UN urges Iraq to address human rights abuses News
UN urges Iraq to address human rights abuses
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[JURIST] The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) [official report] released a report [text, PDF] Thursday which presses Iraqi leaders to develop measures addressing the growing trend of human rights abuses in Iraq. According to the UN, terrorist groups killed more than 3,100 Iraqi civilians and injured more than 12,100 during 2012. UNAMI stresses that these figures indicate a reversal in the reduction of violence in recent years and a growth in the use of “asymmetric tactics” deliberately targeting civilians. UNAMI notes that while political instability continues to impede security in Iraq, leaders must do more to ensure “the proper coordination” of “financial, medical and other forms of support” for victims of violence. In addition UNAMI reports that the government continues to impose “lengthy periods of pre-trial detention” without formal charge because of the lack of resources provided to members of the judiciary. As a result detainees have allegedly complained of inadequate access to legal counsel. UNAMI also calls on leaders to implement a moratorium on the death penalty in accordance with several UN resolutions. According to the report the government executed 123 prisoners during 2012, some after extracting confessions through abuse and torture. UNAMI urges the government to take all necessary measures [press release] to implement the recommendations set forth in the report.

The human rights situation in Iraq remains fragile. In July 2012 UNAMI condemned [JURIST report] a coordinated string of bombings and shootings in 13 cities, including Baghdad, that killed at least 91 people and injured nearly 200 more. In May 2012 UNAMI reported [JURIST report] that the human rights situation in Iraq continues to struggle during the nation’s transition from a decade-long dictatorship to a peaceful democratic system. UNAMI reported [JURIST report] in August 2011 that human rights abuses continue to plague various regions of Iraq. In December 2008 UNAMI reported [JURIST report] that while general security conditions in Iraq have improved, human rights violations have continued, especial with respect to the treatment of detainees in the country. In November 2008 UN envoy to Iraq Staffan de Mistura praised [JURIST report] Iraq’s new Independent High Commission for Human Rights, calling it a “milestone” for human rights in the region.