Urgent Action: HUNDREDS STILL DISAPPEARED FIVE YEARS ON (Iraq: UA 59.21)

June 3, 2021

At least 643 men and boys from Anbar governorate in central Iraq have been missing for five years since their abduction by the Popular Mobilization Units, a state-affiliated armed group, on June 3, 2016. To this date, their families are uncertain if their loved ones are alive and the authorities have failed to take any meaningful action to locate and reveal their fate and whereabouts.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on July 29, 2021.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 59.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Prime Minister of Iraq
Mustafa al-Kadhimi
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @MAKadhimi
Ambassador Fareed Yasseen
Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
3421 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 742 1600 I Fax: 202 333 1129
Contact Form: http://www.iraqiembassy.us/webform/feedback
Twitter: @IraqiEmbassyUSA
Facebook: @IraqiEmbassyUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Your Excellency,

On the night of June 3, 2016, 1,300 men and boys considered to be of fighting age were subjected to enforced disappearance by the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), a state-affiliated armed group, as they were trying to flee the city of Saqlawiya, in Anbar Governorate, central Iraq, with their families. Out of the 1,300 men and boys, at least 643 remain subject to enforced disappearance – a crime under international law. Their families have lived in agony ever since, not knowing whether their loved ones are safe or even still alive.

According to credible testimonies gathered by Amnesty International from former abductees, witnesses and relatives of those forcibly disappeared, the group fleeing Saqlawiya was met by armed individuals carrying machine guns and assault rifles. Witnesses identified the armed men as members of the PMU, based on emblems on their uniforms and flags. Armed members of the PMU separated the men and boys from the rest of the group and took them to buildings, garages and abandoned shops in the nearby area, confiscating their identity documents, phones and other valuables, and later bound their hands behind their backs, in most cases using plastic cuffs. At sunset, several buses arrived and together with a large truck transported a number of these boys and men. To date, the fate of those who boarded these vehicles remains unknown.

On June 5, 2016, the previous Prime Minister, Haidar al-Abadi, set up a committee to investigate disappearances and abuses committed in the context of military operations to retake Falluja. Separately, the local government of Anbar governorate also set up a committee which published its findings and stated that 643 internally displaced men and boys from the area of Saqlawiya are missing. To this date, both committees have failed to disclose any meaningful information on the fate and whereabouts of the 643 men and boys.

We urgently call on Your Excellency to launch an impartial, prompt and independent investigation with a view to establishing the fate and whereabouts of the disappeared; to publicly disclose the findings of all previous investigations by all the committees established; to take immediate steps to reveal the fate and whereabouts of those who had been forcibly disappeared by the PMU and to provide justice, truth and reparation to all victims and their families.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

URGENT: Children seeking asylum in the U.S. are being denied their human rights based on their nationality — help ensure that all girls and boys fleeing violence can seek safety.