In a country which has suffered from decades of conflict and violence, numerous violations remain in the post-ISIL era, including executions, abductions, torture, and unfair trials. Iraq remains the country with the highest number of enforced disappearances worldwide, with estimates going up to one million missing persons. This practice, which began at the time of Saddam Hussein and persisted after the 2003 U.S. invasion, escalated in the context of the fight against ISIL, and continues to be used in a widespread and systematic fashion by government forces and state-sponsored militias.

The country with the fourth highest number of executions in the world, the death penalty is routinely handed down by courts, in the vast majority of cases under the broad 2005 Anti-Terrorism Law, which applies the death sentence mandatorily. This is particularly concerning considering that the country suffers from a flawed judicial system which systematically admits confessions extracted under torture as evidence.

The authorities also continue to clamp down on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly by subjecting journalists to interference and by cracking down on peaceful protests.


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Country legislation

Penal Code

Antiterrorism Law of 2005

Publications Law of 1968 (AR)

National Human Rights Institution Law of 2008 (AR)

Internal Security Forces Penal Law of 2008

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Human Rights Instruments
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
ICCPR ratified?
ICCPR ratified on
Has the Human Rights Committee individual complaint mechanism been accepted?
Has the second Optional Protocol of the ICCPR (abolition of the death penalty) been ratified?
Human Rights Committee Concluding Observations last issued on
Next Human Rights Committee state report due on
OVERDUE - State party did not submit report on time
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (UNCAT)
UNCAT ratified?
UNCAT ratified on
Has the Optional Protocol to the UNCAT been ratified?
Has a National Preventive Mechanism against torture been created?
Has the confidential inquiry procedure been accepted?
Has the individual complaint procedure been accepted?
Committee against Torture (CAT) Concluding Observations last issued on
Next CAT state report due on
OVERDUE - State party did not submit report on time
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED)
ICPPED ratified?
ICPPED ratified on
Has the ICPPED individual communication procedure been accepted?
Has the ICPPED inquiry procedure been accepted?
Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) Concluding Observations last issued on
Next CED state report due on
OVERDUE - State party did not submit report on time
Human Rights Council
Last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held on
Next Universal Periodic Review to be held on
National Human Rights Institution
Accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI)