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Iraq man forced to confess murdering wife under torture, now free

Iraqi policemen stand guard outside the Central Bank of Iraq headquarters along Rashid Street in the centre of the capital Baghdad on 22 December 2020. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images]
Iraqi policemen in Baghdad, Iraq on 22 December 2020. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images]

An Iraqi man who was tortured to confess murdering his wife and was subsequently imprisoned, was freed earlier this week when the wife returned home alive.

The case dates back to June when the Iraqi investigation officers in Babil Governorate announced that Ali Kazem Abd Hamidan, an army officer, had confessed to killing his wife who had disappeared in April.

At the time, the Iraqi police circulated a propaganda video in which Ali appeared surrounded by investigators, while recounting how he had burned his wife to death before dumping her body in a river following a family dispute.

However, the victim returned to her family home earlier this week, stirring public debate about the use of torture to extract confessions.

One of Ali's relatives confirmed that he had been tortured and that when he told the judges at his trial about his torture and requested a medical examination, the request was delayed for 35 days until the traces of torture had disappeared.

According to the relative, the investigators hit Ali with sticks, kicked and punched him for hours and electrocuted him.

Details of where the wife has been have not been made public.

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