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IRAQ: Authorities turn blind eye to Shi'A militia vicious reprisal killings

The Iraqi authorities’ failure to protect Sunni civilians from a wave of reprisal attacks by Shi’a militia last month is another example of widespread impunity for what are clearly war crimes, Amnesty International said today.

Amnesty researchers have documented abductions, killings and burning of homes and property of the Sunni community in and around the city of Muqdadiya. The attacks started on 11 January after appalling bomb attacks that killed at least 27 civilians, carried out by the armed group calling itself Islamic State.

Iraqi authorities failed to stop the reprisals by Shi’a militias and have subsequently failed to effectively investigate or bring a single person to justice. Scores of Sunni men in Muqdadiya and surrounding areas are still unaccounted for and are feared dead.

James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, said:

“Instead of holding Shi’a militias to account the authorities have turned a blind eye to this shocking rampage. In some cases abductions and killings took place in full view of local authorities, who failed to intervene.

“We are calling on the Iraqi government to take immediate and concrete measures to prevent further attacks on the Sunni community and ensure those responsible for these war crimes are brought to justice.”

Witnesses told Amnesty International that more than a hundred families have left the city in fear for their lives, while many more are too scared to leave their homes.


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