The 54th Session of the Human Rights Council
11 September - 13 October 2023
Item 4: General debate on human rights situations that require the Council's attention
27th September 2023
Statement of International-Lawyers.Org
Delivered by Naji Haraj
At a time when we discuss human rights issues around the world, we must reiterate the gravity of the situation in Iraq. The Iraqi people are deprived of their most basic rights, 30 percent of them live below the poverty line, and unemployment is widespread among young people who can work.
On the other hand, thousands of innocent people languish in detention centres for many years, without charges being brought against them, and they are subjected to ill-treatment and face all kinds of torture. Instead of releasing these people and compensating them for the years they spent unjustly detained, Parliament is discussing a law to pardon them, and the parliamentary blocs are exploiting this to achieve political and factional gains.
Thousands of families are waiting to know the fate of their detained and disappeared children. The hopes of mothers, wives, and children depend on the quarrels of the parliamentary blocs and their insistence on procrastinating in enacting a general amnesty law for those who are essentially innocent.
It is unfortunate that there is no serious discussion in the Council about all of this, especially since the Iraqi authorities are deliberately evading implementing the important recommendations of the United Nations committees, distorting them, and then neglecting them.
We have always called for the establishment of an international investigative mechanism to investigate all human rights violations in Iraq since 2003.