Monday, September 13, 2010

Thousands of Iraqi detainees at risk of torture after US handover

Amnesty International, September 13, 2010

Tens of thousands of detainees held without trial in Iraq, many of whom were recently transferred from US custody, remain at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, Amnesty International said in a new report launched on Monday.

New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful detentions and torture in Iraq details thousands of arbitrary detentions, sometimes for several years without charge or trial, severe beatings of detainees, often in secret prisons, to obtain forced confessions, and enforced disappearances.

“Iraq’s security forces have been responsible for systematically violating detainees’ rights and they have been permitted to do so with impunity,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Yet, the US authorities, whose own record on detainees’ rights has been so poor, have now handed over thousands of people detained by US forces to face this catalogue of illegality, violence and abuse, abdicating any responsibility for their human rights.”

Amnesty International said it estimates that 30,000 detainees are held without trial in Iraq although the Iraqi authorities have failed to provide precise figures. Ten thousand of those were recently transferred from US custody as their combat troops ended some operations in Iraq.

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.

Continues >>
Post a Comment