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Al-Shahama camp. Detention without guilt

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights declared that families who have members belonging to ISIS were isolated in the camp of Shahama, Salahaddin province

Shahama camp considered one of the camps allocated to ISIS members families, these actions are contrary to national standards and international human rights.


The camp is located in the province of Salah al-Din, opened in January 2017,  more than 300 displaced families from the province of Salah al-Din and the Hawija District that belongs to Kirkuk province lives there.


People who lived there reported about the security who controls the camp saying 

 "They are afraid we have any contact with the people outside the camp or get out or have cell phones because they think we belong to ISIS.”


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights expressed that "the camp, which had about 360 families, is now only having 130 family after the return of more than 200 families to their original areas of residence once they had the approval of the Iraqi security forces that allowed them." The return process was preceded by stages of innocence from their relatives who belonged to the organization, and the pledge of no communication with them, in addition to a guarantee from someone. "


Earlier, Lieutenant General Juma 'Anad Saadoun, commander operations of the Iraqi security forces in the province of Salah al-Din, said that he ordered the immediate expulsion to relatives from ISIS members after the decision released from the province in September 2016.


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said that "Iraqi security forces relied on information provided by local residents about the involvement of members of this family or that for belonging to the organization, and there was no information based on facts or documeneted incidents, usually family and tribal differences play a negative role in pushing some to accuse others for belonging to ISIS.


one of the detainees in Hawija camp said that "His first-class family had no one 

 belongs to ISIS nor any intention basically to cooperate with them, but his second and third class relatives, some of whom are involved in the organization but he have no relation with them.” 


"I have been detained here since 2017 with my family, I can not communicate with anyone, I can not go outside the walls of this camp, I can not practice my life normally, I am not the culprit, so why do I and hundreds of people have to go through this, why we are guilty of what our relatives did? is everyone punished because one individual from them involved in criminal acts?."


This woman who fought alongside with the Popular Mobilization Forces, appeared in a video clip, departing families of people who had joined the organization in Salah ad Din province by military vehicles. The deportation came after the decision of the Salah al-Din Governorate Council in 2016 to destroy homes of those belonging to ISIS and evacuation of their families away from the province.


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said that "local officials in Salah al Din province, unwilling to show their support to the deportation of these families, justifying the removal procedures from their residential areas because they want to keep them from the retaliation they may face in their original areas of residence due to reactions that may be issued About the residents of the area who have been harmed by the organization. "


a woman in her fifth decade seized in the camp said 

"Her 16-year-old son was tricked by the organization in Baiji district and worked with them on administrative issues. She says I'm still unaware of his fate so far. But nowadays I am being punished for the fate of a child who been deceived and had no fault of killing people expect he worked in the recent weeks to the presence of the organization in the judiciary administrative issues.


"I have no problem staying all my life in this camp, I just want to get my son back, I'm ready to stay here and bear all the suffering and humiliation I've experienced over the last two years on the hope that my son returns to me, the authorities haven't given me the opportunity to ask about him or to communicate with our relatives and acquaintances to find out about his fate.


she continues about her suffering in the camp because of her son's fighting with ISIS accusations 

"I saw death here, some guards disgrace    me and call me the mother of the terrorist, they do not know how I live and what's inside of me having lost one of my children." 


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said that these families, who are held in the Shahama camp, were threatened while they were in their residential areas. When they arrived to the camps, armed factions and some tribes destroyed their homes and land. When they return to their areas they will not find places to shelter, and if they stay in the camps, they will continue to suffer from abuse and detention and restrictions on movement and prevent contact with others.


Aid workers who have continuous campaigns to provide veterinary and medical assistance to residents reported to the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights "Many complaints received from families living in the camp are related to harassment and attempted extortion by arrest or detention in other places if they demanded their rights or claimed to leave the camp or even communicate with relatives and friends in other areas. "


He also added "There are stories that we can not talk about related to extortion more than arrest or detentions, there are those who engage in behaviors that violates rights ... It is difficult to talk about them in a tribal and eastern society like ours." Children and women are the most vulnerable and most damaged with everything that happens in the camp."


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said that the Iraqi government did not deal humanely with the families who were accused of having individuals belonging to the organization and decided to isolate them in camps away from residential areas and created stereotypes of them, these actions mobilized all angry responses for retaliation after them, therefore punished women and children who had no guilt of all that happened and were only relatives of the first or second degree or more than people who had joined the organization.


The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said that "the Iraqi government has practiced collective punishment towards these families and deprived them of their freedom of movement and communication rights with others, children also deprived from their educational and health rights.