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UN report accuses Iraq of torturing detainees 

August 4, 2021 at 10:42 am

UN Security Council seen in session at United Nations headquarters in New York, USA, 28 February 2019 [Atılgan Özdil / Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday accused the Iraqi government of “torturing” detainees held in the country’s prisons and detention centres, Anadolu reported.

In a publication entitled ‘Human Rights in the Administration of Justice in Iraq’ which covers the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 April 2021, UNAMI said it had collected testimonies from 235 detainees, prison staff, judges, lawyers and the families of detainees.

“More than half of all the detainees interviewed by UNAMI/OHCHR for this report provided credible and reliable accounts of torture,” it said, adding that the observations are consistent with patterns and trends previously documented in UN reports of torture in Iraq, including the Kurdistan region.

“Although the Iraqi legal framework explicitly criminalises torture and sets out the key legal conditions and procedural safeguards aimed at its prevention, respect for these provisions is lacking,” it said.

According to the report, one of the prisoners, a UN staff member who helped prepare the report, said: “I lived the worst days of my life. As soon as I got to the prison they beat me with metal pipes. In the following days, they used two exposed power cords and electrocuted me.”

The report recommended the Iraqi government adopt a comprehensive anti-torture law and a national action plan in line with international human rights law.

There was no comment from the Iraqi authorities on the UN report.

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