​​​​​​​Jurists: Iraqi government violates 1951-1967 conventions for protecting refugees

Human rights activists have confirmed that the Iraqi government, by besieging Makhmour camp, is violating international agreements, treaties and covenants signed in 1951 and its protocols in 1967, which stipulate and affirm the rights and protection of refugees.

For several days, the Iraqi army has been trying to besiege about 12,000 refugees inside Makhmour camp, located in Nineveh Governorate, Iraq, by digging trenches and placing barbed wire, noting that the United Nations has officially recognized it as a refugee camp since 2011.

From a legal point of view, jurists affirm that the practices of the Iraqi government, by imposing a siege on the residents of Makhmour camp, are contrary to international laws, since the camp is a political asylum and is subject under the umbrella of the United Nations.


The administrator of the Lawyers Union - al-Hasakah branch, Kawa Fatimi, denounced the practices of the Iraqi government complicit with the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and confirmed: "The United Nations has granted Makhmur camp international protection in accordance with the Geneva Conventions on Refugee Rights, in coordination with the Iraqi government and the authorities of the Kurdistan region."

Kawa Fatimi added, "Despite these agreements, the Iraqi government imposes a siege on the camp's residents and targets them with weapons. It also turns a blind eye to the repeated targeting carried out by the Turkish occupation state through aerial bombardment, which is a clear violation of international law."

The residents of Makhmour camp, who refused submission and humiliation from 1994 until the day they settled in the camp, are subjected to attacks by the Turkish occupation, harassment and siege by the governments of Iraq and Southern Kurdistan, although it falls under the umbrella of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Kawa explained that the Iraqi government may not in any way physically attack the camp's residents, because it signed the Geneva Convention and the United Nations, and continued: "It is not permissible to impose a siege because the camp is under the protection of the umbrella of the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions."

The human rights activist called on the United Nations to go with the Fact-Finding Committee urgently to Baghdad and Hewler to verify its officially accredited observers, and to submit a report to the Security Council and the United Nations to alert the Iraqi state that it is violating international covenants.


For her part, the human rights activist, Bashirah Jamal Al-Din, called on all international organizations to carry out their humanitarian and legal duties regarding the practices of the Iraqi government against the residents of Makhmour camp, and to lift the siege on its residents.

Bashira explained, "The international conventions, treaties, and covenants signed in 1951 and its protocol in 1967 stipulate and affirm the rights and protection of refugees, and the right of those living in Makhmour camp."

The 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees are the cornerstone of refugee law, complement each other, and bring together customary international law and international instruments that set standards for refugee protection.

It is the primary responsibility of host governments to protect refugees. The 139 countries worldwide that have signed the 1951 Convention are bound to implement its provisions and UNHCR maintains a "watchdog obligation" over this process.

T/ Satt.


Other news