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HRW: Horrific testimonies of torture, death in Iraqi prisons

Image of a prison cells [Melissa Robison/Flickr]
Prison cells [Melissa Robison/Flickr]

Human Rights Watch said two former detainees and the father of a man who died in detention have provided details of ill-treatment, torture and death in security centres run by the Iraqi Interior Ministry.

According to a report published by the rights group yesterday, a man identified only as Mahmoud was detained by the ministry’s Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Office in Al- Faisaliah prison, east of Mosul, from January to May this year. Mahmoud said he was “repeatedly tortured during questioning, and that he saw nine men die there at least two of them due to ill-treatment.”

Salam Obeid Abdullah said the police arrested his son, Daoud Salam Obeid, a labourer, on 22 March saying they were taking him in for questioning. Abdullah said two days later he was informed that his son had died of a heart attack during investigation, but when his family was released a month later it had bruises and wounds.

Salam filed a formal complaint with the police but has received no response.

Read: HRW requests probe into allegations of torture in Iraq jails

Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said: “These latest allegations reflect not only the brutal treatment of Interior Ministry detainees in the Mosul area, but also the failure of law enforcement and the judiciary to provide justice when there is evidence of torture.”

“The government’s failure to investigate torture and death in detention is a green light to security forces that they can inflict torture without any consequences,” she added.

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