“5 years on, ethnic cleansing of Kurds in Iraq continues”

TJWG and Access Accountability helped support Crimes Against Kurds to release their landmark report.

The report will be available from October 16, 2022 at: https://crimesagainstkurds.org

October 16, 2022 marks five years since the invasion of Kirkuk and other disputed territories by the Iraqi federal government forces and Iranian-backed militias following the Kurdish referendum. Crimes Against Kurds collects open-source information on human rights violations perpetrated against Kurdish populations. Investigations by Crimes Against Kurds find that the ongoing campaign of widespread and systematic ethnic-cleansing may amount to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The new report, “Crimes Against Kurds: The New Ethnic Cleansing of the Disputed Territories,” documents abuses carried out by the Iraq state, Iranian-backed militias, and ISIS including:
• Forced displacement
• Murder, abduction, rape
• Burnings and confiscation of farmlands
• Harassment of journalists
• Cultural discrimination
• Employment discrimination

Justice and accountability remain elusive for these crimes. International actors and stakeholders must act to stop abuses, implement accountability, and restore victims. The report includes preliminary legal analysis of select cases indicating violations in relation to Iraqi state obligations.

Through open-source investigation, Crimes Against Kurds documented
• 122 documented cases of murder (including 2 journalists) between 2017 and 2022
• 51 documented cases farm burnings between 2017 and 2022
• 25 documented cases of kidnapping/abduction between 2017 and 2022
• Iraqi state ethnic cleansing directives

Crimes Against Kurds also reports
• American-supplied weapons used to attack Kurdish security forces and civilians
• Journalists harassed and killed
• Security vacuum used to displace Kurds via ISIS and militias


The report’s lead author, Jaya Srivastava, said:

“During the Anfal campaign the extermination of the Kurds was visible for the world to see. The Iraqi federal government is no longer gassing the Kurds, but the ethnic cleansing continues while the world looks away.”


Researcher Susie Y. Hill said:

“The value of Kurdish lives has hit rock bottom in the last 2-3 months and nobody knows about it. It is time for the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this systematic ethnic cleansing.”


Anonymous Kurdish Author said:

“It is very easy to kill a Kurdish person in Kirkuk these days. The Iraqi state must respect it’s constitutional obligation to conduct a referendum on the status of the disputed territories, and institute transitional justice mechanisms for violations against Kurdish and other minority populations.”

Crimes Against Kurds is an internationally-based group of researchers focusing on abuses taking place in Kurdistan parts of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. Crimes Against Kurds conducts research to raise awareness on abuses happening in these areas, to conduct more effective advocacy advancing accountability for perpetrators and restoration for victims.