Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi said in a December 9, 2022 interview on Al-Rashid TV (Iraq) that the multitudes of Sunnis who "disappeared" during the pro-Iranian militias' campaign in Sunni provinces were murdered. He said that the Iraqi government should be honest about it with their families and compensate them. For more about the Sunni Iraqis who "disappeared" during this period, see MEMRI TV Clips Nos. 8806, 8384, and 7347.
Interviewer: "On the issue of the people who 'disappeared'... There are people who 'disappeared' from your own region, right?"
Mohamed Al-Halbousi: "Yes."
Interviewer: "Many times, you have promised your constituency to resolve this problem..."
Al-Halbousi: "Resolve this problem by compensating the relatives."
Interviewer: "Okay, so what happened with this?"
Al-Halbousi: "There is no solution other than compensating their relatives."
Interviewer: "Is there any hope that their relatives will be compensated?"
Al-Halbousi: "Maybe if we change what we call them and be honest with the public about them...Those people who 'disappeared.'"
Interviewer: "Should we call them 'abducted?'"
Al-Halbousi: "We might as well call them 'murdered.'"
Interviewer: "They were murdered?"
Al-Halbousi: "Right. The proper way to refer to them is 'murder victims.' They were murdered. They are no longer alive."
Interviewer: "On the issue of the..."
Al-Halbousi: "With regard to their relatives, the state, and all of us in the parliament and the government, should act fairly towards their families. This is part of the political agreement. They should be included in the law of the victims of terrorism and the Martyrs Foundation. The families should be compensated. But to keep deceiving these families... When did these people disappear?"
Interviewer: "2014, 2015..."
Al-Halbousi: "The end of 2013 and 2014... The Sunni political forces who claim to champion this cause were the ones who were in power back then. That was the time that all these people 'disappeared' and were murdered. So they should not act so high and mighty in this regard, because they know better than anyone what parties [were responsible] since they were in charge of the investigation."
Interviewer: "But this does not absolve you of the responsibility..."
Al-Halbousi: "Absolutely not, but at least I can be courageous with the people. They lost their sons and their family members, yet their [suffering] is being used for political bickering?
"The least we can do is to bring them peace of mind and let them live their lives in dignity."
Interviewer: "Without celebrating their misery for political reasons..."
Al-Halbousi: "Right. Are we supposed to keep their hope alive that they are being held somewhere and that they may return one day? This is entirely untrue."
Interviewer: "The mothers should not wait at the door."
Al-Halbousi: "They should not."