Iraqi forces have forcibly displaced at least 125 families said to have familial ties to affiliates of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch (HRW) said today.
Sunni tribal groups (known as the Hashad al-Asha'ri), within the Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi), which are under the control of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and Iraqi soldiers forced the families out of their homes following the passage of a decree issued by local authorities.
The families, all from Salah al-Din governorate, are being held against their will in a camp functioning as an open-air prison near Tikrit. The PMF also destroyed some of the families’ homes.
Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said:
“While politicians in Baghdad are discussing reconciliation efforts in Iraq, the state’s own forces are undermining those efforts by destroying homes and forcing families into a detention camp.
“These families, accused of wrongdoing by association, are in many cases themselves victims of ISIS abuses and should be protected by government forces, not targeted for retribution.”
(Source: Human Rights Watch)