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Iraq: Not a Homecoming | Human Rights Watch
Once the families came home, the armed group controlling the area told them that a male relative had to join a local neighborhood watch to conduct daily patrols to protect the area against ISIS.

In the spring of 2019, humanitarian workers in Iraq identified 242 distinct areas in Iraq where not a single family has been able to return even though the fighting ended, in some cases as long as five years ago. In some areas this is because ISIS left landmines and other forms of explosives, booby-trapping homes, that have yet to been cleared.

But in 94 of the areas, the de facto ban on returns is a form of punishment against those the security forces perceive as having been sympathetic to ISIS, or as having a relative who was sympathetic to the group. An Interior Ministry official estimated the number of people from families with perceived ISIS affiliation who could not return home because of objections by federal or local authorities or communities at 250,000.

AT CAMP KILO 18 in December 2018, A soldier told me that only three families were allowed to go home—they had fulfilled the requirements of finding a community leader and 10 witnesses to testify they never had sympathy for ISIS. The rest were being moved on to other camps.

One elderly woman who wanted to go home was from an area in Anbar governorate where the majority tribe was claiming that members of her tribe had joined ISIS and demanded huge payments to allow families to return. “I don’t have $40,000 to go home,” she said. Dozens of families in Anbar told similar stories: only if they were rich enough to pay the stronger tribe could they go home. A few wealthy families from Kilo 18 were going home; the poorest remained.

The remaining families were transferred to two other camps in Anbar, and with the departures a greater mix of the camp population was made up of families with alleged ties to ISIS. The families said that security forces began to treat residents more like prisoners than displaced people, in some camps depriving them of cell phones, visitors, or the right to come or go freely, or in some cases at all, from the camp. What were once displacement camps, built by the United Nations, have become open air prisons.

To obtain security clearance, families need to approach the designated intelligence force in their area, which differs among the governorates, to submit their names and request clearance. Officers will run their names through a database of people flagged as “wanted” for their suspected links to ISIS. If their relative is on one of those lists, officers will deny them clearance, tear up the application, and destroy even their expired documents – in some cases even arrest them.

Based on estimates by aid groups, in early 2019 at least 156,000 displaced people are missing at least some of their essential civil documentation. Without security clearance and documents an Iraqi is not allowed to freely move within the country. Without documents they are not allowed to pass through a checkpoint— there are thousands, along every main road and throughout all towns and villages and at the entrances and exits to camps. This means if they are currently living in a camp, they are effectively prisoner there until they are able to obtain clearance.

Security forces have admitted to me that limiting freedom of movement is the very reason they deny these families security clearance. “It is easier to watch them if they cannot move,” one told me with a grin. Without a security clearance, relatives of ISIS suspects are effectively blocked from returning home. Moving around in Iraq without a valid ID card is not only extremely dangerous but it puts the person at risk of arrest, and as a result, torture. Most perversely, Iraqis need security clearance to enter a government building, including a courthouse if you wanted to seek judicial remedy for—as an example—being rejected for security clearance.

The army has told Ammar that if any of the villagers dare enter any of the towns in Sinjar—towns where Arabs used to hold jobs including in local government—they will be killed. Ammar and the rest of the community are forced to drive 40 kilometers to the nearest town controlled by the Arab population for everything from basic shopping to urgent medical care.
Iraq  ISIS  ISISfamilies  FreedomOfMovement  IDPs  Ninewa  Yazidi 
2 days ago by elizrael
Iraq weighs captives' rights against fear of new Islamic State - Reuters, May 23, 2019
The latest Iraqi proposal is to put them in buildings and more permanent structures in isolated areas guarded by security forces, according to officials, aid workers and rights groups.

“Camps are temporary, people can’t live there forever. The only solution is to designate areas monitored and protected by the state and provide services and work on reintegrating these people,” said Ali Bayati, a member of Iraq’s semi-official High Commission for Human Rights.

Aid agencies have said they will not provide support for a new internment camp or detention zone, according to several aid workers, due to the risk of rights violations. They are seeking instead to put people who pass security screening into existing displacement camps, according to a plan seen by Reuters.
Iraq  ISIS  Hassakeh  ISISfamilies  refugees  CollectivePunishment 
6 days ago by elizrael
France Hands ISIS Suspects to Iraq, Which Sentences Them to Hang - The New York Times
The Republic is displeased. Seriously if there was one country that would do this without compunction...
france  isis  iraq 
11 days ago by yorksranter
bellingcat - Torching And Extortion: OSINT Analysis Of Burning Agriculture In Iraq - bellingcat
When Iraqi and Kurdish forces made progress in pushing ISIS back, the group started to destroy the areas they had to give up. One such area was Dibis forest, Iraq’s second largest remaining lowland forest, located in the mountainous area east of Kirkuk.
isis  agriculture  osint  environment  forest 
12 days ago by yorksranter
Caliphate in Decline: An Estimate of Islamic State's Financial Fortunes
March 2017 International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation report
The so-called Islamic State has often been described as the richest terrorist organization in the world.

This estimate of Islamic State revenues for the years 2014–2016 results from a collaboration between EY and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), King’s College London. It is based on a systematic review of open source information about the finances of Islamic State in its core territory in Syria and Iraq.

Estimates vary widely. It remains impossible to say exactly how much money Islamic State has at its disposal.

The group’s most significant sources of revenue are closely tied to its territory. They are: (1) taxes and fees; (2) oil; and (3) looting, confiscations, and fines. We have found no hard evidence that foreign donations continue to be significant. Similarly, revenues from the sale of antiquities and kidnap for ransom, while difficult to quantify, are unlikely to have been major sources of income.

In the years since 2014, Islamic State’s annual revenue has more than halved: from up to $1.9b in 2014 to a maximum of $870m in 2016. There are no signs yet that the group has created significant new funding streams that would make up for recent losses. With current trends continuing, the Islamic State’s “business model” will soon fail.
icsr  isis  finance  terrorism 
19 days ago by strohps
ISIS Put Improvised Explosives All Over Syria, and Disposal Won't Be Easy | WIRED
Skip Article Header. Skip to: Start of Article. Related Galleries Stunning Images Show the Earth's Imperiled Water The Twilight Zone Can Make You a Better Person.
isis  terrorism 
25 days ago by jeffhammond
ISW Blog: ISIS's Opportunity in Northern Syria's Detention Facilities and Camps
ISIS has a unique and dangerous opportunity to exploit conditions in detention facilities and internally displaced persons’ camps across Northern Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) do not have adequate resources to detain the suspected 9,000 ISIS fighters and 63,000 ISIS family members currently housed in a network of detention facilities and internally displaced persons camps. The Al-Hawl Camp alone is now over capacity by roughly 30,000 individuals and holds a combustible mix of ideologically committed ISIS family members and other civilians. Female ISIS members within the camp have attacked guards and other civilians. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) assesses that ISIS is already networking within Al-Hawl. ISIS may attempt a breakout of both detained fighters and displaced persons as part of its 2019 Ramadan campaign and/or its wider resurgent campaign in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. must urgently help the SDF adequately secure these facilities and process their inhabitants.
Mar15  ISIS  Hassakeh  IDPs 
25 days ago by elizrael
The New Humanitarian | UK keeps limits on cash aid in Syria over counter-terror fears
Al-Hol residents have never been receiving cash aid but DFID, the UK’s government aid agency, paused all aid programmes that involved money transfers in the northeast early last month – a suspension that does affect another 50,000 people who were forced to flee their homes at earlier stages in the Syrian war, many to get away from areas of IS control.

Fe Kagahastian, who helps coordinate agencies working on cash-based programmes in the region as part of Norwegian Refugee Council's global roster of cash experts, said another donor has stepped in to fill the cash aid gap left by the UK in northeastern Syria.

While this means disruption was minimised, she said that residents of Roj, Newroz, and Twahini camps are among those still likely to miss the $15-$60 per month (depending on family size) they had been counting on during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
UK  aid  Hassakeh  IDPs  ISIS  ISISfamilies 
27 days ago by elizrael
شبكة بلدي الإعلامية | "ب ي د" يعتقل عشرات النساء والأطفال في مخيم الهول May 4, 2019
وقالت مصادر إخبارية محلية؛ إن عناصر " ب ي د" شنوا حملة مداهمات بالقسم الخامس من مخيم الهول، وهو القسم المخصص للعائلات السورية. وأضافت المصادر، إن العناصر قاموا بتفتيش الخيم بحثاً عن أجهزة خليوية، واعتقلوا نحو 30 من النساء والأطفال، للتحقيق معهم. ولفتت المصادر إلى أن حملة الاعتقالات جاءت بعد تظاهر العشرات من النساء في المخيم ومطالبة شيوخ العشائر بالضغط على " ب ي د " لإطلاق سراحهن والسماح بالخروج من مخيم الهول.
Mar15  Hassakeh  PYD  repression  protests  ISIS  IDPs 
29 days ago by elizrael

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