General Debate under Item 4:
General Debate Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
13 March 2019
Oral Statement by: Union of Arab Jurists and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
Thank you, Mr. Vice-President.
Our organization and Geneva International Centre for Justice would like to draw the Council’s attention on the human rights situation in Iraq where massive, grave and systematic violations keep occurring daily since the US invasion of 2003. Such violations include – among others - torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, media intimidation, suppression of peaceful demonstrations, and extrajudicial killings.
The treatment of human rights defenders is reaching a critical point. They face many restrictions and human rights violations, including the possibility of torture or death. Many of the people who have led and participated in demonstrations across the country have been kidnapped, detained and tortured in order to stop their activities.
Furthermore, prisons are severely overcrowded, as thousands of detainees and prisoners are held by governmental forces, and militias across the country. Overcrowding results in a lack of basic services - including properly functioning toilets, and the denial of food and proper medication.
Not to mention, the grave violations committed by ISIS are only added to the severity of the current situation. The control of ISIS in several areas in Iraq and Syria allow for the commission of atrocities such as crimes against humanity and the neglecting of human rights.
Finally, we encourage the idea of creating a mandate of Special Rapporteur for Iraq.