HRW: Iraq preventing Anbar refugees from returning home

Human Rights Watch has accused Iraqi security officials of preventing displaced families from returning to their homes in areas which have been recaptured from Daesh.

In a statement released yesterday, HRW authorities had also been forcing people to return to areas which may still be unsafe or where homes were destroyed by the fighting.

“While Iraqi forces confront serious security concerns, just being a family member of someone linked to ISIS or having lived under ISIS is not enough to represent a real threat,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, using another acronym for Daesh.

Authorities should allow those who aren’t an actual security risk who want to go home to do so in peace and respect the right of people who don’t feel safe to live where they wish

she added.

“With a new wave of displaced people most likely on the horizon, authorities should ensure that they are able to return to their homes when they feel safe,” she said.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the fighting in Anbar province between Iraqi forces and Daesh has displaced at least 507,000 since 2014 including at least 91,000 people who remain in refugee camps.

Read: Submit or die, Iraqi army tells Daesh holdouts in Anbar

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