Iraq planning to prosecute prison torture suspects: rights officials

[JURIST] Officials for Iraq's Human Rights Ministry have said that they plan to prosecute those suspected of torturing inmates of the country's prison system, according to a Wednesday report [AFP report]. The country signed on to the UN's Convention Against Torture [text] on Sunday, but has not yet explicitly prohibited the practice. Prosecutors say they will find a way to use existing laws to charge offenders. The officials say the have documented dozens of cases of torture in Iraqi-run detention facilities, and that United Nations Special Investigator on Torture Manfred Nowak [UN materials], who has voiced grave concern over conditions in the country [BBC report], plans to visit Iraq in October. In 2005 Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] issued a report [HRW materials, press release] citing numerous incidents of torture and prisoner abuse in the country since the 2003 US invasion.

In November 2005 US troops found 173 prisoners [JURIST report], many abused, in a secret bunker run by the Interior Ministry. Earlier that year, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that Iraq's detention practices may violate international law and expressed concern [JURIST report] over the failure of Coalition forces to publish the results of their investigation into the torture allegations. In December 2005 Iraq Interior Minister Bayan Jabr [CBS profile] fired [JURIST report] Nouri al-Nouri, the country's senior inspector handling human rights issues, in connection with a torture scandal involving dozens of prisoners at a Baghdad prison. Jabr himself has been accused of running secret prisons [JURIST report] and controlling death squads, charges he has downplayed or denied [JURIST report].


 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.