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UN investigator says Iraq torture situation 'completely out of hand'

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [official profile] said Thursday in Geneva that "the situation as far as torture is concerned in Iraq is now completely out of hand", and is so bad that "many people say that it is worse than in the times of Saddam Hussein." Nowak has not been able to visit Iraq personally, but based his comments on reports of conditions in Iraqi prisons [JURIST report] and the actions of Iraqi militias and insurgents [JURIST report]. He also noted reports of inhumane treatment [JURIST report] in US and foreign-operated detention facilities, but said those had improved after controversy surrounding them. Reuters has more.

Soon after Nowak's remarks were made, a US State Department official denied the charge that the torture situation in Iraq now was worse than the regime of what a US official called "state-sanctioned torture" under Saddam. The Financial Times has more.

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