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Five years on, still no justice for Iraq's Camp Speicher victims

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Today marks five years since the Camp Speicher massacre, in which an estimated 1,700 unarmed cadets were executed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), and hundreds more were arrested and disappeared by Iraqi government forces. For the victims' families, today is a stark reminder of the Iraqi government's consistent and overwhelming failure to determine their loved ones' fates and whereabouts, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

On June 12, 2014, thousands of unarmed cadets were training at Camp Speicher, a military base in Salah al-Din Province in Iraq. As news spread that Tikrit had fallen to ISIL, 3,000 cadets were ordered by their superiors to change into civilian clothes, leave Camp Speicher and head home for a 15-day break. In the events that followed, many of them were captured by ISIL fighters, who separated the Sunnis from the Shia and non-Muslims, before taking the latter two to various locations around Tikrit and executing them one by one. Their bodies were later dumped into mass graves or thrown into the Tigris River.

Approximately 400 other cadets were arrested by Iraqi government forces during incursions into various areas in and around Tikrit, and accused of having deserted their military duties. Despite some families having been able to obtain photo evidence showing their loved ones detained in Iraqi government prisons alongside other Camp Speicher cadets, the Iraqi........

© Al Jazeera