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.”
“I don’t know why we help these people. They are all Daesh [ISIS],” a security officer muttered between sips of water. He was standing in the shade of a truck, keeping watch as volunteers from One World Medical Mission distributed supplies to a line of women and children waiting in the sweltering heat to receive packages of diapers, toothbrushes, and baby formula.
“We are not Daesh,” a mother pleads as she waits for her son’s wounds to be treated by a visiting volunteer doctor. “We just want to leave here.”
“My son is going to die,” a mother told volunteers while she looked over her children in a makeshift tent. Her son was lying on the floor suffering from malnutrition and a massive wound across his chest. Volunteers looked on in exasperation, and told the mother little could be done for her son. One volunteer gave the boy 5,000 dinar ($4.50) and offered a simple apology.
A woman waits to receive aid being distributed off the back of a truck by Wasel Tasel, a local humanitarian NGO and the One World Medical Mission. The majority of the camp was comprised of women and children. In interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch, the refugees all said they had not been formally accused of any wrongdoing, nor had they been given any information as to when they’d be able to leave.