Amnesty: 30,000 Held in Iraq without Due Process;
Evidence of Abuse

Every time there is an election in Iraq, as happened last March 7, the Neoconservatives come out to crow about how great the Iraq War was. Their implicit argument is that Iraq was a brutal dictatorship, is now a thriving democracy. This argument is typical of their warped ethics, since it maintains that the ends justifies the means, and we are not supposed to bring up the dead, the wounded, the damaged that the Neocons have inflicted on Iraq. Never mind that the elections have not so far produced a viable new government. Never mind that democratic institutions are weak or non-existent. Never mind that widespread abuses are committed against the public by the new state.

Amnesty International reports that the Iraqi government is holding some 30,000 prisoners without charges or due process. In some instances the prisoners have been abused or even tortured. About 10,000 of these prisoners were recently handed over to the Iraqis when the US combat mission in Iraq supposedly ended.

Amnesty raises questions as to whether the US military hand-over of Iraqi prisoners to Baghdad authorities was illegal, given that US officers must have known their prisoners might be abused if transferred.

Allegations of arrests without due process continue today. The Iraqi National News Agency reports that a member of the Basra governing council has accused Iraqi authorities of making large numbers of arbitrary arrests of members of the Sadr Trend, loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, in recent days.

France24 has video.

Amnesty writes:

“Several detainees are known to have died in custody, apparently as a result of torture or other ill-treatment by Iraqi interrogators and prison guards, who regularly refuse to confirm their detention or whereabouts to relatives.

Riyadh Mohammad Saleh al-’Uqaibi, 54 and married with children, died in custody on 12 or 13 February 2010, as a result of internal bleeding having been beaten so hard during interrogation that his ribs were broken and his liver damaged.

A former member of the Iraqi Special Forces, he was arrested in late September 2009 and held in a detention facility in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, before being transferred to a secret prison at the old Muthanna airport.

His body was handed over to his family several weeks later. The death certificate gave his cause of death as “heart failure”.

“The Iraqi authorities have signally failed to take effective action to stop torture and punish the perpetrators, despite overwhelming evidence of its use,” said Malcolm Smart.

“They have a duty to investigate, to hold perpetrators accountable and bring them to justice, and to provide reparation to the victims. The Iraqi authorities’ failure to take such concrete steps sends a message that such violations are tolerated and can be repeated.”

More than 400 detainees were held in the secret prison at the old Muthanna airport, whose existence was revealed publicly in April 2010. “

The report implicates not only the Baghdad government and security forces but also the Kurdistan Regional Government and its Asayish security forces, who it says have been holding some detainees without trial for many years.

According to al-Sharq al-Awsat writing in Arabic, both the Iraqi ministry of justice and the Kurdistan government denied Amnesty’s charges, saying that all prisoners in custody had been arrested in accordance with warrants and on the basis of evidence of wrongdoing.

7 Responses

  1. Today’s Iraqi authorities learned from the invaders that jailing and mistreating innocent civilians is the way to go. Saddam behaved no worse than the invaders who dethroned him. Operating on a larger scale than Saddam had, the invaders drove millions of Iraqis from their houses and pushed many of those to leave their country, besides bringing a further million to an early grave by depriving them of water, electricity, health care, education, employment and other things that prevailed under Saddam. Above all, the invaders dealt a blow to women’s rights. The fact that untold billions of dollars went missing in the Green Zone is just icing on the cake.

    The beauty of it all is that by crossing the border in 2003, the invaders immediately handed Iraq to Iran, although they don’t know it yet. Now Iraq looks more like Iran than it did under Saddam, while Iraq’s leaders seek the guidance of Iran’s leaders.

    In turn, Iran’s the new bogeyman that the invaders are presenting to the world. The invaders are fantasists who dream up ways of wasting their own nation’s lives, material resources and production, whose scientists make a living by devising new ways of killing by remote control, and whose politicians toady to big bankers who steal the public’s savings by enforcing a monetary system that’s a fraud.

  2. As the child is father to the man, how can we expect our colonial constabulary to do any better than ourselves? I’m thinking of how WE treated our “unlawful combatant detainees” incarcerated at Baghram, Guantanamo, Abu Graib, and elsewhere.

    • I thoroughly agree except ‘treated’ should be ‘treat’ ….. it isn’t over yet.

  3. The US “War on Terror” gave the US gov’t carte blanche to do anything they damn well pleased anywhere in the world. If anyone objects, they are “siding with the terrorists.” How clever !!

  4. Remember that the new spin is that things were messed up in the beginning, but after THE SURGE (YOU MUST ADMIT THAT THE SURGE WORKED) we learned how to fix everything.

  5. For anyone that thought that there was anything remotely good that resulted from this war including the overthrow of Saddam, this would be the time to admit they were wrong. The number of people killed, children dead, prisoners tortured and held without due process, all would have been LESS if he wasn’t. So how could they even justify that now?

  6. Bet this news did not make it on any of the MSNBC outlets. Nope.

    MostAmericans do not give a rats ass about Iraqi lives, deaths injuries, displaced. The majority do not care about the torture that has and is taking place in their names.

    Terrifying!

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