[JURIST] A new report from Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] concludes that the arbitrary detention of thousands of people in Iraq [JURIST news archive] facilitates abuses of prisoners. Using official figures from the Multi-National Force in Iraq [official website], AI says there are more than 14,000 security detainees in coalition custody - mostly at Camp Bucca [JURIST news archive] and Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] - but many are detained "without being charged or tried and without the right to challenge their detention before a judicial body." The report claims that coalition forces are depriving detainees of human rights guaranteed in international law and standards such as the Geneva Conventions [reference guide] and that even Iraqi authorities are using torture and mistreating detainees. Calling the human rights situation in Iraq "dire," the report states that "the deployment of US-led forces in Iraq and the armed response that engendered has resulted in thousands of deaths of civilians and widespread abuses amid the ongoing conflict."
AI has called for "urgent, concrete steps" to protect detainees from ill-treatment which includes investigations into abuse and disciplinary actions against those found to have "used, ordered, or acquiesced" in torture. AFP has more.
9:47 AM ET 3/06/06 - Amnesty's report, Beyond Abu Ghraib: Detention and torture in Iraq [text], is now available along with a press release.