Iraq government to release 2,500 detainees in reconciliation bid

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile] on Tuesday announced plans to release 2,500 prisoners held in US detention facilities and Iraqi custody if the detainees "are not Saddam Hussein loyalists or terrorists or anyone who has Iraqi blood on their hands." Maliki's move comes in the name of "national reconciliation," while his government struggles with his own Shiite Alliance to approve nominees for two key posts which remain unfilled - the interior minister and the defense minister.

Maliki particularly hopes to appease Iraq's Sunni minority, the community largely responsible for the insurgency against the Iraqi government, by releasing the prisoners. Maliki took over as prime minister in May after Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [BBC profile] chose the hardline Shiite for the post [JURIST report], inciting speculation over whether he would be able to form a non-sectarian government. Reuters has more.



 

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