Human Rights Watch accuses Ninewa authorities of undermining work of aid agencies

Human Rights Watch accuses Ninewa authorities of undermining work of aid agencies

KirkukNow Human Rights Watch accuses authorities in Ninewa of “threatening and arresting aid workers, even bringing bogus terrorism charges against them”. In a report published on its formal website on Monday February 25, HRW said, “local authorities are compelling organizations to stop providing services to families with suspected links to Islamic State (IS) militants.” Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch expressed concern about the difficulties facing aid workers in the province saying that “aid workers in Mosul and other parts of Ninewa have faced baseless charges of ISIS affiliation, and have even been arrested, describing what happens as “attempts to get some organizations to divert aid to corrupt local authorities or to stop giving assistance to some needy families accused of having relatives in ISIS.”
Mosul- Aid agencies distribute food to IDPs in Hammam Alil camp, March 2017, Photo: AFP
The report indicated that Human Rights Watch has previously “documented 17 cases in which lawyers working for humanitarian organizations in Ninewa over the last two years had witnessed or themselves experienced verbal harassment, arrest threats, or arrest.” Lama Fakih stressed that “Unless there is a robust response to abuses of aid workers and attempts to undermine aid operations, it is going to become even harder and more dangerous for them to help Iraqis who need their assistance, including families with perceived ISIS affiliation”.
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