First Published: 2017-10-06

Iraq aid groups point out IS-linked families to authorities
Rights group says 'disturbing' to see aid workers in Iraq ignore 'principles of neutrality', potentially helping authorities to impose 'collective punishment'.
Middle East Online

Many relatives of IS jihadists fled as the group suffered a string of defeats.

BAGHDAD - Aid workers running camps for people who fled fighting in Iraq have helped authorities identify families suspected of links to the Islamic State group, Human Rights Watch said Friday.

"In mid-September, security officials told several international and local organisations... to draw up lists of so-called 'ISIS families' so they can 'keep an eye on them,'" HRW researcher Belkis Wille said, using another name for the group.

Many relatives of IS jihadists fled as the group suffered a string of defeats at the hands of Iraqi forces and an international coalition, most notably the fall of its Iraqi bastion Mosul in July.

Some have sought refuge in camps run by aid groups south of Iraq's second city.

"Several camp management teams told me they have already provided these lists, which include hundreds of families in camps that are housing at least 15,000 families displaced by recent fighting," Wille said.

"It is disturbing enough to see security forces punishing families for the actions of their relatives, but it is particularly troubling to see aid workers helping them violate the rights of these families," she said.

Wille urged humanitarian workers to "insist on the principles of neutrality and independence and avoid complicity in efforts to impose collective punishment on women and children".

Rights group Refugees International also warned this week that Iraqi women and girls "perceived or alleged to be affiliated with ISIS are reportedly being detained and subject to sexual exploitation and abuse" by Iraqi authorities.


Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria

US warns Turkey over civilians caught in Syria assault

Saudi crown prince keen to cement ties with US

Abbas calls US ambassador to Israel 'son of a dog'

Erdogan vows to expand Syria op to other Kurdish-held areas

Kurdish envoy accuses foreign powers of ignoring Turkish war crimes

Morocco authorities vow to close Jerada's abandoned mines

Israeli soldier sees manslaughter sentence slashed

Turkey insists no plans to remain in Afrin

Cairo voters show unwavering support for native son Sisi

Forum in Jordan explores new teaching techniques

Gaza Strip woes receive renewed attention but no fix is expected

Kurds, Syrian opposition condemn Afrin looting

36 jihadists killed in Egypt’s Sinai