The 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
13 September - 8 October 2021
ITEM 4: General Debate on Arbitrary Detention in Iraq
Oral statement on behalf of International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Delivered by: Payton Focht
Thank you, President,
The human rights violations in Iraq continue to increase in severity and the most fundamental legal conditions and procedural safeguards are systematically disregarded. The violations could continue indefinitely if the international community does not act.
Iraqis are kept in disgusting and dangerous detention for years without due process where they experience ill treatment such as no access to medical treatment and torture, with no notice of the reason or timeframe of detention. Detentions often lead to enforced disappearances or death from poor and inhumane conditions. EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice believe that these add to the growing number of people that are put to death without fair trial by the government.
Militias and other groups operate their own prisons making it difficult for families to track down loved ones which can prolong the detention and the emotional turmoil taken on by families. Enforced disappearances are widespread and systematic in Iraq leaving thousands of people without legitimate protection. Iraqi law does not explicitly criminalize enforced disappearances, nor does it provide for specific procedures for the search or investigation of disappeared or alleged disappeared persons.
We urge the UN to put forth all their efforts to end these human rights abuses. the UN and international communities cannot be spectators to these grave violations any longer.