Policeman ‘tortured to death’ in Mosul prison for supporting Kurdistan referendum
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - A tribal group in Nineveh Province on Friday issued a statement on the suspicious death of a policeman from an Arab tribe while in an Iraqi army detention center in Mosul.
“Khalid Ahmed Mohammed al-Juhaishi, from the village of al-Barghaliya in the al-Ayadiyah district of Tal Afar district, died under severe torture at the hands of intelligence officer of the 15th Brigade, Captain Ihab, from Nasiriyah,” Muzahim al-Hewitt, a spokesperson for the Nineveh Arab Tribes, said in a statement.
He said that al-Juhaishi was arrested a few days ago by the 73rd Brigade, the 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, along with two other residents.
He added that the victim was a policeman stationed in the area of Rabia. “Iraqi troops arrested him on charges of working as a source for the Asayish forces [Kurdish security forces] and promoting the [Kurdistan] referendum,” which was held in the Kurdistan Region and disputed territories, including areas in Nineveh Province, on Sep. 25.
The turnout for the controversial poll was roughly 70 percent and saw 93 percent of voters favoring secession from Iraq. Following the attack and takeover of Kirkuk Province by Iraqi forces and the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias on Oct. 16, an arrest warrant was issued for a number of policemen, accusing them of taking part of an ‘illegal’ referendum.
“We call upon the international community, international organizations and the Global Coalition forces to intervene immediately to prevent violations of human rights and to stop torture against innocents... We demand an immediate investigation and accountability of all those responsible for this heinous crime,” the Arab tribes’ spokesperson stated.
He mentioned that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was “responsible for everything that is happening to innocent people, especially with the continued arrests of a sectarian nature,” calling on the Arab tribes to “intervene immediately and rescue the sons of tribes detained in the prisons of the 15th Division of the army.”
Hewitt complained that Abadi’s government was failing to arrest Islamic State (IS) members in the liberated areas.
“To this date, your government has not arrested any Da’esh [IS]. Da’esh members are in front of the eyes of security services in liberated areas.”
He pointed out that the murdered policeman “was one of the first fighters to confront Da’esh. He had no affiliation with Da’esh. This confirms that the government of Abadi is undemocratic and a sectarian government.”
There was no immediate response from the Iraqi army or the Iraqi government to Hewitt’s statement. Kurdistan 24 could not reach them for comment.
Editing by Nadia Riva