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30,000 Iraqis held without trial and at risk of torture

A NEW report by Amnesty International estimates that 30,000 people are being held without trial in Iraq and are at risk of torture.

The methods of torture include beating with cables and hose pipes, prolonged suspension by the limbs, electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body, breaking of limbs and the removal of finger and toenails.

Several detainees have died in custody, apparently as a result of torture or other ill-treatment by Iraqi interrogators and prison guards.

The report, New Order Same Abuses, also highlights long-term detentions in the northern Kurdistan region by the Asayish–Kurdish security police.

Father-of-three Walid Yunis Ahmad, 52, has been detained without charge or trial for more than 10 years.

He is the longest-held, untried detainee in Iraq known to Amnesty International. He is alleged to have been tortured, and has been held in solitary confinement since going on hunger strike in 2008 in protest at his continuing detention

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said Iraq’s security forces have been responsible for systematic human rights abuses while their government looks the other way. And the US authorities have handed over thousands of people to face this catalogue of violence and abuse.

Torture is widely used in Iraq to obtain “confessions”. In many cases these are already prepared by interrogators. Detainees are forced to sign while blindfolded and without reading the contents. Hundreds of prisoners are reported to have been sentenced to death, and some have been executed, after being convicted on the basis of “confessions” which they said were false and had been signed under duress.


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