Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Conference › Academic
In December 2017, the Iraqi government announced the defeat of Islamic State (IS) and referred to the resulting ‘post-IS landscape’ as a new page in the history of Iraq. Although the security situation has improved considerably over the past years, this is not the first time that Iraq celebrates the victory over radical Islamists. A cursory scan of Iraq’s post-2003 invasion history underlines a recurring ‘cycle of violence’ of this fragile state; sectarian wars, systematic human rights violations, terrorist acts and widespread international crimes have continuously been committed by various radicalized groups, including IS. Taking this violent past into account, there is an obvious need to develop feasible and context-specific transitional justice mechanisms combined with counterterrorism strategies with the potential to integrate calls for justice, facilitate long-lasting peace, and limit the risk of future radicalization. Given the deep-rooted sectarian tensions, the culture of tribalism, political exclusion and the disturbed collective identity in Iraq, formulating and implementing such an integrated framework may, however, prove to be very challenging.
In this first seminar of a series on Transitional Justice and Counterterrorism in the Middle East, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, an Iraqi human rights activist who received the gold President's Volunteer Service Award from President Obama, will discuss what challenges Iraq is struggling with in regard of the prosecution of IS-detainees and reconciliation between religious-political groups. He will also elaborate on the possibilities and future perspectives he sees for integrating calls for justice, deradicalization and reconciliation in Iraq. Further, during this interactive seminar Faisal will share his experiences/motivation in founding NGOs to defend human rights and prevent extremism.