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How Reconciliation in Iraq Could Stop Collective Punishment

Belkis Wille writes for Human Rights Watch:

Policymakers in Iraq, and in countries supporting its government, are debating what kind of reconciliation efforts are needed post-ISIS. Meanwhile, without fanfare, the town of al-Shura in northern Iraq, forty kilometers south of Mosul, is quietly carrying out its own reconciliation and reintegration efforts.

In early February I found myself in the home of Sheikh Jamhour of the Juburi tribe, one of the largest in Iraq, as he described how his town is engaging in reconciliation between families who suffered the atrocities of ISIS and families of ISIS members. Elsewhere in Iraq, families with relatives suspected of being ISIS members are being rounded up at gunpoint and forced into de facto prison camps and kept there in a form of collective punishment, a practice prohibited under international law.

In contrast, he said that al-Shura has welcomed back women and children with relatives who joined ISIS, and Juburi elders there are assisting in the reintegration of ISIS-members children into local schools.

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