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Last updated: January 2021
Given the serious consequences that exclusion may have for the individual, the exclusion grounds should be interpreted restrictively and applied with caution.
The examples in this chapter are non-exhaustive and non-conclusive. Each case should be examined on its own merits.

Applying the exclusion clauses, where there are serious reasons to consider that the applicant has committed any of the relevant acts, is mandatory.

Exclusion should be applied in the following cases:

It should be underlined that the determining authority has the burden of proof to establish the elements of the respective exclusion grounds and the individual responsibility of the applicant; while the applicant remains under an obligation to cooperate in establishing all facts and circumstances relevant to his or her application.

In the context of Iraq, the need to examine possible exclusion issues may arise, for example, in cases of applicants under the following profiles. The list is non-exhaustive:
Members of the Baath regime, such as by Baath party members of a certain rank or level, intelligence services, members of the military, judicial and administrative institutions
Insurgent and/or extremist groups (e.g. ISIL, Al-Qaeda)
Members of ISF and Peshmerga, intelligence services (e.g. Asayish) and other security actors
Members of PMU
Members of Sahwa
Individuals involved in tribal feuds
Crimes committed by Iraqi applicants outside of Iraq (e.g. participation in ISIL’s international activities, participation in the activities of Iraqi militia in the conflict in Syria), could also lead to exclusion considerations.

The Qualification Directive does not set a time limit for the application of the grounds for exclusion. Applicants may be excluded in relation to events occurring in the recent and more distant past, such as during the regime under Saddam Hussein (1968 - 2003).

The following subsections provide guidance on the potential applicability of the exclusion grounds in the context of Iraq: