Local armed forces in the northern Iraqi district of al-Ba’aj, issued an order in February 2018 that relatives of male Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members could not return, Human Rights Watch said today.
This will prevent hundreds of people, if not thousands, from returning home. Human Rights Watch has interviewed hundreds of other families of ISIS suspects across Iraq who faced similar punishments after ISIS fighters fled.
“The Ba’aj decree is one of the clearest pieces of evidence to date that Iraqi authorities are collectively punishing relatives of ISIS suspects,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Local forces and the central government need to answer for this discrimination.”