Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Year After Abu Ghraib, Torture Continues

" Amnesty International continues to receive reports of ill-treatment of Iraqis during house raids and arrests by US and Iraqi security forces. Reports received in the last year by have involved the regular and systematic use of torture by the Iraqi police in police stations and within the Interior Ministry in Baghdad.

" In February 2005, three members of the Badr Organization, an armed Shi’a political group, died in Iraqi custody; their bodies showing marks of severe beatings and electric shocks. This event sparked outrage and anger among the Shi’a population and political leaders, and forced the Iraqi government to acknowledge that torture was used, and to order an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the three men.

" In another development, a national television channel, Al-Iraqiya, has been broadcasting "confessions" by alleged "terrorists". AI is particularly concerned about such "confessions" as detainees are invariably held incommunicado. People who have watched the shows say the detainees show signs of torture, including bruises and swollen faces.
For two years Amnesty International (AI) has been raising allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by US forces in the “war on terror” in a wide range of locations, including Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay and Iraq. On 19th May 2004, AI called on the USA to set up a full, independent, commission of inquiry into all aspects of the USA’s “war on terror” detention and interrogation policies and practices. The response by the US administration to the allegations had been to date inadequate.


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