Skip to main content

Crimes committed after the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein (2003–ongoing)

Last updated: January 2021

In the context of the invasion of Iraq (2003) and the conflict between the ISF, the Multi-National-Forces, militias and insurgent groups (especially Al-Qaeda) - including the sectarian conflict (2006 - 2007), the following have been reported:

Arbitrary arrest, incommunicado detention, torture, disappearances and summary or extrajudicial executions of civilians, reportedly committed by parts of the ISF, and in particular the Police, Special Police Commandoes/Iraqi National Police and the Federal Police;
Abductions, extortion and intimidation, torture, summary or extrajudicial killings and forced displacement of civilians by militias, at times in collaboration with the ISF, and insurgency groups;
Abductions, torture, extra-judicial killings and extortion of civilians by members of the Awakening Councils;
Forced displacement of Arab settlers in Kirkuk, as well as arbitrary arrests, abductions, incommunicado detention and torture, attributed to the Kurdish Peshmerga, security and intelligence agencies;
Abductions, extortion, rape, murder and torture by criminal gangs, at times in cooperation with or on behalf of militias or insurgents;[66]
Targeting of civilians with suicide bombs, car bombs, indiscriminate attacks and attacks that ‘are tantamount to crimes against humanity’ committed by Shia and Sunni armed groups. [Security situation 2019, Annex I]

    In the context of protests, use of disproportionate violence, extra-judicial killings, kidnappings, forced disappearances and ill-treatment during detention by ISF and PMU forces were reported. Protesters are known to have also used violence in the context of the protests.


    [66] UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs of Iraqi Asylum-Seekers, April 2009, available at [back to text]