Why is Iraq Challenging Human Rights Reports?

A few hours after the report was issued, Dindar Zebari, chairman of the High Committee to Evaluate and Respond to International Reports in the KRG, said, “The claims of [Amnesty International] regarding the peshmerga in IS-liberated areas are false accusations, bias, and they neglect the peshmerga’s sacrifices as thousands of martyrs were killed and wounded to liberate the citizens of areas seized by IS.”

In this regard, Shereen Mohamed Reda, a member of Iraq’s parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, told Al-Monitor, “Iraqi officials need to thank international and local human rights organizations, because they alert them of the violations they are making or that are made by parties that are not under their authority. They also need to build positive relations with them.”

Reda suggested that the Iraqi government form “teams and special committees to follow up on the information provided in the international and local human rights organizations reports, and carry out field visits to places where violations occurred. This way it will be taking advantage rather than be harmed by those reports, thus revealing violations without any efforts.”

Ziyad al-Ajili, executive director of the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory in Iraq, told Al-Monitor, “Countries in the Middle East — especially those under totalitarian regimes — have always rejected human rights reports, using stylistic discourse rather than evidence. This is the situation, although these organizations refrain from saying anything without having any evidence. Thus the denial of these reports by the Middle East and Arab governments is irrefutable evidence on their involvement in human rights violations.”

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