The president of the Nineveh Court of Appeal declared they have approved more than 63,000 compensation claims, each worth receiving a cash amount not exceeding 30 million Iraqi dinars IQD (USD20,000).
In an interview published on the website of the Supreme Judicial Council, in addition to the issue of compensation for war victims in Nineveh, Judge Raid Hamid Muslih pointed to the obstacles to the implementation of the law for Yazidi women survivors and the return of stolen antiques to the looted province.
The president of the Nineveh Court of Appeal says that 63,500 compensation applications have been approved since June 2020, and since then, they have asked the Ministry of Finance to allocate funds to compensate war victims.
The Nineveh court has the authority to decide on the claims for compensation, the amount of damage does not exceed 30 million IQD, and if the applicant ask for higher amount, it needs the approval of the federal government in Baghdad, he explained.
According to a letter signed by the Iraqi Ministry of Finance on July 28, 2022, the amount will be paid to compensate the people of the province whose houses were destructed due to the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS.
According to statistics previously published by KirkukNow, 250,000 houses in Mosul have been damaged or destroyed due to the fight against ISIS, some of which need $30,000 to rebuild and repair.
Compensation to the victims will be within the framework of the amendment to Law No. 20 of 2009, which will be evaluated by a committee. Then the applicant will be paid the reparation amount determined by the committee which evaluates the scope of the damage, which will cover first houses, then private service centers.
According to the law, the relatives of the dead and injured will be compensated for 2.5-5 million IQD plus a paid monthly pension.
About 90,000 civilians in Ninewa are trying to obtain compensation. According to the United Nations and the Iraqi government, six million people have been displaced since June 10, mostly from Ninewa. The ethnic and religious minorities of Mosul and most of Ninewa province faced killings, kidnappings, violence and displacement.
An estimated 7-8 million tons of debris were created by the fighting, mainly in the Old City on the banks of the Tigris River, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in May 2021.
The president of the Nineveh Court of Appeal pointed out that the unresolved cases are either those who ask for more than 30 million IQD which is not within their authority, but the central committee for compensation is responsible for it and there are many cases waiting for a final decision.
The compensation estimate is based on the size of the damage and relies on official documents proving that the property and the damage is owned by the plaintiff, then an expert committee will evaluate and determine the amount of compensation, according Muslih.
Regarding the settlement of cases, Muslih affirmed the time of submission of the compensation claim matters as the earlier the person applies, the sooner will receive the compensation.
The president of the Nineveh Court of Appeal spoke about the law of Yazidi women survivors and stressed, “the most obvious obstacles to the law are the survivors whose investigation files are not available, as they have gone outside Iraq, estimated at 1,400 people.”
The Genocide Commission is not ready to submit documents and investigation letters about the Yazidi survivors, despite repeated requests and according to the law of Yazidi women survivors must cooperate with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), federal ministries and other parties to submit it to the Directorate of Survivors' Affairs, he added.
He also explained that the documents and investigation files of the Yazidi survivors are among the most important evidence to show that the survivors faced crimes by "fighters of Daesh (ISIS).”
According to the Yazidi Survivors Law No. 8 of 2021, a monthly salary of twice the lowest pension for surviving women and girls will be paid - the lowest pension in Iraq is 500,000 Iraqi dinars IQD - meaning that each survivor will receive a monthly salary of one million IQD (USD650).
The law includes not only Yazidis, but all survivors of ISIS atrocities: Turkmens, Christian and Shabaks, who were enslaved by the extremist militants of the ISIS – Daesh - and liberated from captivity or survived the mass killing campaigns. It also includes all children under the age of eighteen of both sexes.
In March 2021, the Iraqi parliament ratified a law for reparation of Ezidi, Tukrmen, Christian and Shabak women survivors of ISIS.
The Ezidi Women Survivors' Law referred to the Iraqi parliament by the Iraqi President Barham Salih in March 2019, provides support and rehabilitation for the community, particularly the female members who escaped Islamic State abduction and slavery.
The law provides financial compensation for female and male survivors while it has not addressed other more sensitive issues, such as dealing with children who were the results of IS sexual abuse.
The law has outlined an office to be managed by an Ezidi to undertake the mission of receiving documents from the victims for the purpose of their compensation and providing a prosperous life.
The president of the court says that when ISIS took control of Nineveh province; they looted and traded antiques through Turkey and Syria, earning a lot of money to finance their organization.
“Da’esh has destroyed any monuments that it was unable to loot, such as the historical monuments of Nimrod, Hadhar, the Minaret of Hadba and the blowing up of holy shrines such as the shrines of Prophet Yunus and Prophet Shit,” Judge Muslih said.
“Da’esh rebuilt fake monumnets similar to the real ones through experts and broke them in the Mosul museum in front of cameras, so that people understand that the master pieces were broken, while all has been sold on the black market.”
The head of the Nineveh Court of Appeal said so far they have returned 3,817 artifacts through the website Hobby Lobby, in addition to finding and returning 78 artifacts in Lebanon, 32 in the UK and several others in the Netherlands and Norway.