Thursday, February 13, 2020
The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue issued its fifth report in a series of countries reporting on human rights violations in Arab countries on forced displacement in conflict countries (Palestine, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen) in 2019, as a repeated human rights violation, highlighting the extent of suffering to civilians in the Middle East conflict countries.
The report warned against the Israeli government’s systematic work to change the demographics within the Palestinian territories by erasing the Palestinian presence and replace it with Israeli settlements, and the Forum revealed official statistics confirming the forced displacement of some 800,000 citizens from the 1.4 million Palestinians living in the occupied territories in 1948.
Some 5.3 million of the 11.6 million refugees are scattered between Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the rest of the world.
The report also warned against the Turkish regime’s use of its control over areas in the northern Aleppo countryside to change the demographic shape of many areas in northern Syria based on the replacement of pro-Turkish elements instead of Kurds from the region and forced displacement out of their cities and villages to ensure Turkey’s absolute control of the area and prepare for its military occupation.
The report noted the worsening tragedy of forced displacement of people in Iraq, whether by ISIL or the militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces and their involvement with the sectarian conflict that has been simmering in Iraq since 2003, and the seriousness of the continuation of this policy, which empties Iraq of its demographics and threatens the future of coexistence.
The report warned that Misrata militias in Libya, supported by the Government of Reconciliation and Houthi militias in Yemen, would carry out large-scale forced displacements with the intention of taking revenge on elements that do not support them.
The report noted that the number of forced displaced persons from Houthi militia control areas has risen to 350,000 in 2019 alone, and the Houthi group is dealing with Yemenis in areas under their control as hostages, but what is even greater is demographic change through the forced displacement of those who disagree with them, and the destruction and capture of the homes and property of displaced persons, in practices that are considered war crimes and are classified as crimes against humanity.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons have called for an investigation into forced displacements in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen by governments or armed militias seeking to violate international law to bring about demographic changes by forcibly displacing the population to other areas or camps of displaced persons and depriving them of their rights to live within their home cities.
He also called on the international community to intervene to stop Turkey’s plan for demographic change in northern Syria through systematic displacements of the Kurdish population and its replacement with pro-Turkish elements in those areas.
The Forum calls upon Iraqi parties to unite to stop the crime of forced displacement, whether carried out through ISIL armed groups or by the Popular Mobilization.
The Forum called upon the UN mechanisms to criminalize the support of the Government of Reconciliation in Libya for the armed militias of Misrata, which committed the crime of forced displacement against the Tuareg people and to work to bring them back to their city.