Iraqi PM orders probe into abuses by troops in Mosul

Baghdad, Jan 23 (IANS) Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday ordered an investigation into allegations of violations of human rights reportedly committed by government troops and allied paramilitary units in the offensive to recapture Mosul city from the Islamic State.

A statement by Abadi’s office said the Prime Minister “ordered to form a committee to investigate cases of kidnappings, mistreatment and violations in some areas in Nineveh province against civilians by groups exploiting the name of the security forces and Hashd Shaabi (Shiite and Sunni paramilitary units),” Xinhua reported.

The statement also said that some people record the abuses and then posted on social media to “spoil the joy of victory and to defame the real image of the brave security forces and their sacrifices to liberate the land and to maintain security.”

Abadi’s statement came two days after the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) called in a statement on the Iraqi government to investigate into a video circulated on social media purportedly showing brutal mistreatment and murder of at least three suspected IS militants captured by the security forces in the newly-freed area in eastern side of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh.

UNAMI statement said the abuses were carried out “at the hands of what appears to be Iraqi security forces personnel.”

The investigation came as the Iraqi security forces backed by anti-IS coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS militants from its last major stronghold in and around Mosul in northern Iraq.

Mosul, 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, has been under the IS control since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their posts and fled, enabling the IS militants to gain control of parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions.

–IANS

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