Disappearances Grow as Iraqi Troops Detain Fleeing Fallujah Civilians

Between Militia's Executions and Military's Detentions, Fates of Hundreds Uncertain

by Jason Ditz, June 14, 2016

While the Iraqi government made a big deal over the weekend of arresting some members of their allied Shi’ite militias for kidnapping, torturing, and killing refugees from ISIS-held Fallujah, the problem appears to just be growing, with the Iraqi military itself now reportedly rounding up people on the same pretext as the militias were, and shipping them to a detention center, just like the militias were.

Civilians at a refugee camp in Amriyat al-Fallujah say there is growing despair over the fate of the hundreds of men, husbands, sons, etc., who were captured by security forces while trying to flee through the area the government ordered them to use, and are being held as suspected ISIS.

Those people that have turned up were tortured, with many dying of their wounds. The government’s official stance was that this was a militia thing, but the military was already talking up the idea that a large chunk of the fleeing population was ISIS fighters with “fake IDs.”

All of this is adding to the appearance that the mass detentions and tortures weren’t a case of “rogue” militias, but rather the government’s policy all along, and that with the militias now under pressure to stop, they’re just going to switch to the military and keep the program going.

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