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b. Serious (non-political) crime

Last updated: January 2021

In the context of Iraq, widespread criminality makes the exclusion ground ‘serious (non-political) crime’ particularly relevant. This is related to criminal activities of organised groups and gangs, as well as activities of ISIL and some militia, but the ground also applies to serious crimes committed by individuals not related to such groups.

Some particularly relevant examples of serious (non-political) crimes include kidnapping, extortion, trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, etc. For example, criminal gangs in Basrah have exploited the security gap and there has been a rise in robberies, kidnapping, murder, and drug trafficking.

Violence against women and children (for example, in relation to FGM, domestic violence, honour-based violence, forced and child marriage) could also potentially amount to a serious (non-political) crime.

Some serious (non-political) crimes could be linked to an armed conflict (e.g. if they are committed in order to finance the activities of armed groups) or could amount to fundamentally inhumane acts committed as a part of a systematic or widespread attack against a civilian population, in which case they should instead be examined under Article 12(2)(a)/Article 17(1)(a) QD.