300 NGOs urge the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to focus on Human Rights situation in Iraq after 2003

This question was put before UN High Commissioner for Human rights by almost 300 NGOs from around the world with regard to the meeting organized by the Government of Iraq on 19 September 2012 at the Palais des Nations/ Geneva, about what it called (The crimes of the previous regime in Iraq). Those NGOs believe that the conference is just an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing human rights violations in Iraq. We urge all of you to distance your selves from participating in this meeting.


It is well known fact that the human rights situation under the former regime in Iraq was examined by the UN Commission on Human Rights. As a result, dozens of UN resolutions were adopted, condemning the previous government of Iraq. Then, after 2003, individuals from that government were executed by the Iraqi current authorities; compensation was paid to the alleged victims of the violations, allegedly occurred before 2003,among other remedies. For these reasons, the signed NGOs are questioning the motivation behind such an event, also, what effect might it have on the victims of the current violations?


Since 2003, widespread and serious human rights violations have taken place in Iraq on a daily basis. Those violations have been committed by the US forces and the current authorities. NGOs have repeatedly appealed to the Human Rights Council to place the human rights situation in Iraq on the agenda of the Council. They continue to urge the Human Rights Council to not ignore the serious and deteriorating human rights situation in Iraq.


The High Commissioner have expressed concern regarding widespread and unjust trials and summary executions—two of the most serious violations of international human rights law—that are regularly occurring in Iraq. The UN Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has also repeatedly reported on the widespread violations of numerous human rights by the Iraqi authorities as well as others in Iraq.


The participation of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the meeting of 19 September 2012, will be widely perceived as not paying the required attention to the current violations of human rights in Iraq as the meeting may intentionally try to cover these violations and mislead the public on this tragedy. We regret that this will be the apparent message sent to so many civil society actors in Iraq and across the Middle East and around the world who are aware of this event and strongly condemn it.


We appeal to you to reconsider your involvement in this event and to instead, consider drawing attention to the ongoing human rights violations in Iraq. We also hope that you will support the numerous civil society actors from the region in efforts to encourage consideration of human rights in Iraq today by the Human Rights Council.

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