Marking the one-year anniversary since Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition launched the offensive to retake the city of Mosul from the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, Samah Hadid said:
“The battle for Mosul has had catastrophic consequences for the city’s residents. Entire families were killed during the fighting, with many still buried under the rubble to this day. Warring parties placed little value upon civilian lives. Many of those lucky enough to escape are now living in unbearable conditions inside makeshift camps with an uncertain future.
“The international community must not forget about the people of Mosul. Funding for humanitarian assistance is urgently needed to help more than 800,000 people now living in tents without proper access to healthcare, food and water.
“Many of the displaced are also now living in fear. Enforced disappearances carried out by pro-government forces are on the rise, along with rushed and unfair trials, followed by executions carried out on the basis of ‘confessions’ extracted under torture. We urge the Iraqi authorities to ensure all trials adhere to international standards without resorting to the death penalty.
“It is also important that the Iraqi government and the US-led coalition acknowledge the grave loss of civilian life caused by the Mosul operation, as well as their role in it. They must ensure that reported violations are impartially investigated and those responsible are held accountable. The people of Mosul deserve to know that there will be justice and reparation for victims and their families. And the world needs to see that the lessons of the battle of Mosul are being learned so that civilians caught up in other battles are spared such catastrophic consequences.”