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Iraq’s ever-increasing enforced disappearances

The number of forcibly disappeared persons in Iraq remains significant, amid no serious measures from the Iraqi government to address the issue.
Iraqi fighters of the Hashed al-Shaabi units stand guard during a campaign gathering for the Fateh Alliance, a coalition of Iranian-supported militia groups, in Baghdad on May 7, 2018, ahead of Iraq's parliamentary elections to be held on May 12. (Photo by AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Anas al-Azzawi, member of the Office of the Iraqi High Commissioner for Human Rights (IHCHR), reported July 24 that “7,663 people have been forcibly disappeared during the last three years. IHCHR confirmed that 652 disappeared persons were in detention and prisons, and the search is still ongoing to find the others.”

This number of enforced disappearances, which include neither those forcibly disappeared during the Islamic State (IS) phase nor those in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), is proof of the ongoing violence and political and sectarian conflict that began after 2014, following IS’ control over a third of Iraq. These forced disappearances have surpassed those that took place in Iraq during the sectarian civil war from 2005 to 2008.

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