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Key Courts Improve ISIS Trial Procedures

Human Rights Watch reports:

Prosecutions of Islamic State (ISIS) suspects in Iraq are proceeding based on a deeply flawed and vague counterterrorism law, but the Nineveh governorate’s counterterrorism court has made improvements in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today.

Following a December 2017 Human Rights Watch report, judges in the Nineveh governorate in northern Iraq are requiring a higher evidentiary standard to detain and prosecute suspects, minimizing the court’s reliance on confessions alone, erroneous wanted lists, and unsubstantiated allegations.

“What we see in Nineveh is a significant shift in the way that prosecutions are proceeding,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Throwing out cases with flimsy or no evidence is a step forward, but more work is needed to ensure defendants are not mistreated and get fair trials.”

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