The 48th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
13 September- 8 October 2021
Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
General Debate on Human Rights in Iraq
On behalf of International Lawyers.org
Delivered by: Naji Haraj
I would like to bring to the attention of the Council to the human rights situation in Iraq. Iraq fosters a dangerous and widespread lack of accountability due to its corrupt sectarian system of government and dysfunctional judicial system. Citizens are arbitrarily arrested, kidnapped, tortured and extrajudicially executed on a daily basis. Without necessary measures to hold perpetrators accountable, these violations will continue indefinitely if the Council does not intervene to liberate the Iraqi people from these crimes and the regime that covers them.
Large-scale protests across Iraq have sought to establish a democratic system that respects human rights to replace the existing sectarian system. But Iraqi authorities responded with excessive force, mistreatment and assassination of activists and journalists. It is well documented that the perpetrators of these crimes are mainly Iran-backed militias, especially the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) al-Hashd al-Sha’abi.
It is crucial to recognize that Iraq is among the top three countries that resorts to the death penalty. Mass executions take place without due process and frequently without trial.
Therefore, the Human Rights Council and United Nations must recognize the imperative need to take positive steps towards ensuring justice for victims of these gross human rights violations and this can only be achieved by holding all perpetrators accountable.