Sydney Ideas Talk: Abuses in the Fight Against ISIS

15 June 2017

Abuses in the Fight Against ISIS

Belkis Wille, senior Iraq researcher in the Middle East and North Africa division, Human Rights Watch

This Sydney Ideas talk is co-presented with Human Rights Watch Australia and Sydney Law School

Iraqi and US-led coalition forces launched operations to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in October 2016. Since then all sides have carried out serious laws of war violations. The situation for civilians has worsened considerably since February, with the push on the densely-populated west Mosul.

ISIS are using civilians as human shields, firing indiscriminate weapons into civilian areas, carrying out car bomb and other suicide attacks, and have planted landmines, killing and injuring civilians. Government forces are engaging in destruction of homes, looting, and abuses against civilians including torture, enforced disappearances and executions. Despite promises made by the government to investigate allegations of abuses, there has been no accountability for these abuses. The US-led coalition has reduced checks and balances for Iraqi commanders calling in airstrikes, leading to civilian casualties.

Join Human Rights Watch Senior Iraq Researcher, Belkis Wille, as she discusses the worsening situation for civilians in Mosul, the prospects of justice for victims of ISIS abuses, the prospects for reconciliation in Iraq, and why the international community including Australia should do more to ensure respect for human rights in Iraq.


Hosted by Professor Ben Saul, Challis Chair of International Law at the University of Sydney.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Belkis Wille, senior Iraq researcher in the Middle East and North Africa division, investigates human rights abuses in Iraq. Before taking up this position, she was the Yemen and Kuwait researcher, based in Sanaa, for three and a half years. Previously, Wille worked at the Geneva-based World Organisation Against Torture, leading its Middle East and North Africa work from Tunisia and carrying out advocacy and trainings on torture prevention in Libya. More information

CPD points: 1

Time: 1.30 to 2.30pm

Location: Law Foyer, Level 2, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, Camperdown, University of Sydney

Cost: Free, however registration is required

Contact: Sydney Ideas

Phone: (02) 9351 2943

Email: 3e322e5f244c42001710573a6f3e140a41163066302f25591202

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