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Iraqi Parliamentary Bloc Suggests Immunity for PMF | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi soldiers fire a rocket toward ISIS militants on the outskirt of the Makhmour south of Mosul, Iraq, March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Baghdad and London – Al-Mowaten Bloc of the Iraqi parliament plans on presenting a bill to the parliament that grants Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) immunity.

Members of the bloc stated that over 70 deputies signed on the bill that will soon be presented to the parliament.

The bill was highly rejected by most blocs especially the deputies of al-Anbar, Diyala, Nineveh, and Saladin.

Anbar MP Ahmad al-Salmani told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that such a bill is illegal and unconstitutional and will lead to sectarian strife. He explained that PMF is subject to questioning in case of violations, and by granting it immunity, they aim to protect PMF from legal questioning especially after several PMF factions violated human rights in governorates like Anbar and Saladin during the liberation operations.

Salmani said that such a bill will protect a group of criminals who killed and arrested thousands of Sunnis. He added that they trying to avoid several complaints and law suits against the PMF fighters in cases of killing, kidnapping, and destroying of mosques.

He added that over 16000 civilians from Anbar were kidnapped after they left the town as well as over 650 from Saqlaweyyah.

According to Salmani, such a bill is a depreciation for the Iraqi Army while PMF will have such a privilege.

MP Mohammed al-Karbouli told Asharq Al-Awsat that the idea is rejected and “this is impossible”. He added that “we have many issues with several PMF factions. We still don’t know what happened to over 2500 Sunni civilian kidnapped from Samarra and Razaza Lake.”

PMF spokesperson Karim al-Nouri rejected the idea in a statement given to Asharq Al-Awsat. He said PMF aim for a law similar to that of the Counter Terrorism Force.

Nouri added that some are trying to use PMF for illegal actions and crimes and everything said is part of pre-elections campaign. He also warned of attempts within the Shiite community trying to use the PMF for electoral purposes.

For his part, Fady al-Shumamri, leader at the Islamic Higher Council, said that such an attempts are known as part of the elections’ campaign.

He confirmed that procedures are being tightened to prevent any part from misusing the PMF.