عربي | كوردى



Iraq ignored requests to investigate torture allegations, abuse continues in Mosul prison: HRW

Iraq ignored requests to investigate torture allegations, abuse continues in Mosul prison: HRW

2019/04/18 | 13:05

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) ­– Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday said the Iraqi government has ignored their requests for updates or investigations into earlier allegations of torture in three Mosul detention centers as physical abuse continue in at least one such facility.

In August, an HRW report claimed that facilities run by the Iraqi Interior Ministry in Mosul abused, tortured, and even caused the death of at least nine men while in detention.

After speaking with two former detainees and the father of a man who died while in jail, HRW reported allegations that the ministry’s various facilities in and around Mosul were utilizing torture practices and that the government was failing to protect the rights of detainees.

Six months later, HRW wrote to Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim and the Interior Ministry Inspector General, Jamal al-Asadi, “asking whether the government had investigated” the allegations but “received no reply to either letter,” HRW said in its latest report published Thursday.

“If the Iraqi government ignores credible reports of torture, it’s no wonder that the abuses persist,” the report quoted HRW deputy Middle East director Lama Fakih as saying. “What will it take for the authorities to take torture allegations seriously [?]”

HRW also questioned a former prisoner on his experiences at Mosul’s al-Faisaliya detention center in early 2019. His description of the architectural design matched that of previous detainees. He then detailed various forms of torture, from a type of waterboarding to being suspended from a ceiling by the arms. He also named officers involved in the alleged abuses, similar to previous findings by HRW.

An earlier report by the rights group also stated Iraqi judges frequently disregard allegations of torture by security forces, which is prohibited by the Iraqi constitution, and warned that courts routinely convict suspects based on confessions that are credibly claimed to be a result of such abuse.

“Torture is rampant in Iraq’s justice system, yet judges lack instructions for responding to torture allegations,” Fakih argued in July. 

On April 1, the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council responded to an HRW inquiry, claiming that a number of courts throughout the country had followed up with 275 complaints against investigative officers by the end of 2018, the Thursday reported said.

“The council did not indicate how many of the 176 cases were being further investigated or had been dismissed,” it added, calling on Inspector General Jamal al-Asadi to “promptly investigate the allegations at Faisaliya detention facility,” including the officers implicated in past reports.

Concern around the use of torture by Iraqi security forces has increased considerably since the government’s mass arrests of thousands of Islamic State suspects and pressure on Baghdad to “exact justice” against alleged jihadists. Human rights organizations, however, have warned that efforts by Iraqi authorities to escalate the implementation of death sentences could lead to the execution of innocent people.

Editing by Nadia Riva







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