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Iraq

Displaced women face rape by authorities in Iraqi camps: Amnesty

By Rudaw 17/4/2018
Iraqi women displaced from Ramadi, sit and wait to receive aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross at a makeshift camp where they are taking shelter in Habbaniyah, Anbar province, on June 23, 2016. File photo: Moadh al-Dulaimi | AFP
Iraqi women displaced from Ramadi, sit and wait to receive aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross at a makeshift camp where they are taking shelter in Habbaniyah, Anbar province, on June 23, 2016. File photo: Moadh al-Dulaimi | AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Women in Iraq with alleged ties to ISIS have been raped in Iraq's IDP camps by administrators, armed men, and other displaced Iraqis, a human rights monitor reported.

"Four women told Amnesty International they had either witnessed rape directly or heard the screams of a woman in a nearby tent who was being raped by armed men, members of the camp administration or other camp residents," the UK-based international NGO report released on Tuesday.

Amnesty researchers say they established that sexual exploitation was occurring in each of the eight camps.

'Dana,' a 20-year-old woman, told Amnesty she "had survived several rape attempts and faced relentless pressure to have sex with a member of the security forces in her camp."

“Because they consider me the same as an ISIS fighter, they will rape me and return me back. They want to show everyone what they can do to me – to take away my honour,” she said.


The report says that thousands of households in the camps are now headed by women "after male family members were killed, or arbitrarily arrested and forcibly disappeared while fleeing ISIS-held areas in and around Mosul."

Many of the men appear on "wanted lists" for having ties to ISIS "in non-combat roles with ISIS as cooks or drivers." The women "have been left to fend for themselves," according to Amnesty.

The locations of the camps were not named.

"The war against ISIS in Iraq may be over, but the suffering of Iraqis is far from over. Iraqi women and children with perceived ties to ISIS are being punished for crimes they did not commit," said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International.

 

“The Iraqi government must show it is serious about ending the violations against these women by holding all perpetrators to account and stopping all armed men from entering IDP camps," Maalouf added.

 

Iraqi's components have faced war and displacement for 40 years and under two governments.

 

“To put an end to the poisonous cycle of marginalization and communal violence that has plagued Iraq for decades, the Iraqi government and international community must commit to upholding the rights of all Iraqis without discrimination. Without this, there can be no national reconciliation or lasting peace," asserted Maalouf.


More than 2.2 million Iraqis remain internally displaced because of the ISIS conflict, according to IOM data.

The country will hold parliamentary elections on May 12, as international NGOs have warned of coerced, forced, and blocked returns, particularly in the Sunni stronghold of Anbar province.

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