The Federal government last week sanctioned four Iraqi men on allegations that they participated in serious human rights abuses in their home country.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) say the four men, who range in age from 29 to 47, perpetrated human rights abuses and corruption in areas where religious and ethnic minorities are still reeling from abuse at the hands of ISIS.
Two of the men sanctioned are allegedly members of militias who operate in the area, conducting various corrupt acts including extortion, illegal arrests, kidnappings, and extra-judicial punishments. The militias are notorious for charging arbitrary “customs fees” at checkpoints, detaining people with false warrants or no warrants, and otherwise abusing locals. One of the militia men sanctioned under this action was allegedly captured on video slicing off the ear of a handcuffed detainee.
A third man is the former governor of an Iraqi province and is alleged to have severely misused government funds, negligently carried out the duties of his office, and been derelict in his duties. With allegations of public corruption haunting him since 1994, he has frequently been suspected of rampant acts of corruption. He was last expelled from office several months ago, shortly after a ferry accident at his province’s capitol led to the death of almost 100 people. An investigation blamed his misuse of funds for creating the conditions that led to the accident, and he fled the province shortly after.
The fourth Iraqi individual sanctioned last week was the former governor of another province who lately served time in prison for public corruption. He allegedly accommodates Iran-backed proxies outside of state control in an effort at protecting his personal interests.
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