The UN denounced this Saturday that 123 activists have been kidnapped in Iraq and subjected to abuse and torture since anti-government protests broke out on October 1 last year and that 25 of them are still missing.
The last report of the United Nations Mission in Iraq (Unami), published today, details that the hostages had participated in or supported popular mobilizations, were activists or had published criticisms of the government on social networks.
All of them reported having been kidnapped in a public place, near the protest points or on their usual way to these places, from their homes or their jobs, by armed and masked men, according to the report, which was reproduced by the EFE news agency.
All of them were blindfolded and transported in vehicles to one or more places, where they were held for between one and 14 days, sometimes with other people.
According to the report, they were “interrogated” about their role in the protests, as well as their ties to political parties or foreign countries, and the men were tortured with brutal methods such as electric shocks, while the women were beaten and touched on their parts. intimate.
The hostages could not identify their captors, but targeted “militias”, while Unami points out the possible “intervention of armed actors with a substantial level of organization and access to resources.”
The report indicates that there is no indication that the Iraqi security forces are behind the abductions.
However, the kidnappings and deaths of at least 490 activists have not been punished to date, and this contributes to the “climate of impunity surrounding abuses and violations against protesters” in Iraq, according to Unami.
Therefore, the UN Special Representative in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, welcomed the promises of the new Mustafa al Kazemi government to investigate the incidents and to compensate the victims and their families, and to offer medical treatment to the wounded, which according to the report are about 7,800.
Al Kazemi took office in early May, after five months of disputes over the formation of a new Executive, following the resignation of the previous Government in November due to street pressure.