BAGHDAD: Militias fighting alongside Iraqi troops against the militant Islamic State group are committing war crimes using weapons provided to the Iraqi military by the United States, Europe, Russia and Iran, Amnesty International said on Thursday.
The rights group said that the predominantly Shia Muslim militias, known collective as the Hashid Shaabi, were using weapons from Iraqi military stockpiles to commit war crimes including enforced disappearances, torture and summary killings. Hashid Shaabi rejected Amnesty’s accusation as “lies”.
Parliament voted for the Hashid to formally become part of Iraq’s armed forces in November but the session was boycotted by Sunni Muslim representatives, who worry the move will entrench Shia majority rule as well as Iran’s regional influence.
Iraqi and Western officials have expressed serious concern about the government’s ability to bring the Shia militias under greater control.
“International arms suppliers, including the USA, European countries, Russia and Iran, must wake up to the fact that all arms transfers to Iraq carry a real risk of ending up in the hands of militia groups with long histories of human rights violations,” Amnesty researcher Patrick Wilcken said.
States wishing to sell arms to Iraq should ensure strict measures to ensure weapons will not be used by militias to violate human rights, he added in a statement.
Hashid spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi denied Amnesty’s report.
“These lies falsify truths and contribute directly or indirectly to the continuation of struggles that the Iraqi people and the people of neighbouring countries suffer from,” he told a news conference aired by state television.
“This is very clear in this report when it is purposefully slandering an official government institution,” he added, calling for an inquiry into Amnesty’s sources.
Suicide car bombing kills 11 in Baghdad
Iraqi officials have said a suicide car bombing in a commercial area in central Baghdad has killed at least 11 civilians.
A police officer says the bomber struck on Thursday night, hitting shops and food stands near a bus station in the Bab al-Muadam area.
He says the bombing also wounded at least 22 people.
A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Earlier, a series of bombings in and around Baghdad killed at least 16 people.
No one has claimed responsibility for any of the day’s attacks but they bore the hallmarks of the militant Islamic State group, which has carried out a string of bombings in Baghdad over the past week, killing nearly 100 people.. Tags: #
South Korean President Moon Jae-In hopes to “normalise” ties with giant neighbour China on his first state visit to the country this week,... More
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that recognising Jerusalem as his country's capital "makes peace possible", aft... More
After a year marked by devastating cyber attacks and breaches, online attackers are expected to become even more destructive in 2018, security researc... More
GENEVA: Talks aimed at ending the war in Syria restarted on Tuesday with the government enforcing its will, warning the United Nations it would not to... More
KARANGASEM, Indonesia (AP) An erupting volcano with a deadly history on Indonesia's Bali, one of the world's most popular resort islands... More
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. general in Afghanistan said on Tuesday that he had not seen a change in Pakistan’s support for militan... More
US President Donald Trump clashed with Democratic leaders in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, heaping pressure on Congress to craft a compromise on federa... More
Pope Francis spread a message of forgiveness in a historic open-air mass before a sea of worshippers in Yangon on Wednesday, during a visit to conflic... More
Riding a horse or nailing an archery target is tough at the best of times it's even harder when you're wearing a niqab. But that isn't ... More