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HRW accuses Iraq courts of ignoring torture in prisons

September 26, 2019 at 11:19 am

An Iraqi officer inspects a prison in Iraq on 30 June 2016 [Ahamd Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday accused the Iraqi Appeals Courts of either ignoring allegations of torture or relying on uncorroborated confessions.

In a recent report, HRW said: “Some of the torture allegations had been substantiated by forensic medical exams and some of the confessions were unsubstantiated by any other evidence and were apparently extracted by force, including by torture.”

“Our investigation into a large number of Iraq’s court rulings found what may be repeated miscarriages of justice in terrorism cases,” said Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “How can Iraqi lawyers and counterterrorism judges stand by and watch this unfold?”

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She added: “This investigation shows that detainees in Iraq face a significant risk of unfair trial at every stage of the criminal justice process.”

“The High Judicial Council needs to take a very close look at the terrorism-related decisions of the criminal committee.”

The rights group called on member states of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS (Daesh) that they “should agree not to transfer ISIS suspects from Syria to Iraq until the Iraqi justice system can ensure that criminal prosecutions meet international fair trial standards and until the government imposes a death penalty moratorium.”

The member states of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS are meeting today on the margins of the UN General Assembly session in New York to discuss measures of accountability for ISIS’ crimes.

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