MESOP “One to watch”: The Road to Fallujah

15 Oct 2016 – MESOP / JOEL WING – As Iraqi forces and their allies – majority Shia militias and Kurdish fighters – heard towards Mosul, there is growing concern about the security screening that has become routine in the country as areas are liberated from so-called Islamic State. There have been allegations of torture and summary executions by militias dealing with suspected collaborators, and it’s generally a rough and tumble affair with little oversight. This five minute clip from a longer VICE News film is not new, but it has just been named as a finalist for the Rory Peck Awards and is as relevant as ever. It peeks inside a village in Anbar Province just after IS has been ousted, and watches as Iraqi special forces ask villagers to vouch for (or snitch on) their neighbours. Suspects are blindfolded, put in the back of a truck, and sent away. There are thought to be more than a million people in Mosul, and before the city’s fighting age men can head to camps or elsewhere, they will be vetted. There’s little reason to believe the screening process this time around will be orderly or safe, but some humanitarians are doing their best to eek out improvements in the system.