Ammar Al Khafaji, disappeared by the Iraqi authorities since 2016

Ammar Al Khafaji, disappeared by the Iraqi authorities since 2016

On August 11, 2016, the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service entered Jahala village, which had recently been secured by Iraq’s Government. Ammar Al Khafaji was one of over a dozen people arrested and his fate and whereabouts remain unknown.
Latest Updates
April 30, 2020: MENA Rights Group and the Iraqi War Crimes Documentation Center request the urgent intervention of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances.
August 21, 2016: Al Khafaji’s family report the disappearance with Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights and sends a plea to the Minister of Interior requesting information as to his fate and whereabouts, but to no avail.
August 11, 2016: Al Khafaji is arrested in his home and disappears.

From 2016 to 2017, areas of the Nineveh Governorate, which had previously been controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), fell back under the control of the Iraqi authorities. During this period, hundreds of men and boys who had previously lived under ISIL control were arrested and disappeared under the pretext of interrogating them to uncover who was affiliated with ISIL.

On the morning of August 11, 2016, shortly after Jahala village had returned to the control of the Iraqi authorities, the Mosul Regiment of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service conducted a wave of arrests in Jahala village. Over a dozen people were arrested, including Ammar Al Khafaji who was arrested in his house. No arrest warrant was presented.

On August 21, 2016, Al Khafaji’s family sent a plea to the Minister of Interior requesting information as to his fate and whereabouts, but to no avail. In addition, they reported his disappearance to the Nineveh office of the High Commission for Human Rights.

On April 30, 2020, MENA Rights Group and the Iraqi War Crimes Documentation Center requested the urgent intervention of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, urging the Iraqi authorities take urgent action to locate him, place him under the protection of the law, and identify the perpetrators.

Al Khafaji’s fate and whereabouts remain unknown.