocent civilians, targeting in particular Sunni Arabs of Iraq. Given this revelation the US should take full responsibility and cease arms shipments to Iraq with immediate effect, should they not wish for them to fall into the wrong hands.

The planning and monitoring of the crime, the collection, supply and distribution of weapons, the military training, the religious speeches and sectarian militarization, the threats, the arbitrary detentions, the implementation of forced eviction and so on all intertwine and partner to the realization of the crime, in a way that might not appear understandable or clear for someone who does not follow the situation in all its details. The reasons behind the commission and the rational of the crime get mixed up, and the very clear criminal intent is as blurred as the result. Nevertheless, this criminal intent is the thread that links between the acts of all participants and classifies this crime in the category of the most dangerous international crimes.

The silence or inaction regarding an international crime - such as the crime of ethnic or sectarian cleansing –equals an active participation in the commissioning of the crime, especially when it relates to refraining from doing certain acts that are necessary in order to avoid the occurrence of the crime.

On that basis, all relevant authorities in Iraq, mainly the Prime Minister, the ministries of Defence and Interior, Chiefs of the Police, the Security forces, the Commanders of the militia Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi and affiliated militias, the House of Representatives, and the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq (IHCHR) bear a direct responsibility for this crime. This responsibility remains engaged as long as it has not proven that every measure in its power has been taken to prevent and put an end to it.

The situation requires an immediate and urgent dispatch of an international independent investigative mission and under no circumstances trusts the promises of investigations from within Iraq’s state institutions; neither the judiciary, the military, the government nor the parliament should be allowed to part-take in this investigation.


Geneva International Centre for Justice Recommends that the international community not rely on the Iraqi authorities to investigate or solve the crimes that have been committed, since the impartiality will as proven by previous cases definitely not be guaranteed. Reason for this is that it is clear that the Iraqi authorities are complicit and benefit from these crimes and thus would do whatever they can within their power to attempt a cover up.

GICJ request the United Nations undertake its own measures free from any interference by the Iraqi authorities in the process other than facilitating it. Therefore, GICJ recommends enacting the following steps, among others by the United Nations, specifically the UNSG and the UNHCHR:

  • The immediate dispatch of an international independent mission of inquiry, to investigate all violations stated in this report, and in those of other NGO’s.

    • Urging the UN Secretary General to have the representatives in Iraq to do everything in their power in order to facilitate the work of this mission with the inclusion of independent international experts from outside the organs of the UN, that will act as a deterrent against the false information and lies provided in previous instances by the Iraqi authorities.

      • Requesting that all human rights bodies (in the forefront of them the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the special procedures of the UN and its treaty bodies) adopt all necessary measures that fall within the mandates, so as to put an end to this crime.

        • Calling on member states of the United Nations to take all relevant steps within their power to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted for the above mentioned crimes, thus bringing an end to the impunity of the criminals.

          • Demanding the member states of the Human Rights Council to take all the necessary steps in order to hold a special session on this pressing issue.

            Geneva International Centre for Justice will continue in accordance with its legal responsibilities and mission to scrutinize and assess the measures to be taken by the relevant international institutions as part of its effort to achieve justice.

            Concluding Observations

            Regardless of the daily details of bloody events, it is essential for the Centre, through its contacts and meetings with various sections of society and human rights activists within Iraq, to state the following facts which should not be absent from the planning of any international effort related to Iraq:

            • The orchestration of sectarian and ethnic divisions was the policy designed and applied by the United States before and during the occupation, which they introduced to Iraq as part of a malicious agenda aiming at destroying the unity and heterogeneous social fabric of Iraq, which exists for thousands of years, by creating small conflicting entities along ethnic, religious and ideological lines, and also internal conflicts and disputes within these different groups. Identical to the implemented colonial policies of divide and rule.

            • The people of Iraq, in general, stand against these policies and practices, but what is a clearly seen reality is the influential and malicious role played by Iran, which uses ideologically allied militias to further its goals of exporting its concept of “velayat-e faqih” or “rule of the righteous” to Iraq. The key roles in this action are carried out by the Badr militia, the League of the Righteous (Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq), Hezbollah in Iraq and others. These militias are terrorizing the people, through killings, intimidation, arrests and torture aimed at forcing them to leave their original home areas and move to other places. This has resulted in mass displacements of entire communities.

            • There is a full complicity of the official organs that include the state police and security forces, as well as the army in these operations which collude in most actions to enact violence, this is nothing new, and has existed since 2006, tragically it is intensifying and getting much worse. Hence it is strongly advised therefore, not to rely one bit on these devices of the state, or make the mistake of waiting for them to take measures to improve the situation.

            • The Iraqi judges and prosecutors whose duty it is to tackle such grave crimes against humanity, have been totally silent in the face of these large-scale international crimes. This is another clear indication of the corruption that is plaguing the Iraqi judicial system following the changes made by the US occupation, on the structure, methodology and underpinning legal philosophy.

            • Participating political parties benefit in the process of this policy for the purposes of manipulating elections, through the utilization of financial deals from members of parliament who receive financial benefits in return for their silence, so as not to expose the theft of houses and confiscation of land and agricultural areas, as well as other seizures committed by force in order to forcibly displace the rightful owners from their own property.

            قراءة على الانترنت أو تحميل التقرير الكامل.

            Read online or download the full report in English


            Link to the list of mosques which have been demolished, burned or violated since 2003 in the Province of Diyala – Iraq


            Videos documenting the crimes of the al-Hashd al-Shaabi militia in Iraq

            These videos contain graphic material that GICJ has to broadcast to expose the systematic and total disregard of the various militias and armed groups operating under the umbrella of the al-Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq for the most basic human rights principles. We do apologize in advance if some of this content hurts the sensitivity of viewers.

            The massacre of Sarya mosque in Ba-quba, 17 May 2013 - Province of Diyala
            (these videos contain graphic material, viewer discretion is advised)


            The militias filming their crimes while uttering sectarian insults; one of the militiamen can be clearly heard confirming that they exploded the mosque at 4:18 (in Arabic language)


            Summary execution of civilians by the militias (this video contains graphic material, viewer discretion is advised)

            A young boy is being beaten, stabbed and taken to an unknown place by the militias
            (this video contains graphic material, viewer discretion is advised)


            Preliminary list of the main accused of ethnic and sectarian cleansing
            in the province of Diyala - Iraq

            Nouri al-Maliki - Former Iraqi Prime Minister, during his eight years in power, he directly participated in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity against the people of Iraq. Based on purely sectarian grounds, his policy resulted in hundreds of thousands of death through mass executions, tortures, detention in secret prisons and so on. He must be considered as one of the main architect of the events in Diyala.

            Hadi al-Amiri - Leader and secretary general of the Badr Organization, an Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia and political party based in Iraq. al-Amiri has a history of instigating sectarian violence in Iraq using the most horrific methods. He serves as the leader of Iraq’s collective popular mobilization, an umbrella group of Shiite militias backed by the Iraqi government. He also wields control over Iraq’s army and police operations in Diyala province.

            Qassem Soleimani - Commander in chief of the Quds force- a branch of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard Corps that conducts extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. He is a fundamental accomplice of the crimes committed in Iraq, coordinating his actions with Nouri Al-Maliki, Hadi Al-Amiri and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis. He acts as tactician and commander of several military operations conducted by Iraqi forces. Numerous pictures and videos of him accompanied by militia men and leaders, or Iraqi regular forces, can be found.

            Salim Al-Jabouri - Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament since July 2014, he is the representative of one the three branches of power in Iraq. As such, he failed to take any concrete measure following the events in Diyala, be it within the parliament, or in coordination with other bodies. Salim Al- Jabouri failed even to visit the city of al-Muqdadiyah, and he didn’t initiate any real investigation regarding militia crimes in Iraq.

            Hayder al-Abadi -  Prime Minister, despite his promises to improve living conditions and to hold accountable the perpetrators of assassinations, displacement and torture crimes, as well as corrupts, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi failed to take any concrete measures to implement his promises. Under his reign, militia leaders took the control of the country and of the army and security forces.

            Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis - real name Jamal Jafaar Mohammed Ali Ebrahimi, famous international criminal and head of the "popular mobilisation committee" with close connections to the Iranian Quds force. He was convicted to death in absentia by a court in Kuwait for his involvement in 1983 Kuwait bombings. He is on the United States' list of designated terrorist.

            Mohammed al-Obaidi - Minister of Defence, he did not take the required military measures to protect the lives of thousands of citizens who were struck by forced displacement, arbitrary detention and assassinations. He has left his troops and units under the command of Qassem Soleimani, Hadi al-Amiri and Abu Mehdi Al-Muhandis who practiced the ugliest forms of assassination and terrorism to implement a policy of forced displacement in Diyala and in other parts of Iraq. On this basis, he is one of the main accomplice to this crime.

            Mohammed al-Ghabban - Minister of Interior, one of the main accused; he is the head of all state agencies and bodies entrusted with the security and safety of citizens. But al-Ghabban surrendered to the directives of sectarian religious leaders and gave the absolute authority to the militias including the leadership of the operations of his ministry. On that basis, he is an accomplice of all the crimes and violations that took place against citizens in Diyala and in other areas which witnessed similar operations.

            Jamil al-Shammari - Former Diyala province police chief, he was fully aware of the details of the plan and the events and he could have exercised all his powers to stop the continuation of the crimes but preferred complicity with the perpetrators and to remain silent on the criminal acts of militias. None of the militia members was arrested, while his services were conducting raids to arrest ordinary citizens and subject them to torture and other humiliations.

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