Shafaq News / A UN report on enforced disappearances calls for independent and effective investigations to establish the fate of approximately 1,000 civilian men and boys who disappeared during military operations against ISIL (Da’esh) in Al-Anbar Governorate in 2015-2016, and to hold perpetrators accountable as well as provide justice and redress to victims’ families.
Coinciding with this year’s International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on 30 August, the report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) titled “Enforced Disappearances from Anbar governorate 2015-2016: Accountability for the victims and the right to truth” also encourages renewed efforts to address the broader issue of enforced disappearances in Iraq.
The UN organization renewed its call in the report to, "conduct independent and effective investigations to determine the fate of about 1,000 civilian men and boys who disappeared during the military operations against ISIS in the province of Anbar in 2015-2016, to hold the perpetrators accountable and provide justice and reparation to the families of the victims."
The report provides detailed recommendations aimed at encouraging acknowledgement and redress for victims, the establishment of a strong domestic legal framework against enforced disappearances, compliance and procedural safeguards, as well as comprehensive investigations into all enforced disappearances in Anbar and other governorates, leading to accountability, including criminal prosecutions where applicable", it added.
The United Nations noted that, "despite the focus on Al-Anbar as a case study, the recommendations of the report are valid throughout the country and can help address other cases of enforced disappearance".
For its part, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights called on the government agencies to make efforts to uncover the fate of the disappeared individuals and work seriously away from all political accounts.
The Commission expressed its concern about, "the ambiguity and the unknown fate of this segment despite the passage of a long period of time since their disappearance", and stressed, "The need to resolve this humanitarian file and end the suffering of thousands of families who lost their children in wars, conflicts and displacement operations".
The commission called on, " the specialized international organizations to provide support to the Iraqi government," and the House of Representatives to, "accelerate the enactment of a law", that protects all persons from enforced disappearance, "in line with Iraq's international obligations".
It is noteworthy that Iraq ratified on November 24, 2010 the United Nations International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which obliges the government to prevent enforced disappearance, punish the perpetrators and protect the victims.