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Iraqi government admits security forces tortured, abused detainees

[JURIST] Iraqi government spokesman Laith Kubba admitted Sunday that Iraqi security forces have commited abuse and torture in fighting the Sunni-led insurgency in Iraq. Kubba said that government ministers are concerned. Mohammed Hamed Qader, a Kurdish Islamic member of parliament, says that he was recently beaten and insulted after being taken into police custody and is demanding that an investigation be carried out by the Iraqi Interior Ministry [Global Security backgrounder], which has denied the allegations of abuse. Deputy Interior Minister Ahmed Ali al-Khafaji said the reports are "all false" but Sunnis have questioned the ministry's connections to the formerly exiled Shi'ite Badr militia. Reuters has more.

Kunna's comments followed US military confirmation of Iraqi abuses of detainees [JURIST report] Friday and the publication earlier Sunday of an investigative report by the English Observer newspaper [text] indicating that weapons, ammunition and vehicles provided by the US and Great Britain for the Iraqi Police Service (IPS) [Global Security backgrounder] are being redirected to paramilitary commando units which been accused of human rights violations of murder and torture such as strangulations, burnings, electric shocks, sexual abuse, and broken bones. The Observer also detailed claims of abuse within the Interior Ministry. The UK Foreign Office [official website], the United Nations [official website], and the US State Department [official website] are all said to have discussed the allegations with the new Iraqi government. The Foreign Office has said, "Any abuse of detainees is unacceptable. As soon as we become aware of any allegations of abuse we raise them at the highest levels in Basra and Baghdad."

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