Breaking the cycle of division: Justice for all Iraqi's

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

An alert addressing the worrying trends observed in current stabilisation and transitional justice efforts in Iraq. As the military campaign against ISIS in Iraq reaches a critical stage, strategies to achieve justice for victims of grave human rights abuses tend to remain selective, ill-adapted to local needs and disconnected from stabilisation and reconciliation efforts. In the international and national debate on accountability in Iraq, emphasis is placed on ISIS crimes, while abuses and crimes by other perpetrators are hardly on the agenda. Iraqs recent history and its experience dealing with the legacy of the Baathist regime should have taught us that perceptions of selective or victors’ justice are divisive, undermine peace and reconciliation efforts, and could fuel new conflict. To break the vicious circle of distrust and violence, Iraq needs inclusive transitional justice, which addresses crimes and abuses regardless of the background or identity of the perpetrators and victims; it should also provide space for all affected communities and local stakeholders to shape policy. In this policy brief, PAX and Impunity Watch outline the trends observed in current stabilisation and justice efforts and propose the following key recommendations to address them.


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