Yezidi fighters in Iraq allegedly forcibly disappeared and killed 52 civilians from the Imteywit tribe in June 2017, Human Rights Watch said today.
Relatives of victims told Human Rights Watch that on June 4, 2017, Yezidi forces detained and then apparently executed men, women, and children from eight Imteywit families who were fleeing fighting between the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) west of Mosul. Yezidi forces were also implicated in two other incidents of enforced disappearances of members of the Imteywit and Jahaysh tribes in late 2017.
“As the ground fighting against ISIS winds down in Iraq, state security forces need to turn their focus to preventing retaliation and upholding the rule of law,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Past atrocities against the Yezidis don’t give its armed forces a free pass to commit abuses against other groups, whatever their past.”
Human Rights Watch spoke to two Imteywit members who traveled through the village where, two hours later, the 52 people went missing. Human Rights Watch also spoke to a member of the PMF intelligence services who had visited the village and saw several mass graves that local Yezidi residents told him contained the bodies of the Imteywit victims. A Yezidi community leader provided to Human Rights Watch a list of five Yezidi fighters who he said told him they had killed the families.
In late April, as fighting approached the area just south of the Sinjar region, ISIS forces moved their families from the village of Ain Ghazal in Qayrawan to the desert north of the town of Baaj, two Imteywit men said. They said that on June 4, the Imam Ali Battalions, a PMF unit, retook the area from ISIS, and started moving local families out of the desert in a convoy of 70 cars traveling north toward Tel Afar. The two men and their relatives – 22 men, 20 women, and 10 children from the Imteywit tribe traveling in seven cars – broke off from the other members of the convoy.
Read full article on Human Rights Watch, December 27, 2017