Untouchables

Images captured July 12 2017

Read the full story for Vice News here

On July 9th, 14km east of Mosul , an IDP camp was opened by the Nineveh authorities in Bartalla. This camp was the first of it’s kind - referred to as a”rehabilitation camp”. Iraqi security forces had forcibly relocated at least 170 families there after a directive issued by Mosul’s district council had stated that families with alleged ties to the Islamic State (ISIS) should be sent to camps “to receive psychological and ideological rehabilitation, after which they will be reintegrated into society if they prove responsive to the rehabilitation program.” 

 A young boy peers out of a gap in his tent in the Bartalla IDP camp, Iraq. 

A young boy peers out of a gap in his tent in the Bartalla IDP camp, Iraq. 

According to interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch and from brief conversations I was able to have with people in the camp, they were being held by Iraqi police against their will because of the accusations of relatives linked to ISIS. It seemed that none had been accused of any wrong doing themselves, though it was unclear when they would be allowed to leave. One Iraqi policeman in the camp said to me “I don’t know why we are helping these people. They are Daesh.”

 
 Residents of the camp stand in line and wait to recieve basic supplies such as tooth brushes, nappies and baby formula from the back of a truck operated by the One World Medical Mission.

Residents of the camp stand in line and wait to recieve basic supplies such as tooth brushes, nappies and baby formula from the back of a truck operated by the One World Medical Mission.

 A woman requiering urgent medical attention is taken from her tent to a nearby ambulance by volunteers. Before the ambulance can leave the camp it will undergo a thorough search at the gate by Iraqi security forces to make sure no other residents are stowed away inside.

A woman requiering urgent medical attention is taken from her tent to a nearby ambulance by volunteers. Before the ambulance can leave the camp it will undergo a thorough search at the gate by Iraqi security forces to make sure no other residents are stowed away inside.

 
 A young boy suffering from malnutrition and other injuries lies in the doorway to his family's tent whilst one of his siblings offers him a biscuit. A volunteer from a local NGO placed a bottle of water and some money next to him after his mother told him that her son was going to die.

A young boy suffering from malnutrition and other injuries lies in the doorway to his family's tent whilst one of his siblings offers him a biscuit. A volunteer from a local NGO placed a bottle of water and some money next to him after his mother told him that her son was going to die.

 

In the Human Rights Watch report from July 13th, it stated: "International law requires that punishment for crimes only be imposed on people responsible for the crimes, after a fair trial to determine individual guilt. Imposing collective punishments on families, villages, or communities violates the laws of war and amounts to a war crime."


 Home to over 170 families, these makeshift tents will be where they will stay for the foreseeable future, with no known date for release. According to a directive issued by Mosul's district council, they will be allowed to leave once they have shown signs of psychological and ideological rehabilitation. A report by Human Rights Watch from July 13th stated: "International law requires that punishment for crimes only be imposed on people responsible for the crimes, after a fair trial to determine individual guilt. Imposing collective punishments on families, villages, or communities violates the laws of war and amounts to a war crime." Iraq. July 12 

Home to over 170 families, these makeshift tents will be where they will stay for the foreseeable future, with no known date for release. According to a directive issued by Mosul's district council, they will be allowed to leave once they have shown signs of psychological and ideological rehabilitation. A report by Human Rights Watch from July 13th stated: "International law requires that punishment for crimes only be imposed on people responsible for the crimes, after a fair trial to determine individual guilt. Imposing collective punishments on families, villages, or communities violates the laws of war and amounts to a war crime." Iraq. July 12 

 
 A young boy recieves treatment for injuries sustained to his left eye at the Bartalla IDP camp outsie of Mosul that was specifically set up for families with suspected ties to the Islamic State. The vast majority of people in the camp are women and children, taken to the camp against their will to recieve "psycological and ideological rehabilitation" according to a directive issued by Mosul's district council. 

A young boy recieves treatment for injuries sustained to his left eye at the Bartalla IDP camp outsie of Mosul that was specifically set up for families with suspected ties to the Islamic State. The vast majority of people in the camp are women and children, taken to the camp against their will to recieve "psycological and ideological rehabilitation" according to a directive issued by Mosul's district council. 

 
 Mohammed, a team leader for the Wasel Tasel team, a local NGO, manages the logistics of aid distrobutions from the back of a refregerated truck containing thousands of blocks of ice to be given to the residents of IDP camps around Mosul.

Mohammed, a team leader for the Wasel Tasel team, a local NGO, manages the logistics of aid distrobutions from the back of a refregerated truck containing thousands of blocks of ice to be given to the residents of IDP camps around Mosul.

 
 

One of the camp's young residents shows injuries he sustained before he was forcibly relocated to the Baterlla camp. With only two doctors working out of a mobile clinic, many injuries and illnesses go untreated.

 
 A child under the watchful eye of his mother lies on a bed in a mobile clinic operated by the One World Medical Mission in the Bartalla IDP camp near Mosul, Iraq. There were only 2 doctors working in the camp that was home to 170 families. Because of the families suspected links to fighters, many NGOs are reluctant to provide any assistance to the camp for fear of being seen to be sympathetic to ISIS. 

A child under the watchful eye of his mother lies on a bed in a mobile clinic operated by the One World Medical Mission in the Bartalla IDP camp near Mosul, Iraq. There were only 2 doctors working in the camp that was home to 170 families. Because of the families suspected links to fighters, many NGOs are reluctant to provide any assistance to the camp for fear of being seen to be sympathetic to ISIS. 

 An elderly woman stand at the back of the aid distribution truck in the Bartalla IDP camp waiting to recieve essential supplies such as nappies, baby formula, tooth brushes and other essential supplies. Because of the families suspected links to fighters, many NGOs are reluctant to provide any assistance to the camp for fear of being seen to be sympathetic to ISIS.

An elderly woman stand at the back of the aid distribution truck in the Bartalla IDP camp waiting to recieve essential supplies such as nappies, baby formula, tooth brushes and other essential supplies. Because of the families suspected links to fighters, many NGOs are reluctant to provide any assistance to the camp for fear of being seen to be sympathetic to ISIS.

 Many of the residents of the Bartalla IDP camp for families with suspected links to ISIS fighters are incredibly young, and some are alone and without family members and have been assigned to other families to be looked after. With no set date for release, questions have been raised by human rights orginisations as to whether detaining people in the camp for being merely related to ISIS fighters constitutes a war crime.

Many of the residents of the Bartalla IDP camp for families with suspected links to ISIS fighters are incredibly young, and some are alone and without family members and have been assigned to other families to be looked after. With no set date for release, questions have been raised by human rights orginisations as to whether detaining people in the camp for being merely related to ISIS fighters constitutes a war crime.