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Rights Group: Iraqi Arabs, Kurds Capture Men Fleeing Mosul as Terror Suspects

© AFP 2021 / SAFIN HAMEDSmoke billows from an area near the Iraqi town of Nawaran, some 10km north east of Mosul, as Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters march down a dirt road on October 20, 2016, during the ongoing operation to retake the city from the Islamic State (IS) group
Smoke billows from an area near the Iraqi town of Nawaran, some 10km north east of Mosul, as Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters march down a dirt road on October 20, 2016, during the ongoing operation to retake the city from the Islamic State (IS) group - Sputnik International
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Iraqi and Kurdish forces have separated and detained at least 37 men as they fled with their families from Mosul and the town of Hawija, about 75 miles to the south, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said in a press release.

An Iraqi soldier stands next to a detained man accused of being an Islamic State fighter, at a check point in Qayyara, south of Mosul, Iraq October 27, 2016 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Human Rights Watch noted it had spoken to 46 relatives and witnesses, who described security forces seizing men at checkpoints, screening centers and camps for displaced people. None knew where the men were being held nor had there been any contact with the detainees.

"When detainees are held without contact with the outside world, in unknown locations, that significantly increases the risk of other violations, including ill-treatment and torture," Human Rights Watch Deputy Middle East Director Lama Fakih said in the release on Thursday.

Following the liberation of other Iraqi cities, including Fallujah, Iraqi fighters in uniforms posted a series of videos on the internet of prisoners being tortured as suspected terrorists or collaborators.

Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by the US-led coalition against the Islamic State, launched a campaign on October 17 to retake the nation’s second largest city of Mosul, which has been held by the terrorist group for more than two years.

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