GICJ calls on the United Nations to Create a Monitoring Mechanism to Investigate the Violations in Mosul
The battle for the “liberation” of Mosul initiated in October 2016 has provoked an astonishing number of civilian casualties and the death toll threatens to rise as governmental forces – with the support of the U.S. coalition – continue their indiscriminate shelling on civilian-inhabited areas.
With reference to the letters sent on October 6, 2016, November 16, 2016 and March 27, 2017, on April 24, 2017, GICJ addressed a new letter to the to the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, providing the evidence of the intentionality of the attacks perpetrated by the Iraqi government against its own population.
In its letter, GICJ reiterated that the shelling of residential areas in Mosul is causing mass devastation and is provoking an astonishing number of civilian casualties. However, despite GICJ calls, civilians continue to be targeted by frequent artillery attacks, airstrikes, and bombings: since the beginning of the “liberation” battle, hundreds of Iraqis have been killed and thousands remain trapped in the besieged city. Moreover, those who have managed to flee Mosul are now forced to live in makeshift shelters and refugees’ camps where living conditions are below all international standards.
Furthermore, the Iraqi government, contradicting its previous promises and announcements, is not taking the necessary and due actions to halt the civilian massacre and to comply with its international obligations. On the contrary, the airstrikes conducted by governmental forces with the support of the U.S. coalition are further deteriorating the conditions on the ground and are provoking a dramatic increase in the number of civilian casualties.
Iraqi Federal Police (IFP) Commander Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat : “destroying entire areas in Mosul using artillery, missiles and other types of weapons.”
As evidence of the intentionality of the attacks, GICJ attached a video received by sources on the ground which shows the Iraqi Federal Police (IFP) Commander Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat visiting injured members of the IFP at the hospital and ensuring them that he has avenged them 100-fold by “destroying entire areas in Mosul using artillery, missiles and other types of weapons.” The Commander also made clear reference to similar operations conducted in the past, including Fallujah, Tikrit, Jurf Al Sakhar and Biji.
The deliberate attacks by governmental forces and militias against the population, within the framework of fighting ISIS, were and remain a cause of serious concern, as they provoke the destruction of entire areas and cause the death of hundreds of civilians. Such video is an additional display of the worrying intentions of the Iraqi government as well as of its blatant disregard of its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. Moreover, the gravity of the case is further exacerbated by the fact that the police – which enjoyed level of trust of the population – is employing a concerning level of brutality that is often associated with the militias.
In this regard, GICJ urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to pressure the Iraqi government to halt the civilian carnage in Mosul and to stop indiscriminate shelling and bombings on civilian-inhabited areas. Furthermore, GICJ reiterated its call for impartial and independent investigations necessary to ensure accountability and reparation.
GICJ previous statements on Mosul:
GICJ Calls on the Human Rights Council to Convene a Special Session on the Crisis in Iraq: West Mosul Coalition Strikes
New War Crimes by the Iraqi Security Forces and Militias: When fighting ISIS becomes the pretext for murdering civilians
Mosul, the Next on the “Liberation” Agenda: A New Humanitarian Catastrophe Awaiting Iraq
Mosul: the terrors of the “war on terror”