KRG investigations team to collect evidence of rights abuses in Kirkuk, Khurmatu

KRG investigations team to collect evidence of rights abuses in Kirkuk, Khurmatu

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Monday announced it had commissioned a team to examine the human rights violations against the population in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu.

During a meeting yesterday, the Kurdistan Region’s Council of Ministers said it had assigned a local investigations team to collect documents and evidence of human rights crimes committed against the people of the region, especially Kurds.

On Oct. 16, Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias attacked Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu, along with other disputed areas, prompting thousands of families to leave their homes.

Following the takeover, international humanitarian organizations, including Amnesty International, confirmed reports of the Iraqi and Shia militia troops looting, burning, and destroying the property of fleeing families.

About 180,000 people have fled Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu to other cities in the Kurdistan Region.

According to a KRG statement, the Region has called on the international community to expedite the delivery of aid to the displaced people.

However, the international air embargo imposed by the Iraqi government on airports in Kurdistan following the Sep. 25 independence referendum has been an obstacle for the arrival of such assistance, the statement added.

After inspecting the conditions of the displaced inside and around Sulaimani Province, KRG Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs Mahmoud Saleh said tents, heating facilities, building of health centers, and other daily needs were immediately required.

In a press conference yesterday, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said the situation in Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu “represents a major disaster.”

Barzani blamed the Iraqi forces for the violations that occurred in the areas, and reiterated the Region’s readiness for serious dialogue with Baghdad to resolve all differences.