From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Iraq | International | Police State & Prisons
Civilian Torture, Killing Surge in Iraq: UN
by IOL (reposted)
Thursday Sep 21st, 2006 8:12 AM
CAIRO — Pools of blood are running across Iraq with civilians being brutally and indiscriminately tortured at an alarming daily rate in detention centers as well as by rampant sectarian-oriented militias across the country, the human rights office of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said in a new report.
"Detainees' bodies show signs of beating using electrical cables, wounds in different parts of their bodies including in the head and genitals, broken bones of legs and hands, electric and cigarette burns," said the report.

Bodies found in the Baghdad morgue "often bear signs of severe torture including acid-induced injuries and burns caused by chemical substances, missing skin, broken bones -- back, hands and legs, missing eyes, missing teeth and wounds caused by power drills or nails," it added.

UNAMI blamed human rights abuses on "the combined actions of insurgent groups targeting the Iraqi security forces and the MNF-I (multi-national forces) as well as those working in the public administration, in business or in various professions."

Reports of torture in detention facilities were typically linked to interrogations, it stressed.

The UN warned that "a growing perception of impunity for current and past crimes committed risks further eroding the rule of law."

It urged the government to publish the findings of an investigation into human rights violations committed in Al-Jadiriya detention center in2005 .

"The publication of the Al-Jadiriya’s report, the establishment of a formal inquiry into this case and the prosecution of those found to be responsible for allegations of human rights violations, would serve the people and the Government of Iraq and provide a powerful signal that the country is firm in its commitment to establish a new system based on the respect of human rights and the rule of law."

A British soldier on Tuesday, September19 , pleaded guilty to war crimes against civilians in Iraq, becoming first UK armed forces member to admit systematic abuse of Iraqis.

US soldiers were accused of being involved in a string of cold-blood killing of Iraqi civilians, including children and women, in the cities of Haditha and Ishaqi.

The most appalling scandal of the occupation forces abuse of Iraqis was in 2003 at the Abu Gharib prison, where prisoners were sexually and physically abused by their American guards.


The UN said bodies dumped in the ditches and streets of Baghdad and elsewhere across the country as a result of sectarian violence also "bear signs indicating that the victims have been brutally tortured before their extra-judicial execution."

The signs of widespread torture are confirmed by reports from surviving eyewitnesses, it added.

One individual, for example, said members of a Sunni extremist group beat him with electrical cables and iron bars to make him disclose the Muslim sect he belonged to.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by UK Guardian (reposted)
Thursday Sep 21st, 2006 9:07 PM
UN report warns of grave sectarian crisis in country
· Doubts on PM's ability to avoid slide to civil war

Peter Beaumont in Baghdad and agencies
Friday September 22, 2006
The Guardian

Nearly 7,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in the past two months, according to a UN report just released - a record high that is far greater than initial estimates had suggested. As American generals in Baghdad warned that the violence could worsen in the run up to Ramadan next Monday, the UN spoke of a "grave sectarian crisis" gripping the country.

With known Iraqi deaths running at more than 100 a day because of sectarian murders, al-Qaida and nationalist insurgent attacks, and fatalities inflicted by the multinational forces, the UN said its total was likely to be "on the low side" because of the difficulties of collecting accurate figures. In particular, it said that no deaths were reported from the violent region covering Ramadi and Falluja.

The report from the UN assistance mission in Iraq's human rights office reported evidence of torture, unlawful detentions, the growth of sectarian militias and death squads, and a rise in "honour killings" of women. The increasing incidence of discovery of the bodies of women and teenage girls, shot in the chest rather than in the head, has been attributed to the establishment by both extremist Sunnis and Shias of secretive sharia committees, which locals say carry out killings.

In a separate development, Manfred Nowak, the UN's special investigator, said torture was "totally out of hand" and might even be worse now than under Saddam Hussein. "You have terrorist groups, you have the military, you have police, you have these militias. There are so many people who are abducted, seriously tortured and finally killed," he told reporters at the UN's Geneva headquarters.