In news that is raising serious questions about the human rights record of the US-backed Iraqi government, installed in the wake of the 2003 US invasion of the nation, officials are confirming that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been operating a secret prison in Baghdad since at least October.
For many of the Sunnis swept up in Nineveh Province, the lack of arrest warrants and in many cases evidence was no small inconvenience; the government had conspicuously sought to avoid the sort of summary detention seen under the Ba’athist regime it replaced.
So instead of releasing the detainees the prime minister’s office compounded one crime with another and had some 431 of them held in isolation in a completely undocumented prison, often for months, while officials sought to torture some sort of confession out of them.
Since the prison became common knowledge, Maliki has promised to see it closed, and has reportedly transferred 275 of them to regular jails, and released 75 outright. What happened to the other 81 is not clear, however, and Maliki’s tight control over what has become his own private militia masquerading as a government security force means the information will be difficult to come up with.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Saudi Airstrike Kills 20 Civilians in Southwest Yemen - April 20th, 2018
- North Korea Tones Down Anti-US Rhetoric as New South Korea Hotline Opens - April 20th, 2018
- Russia Says US Didn't Violate Red Lines During Syria Strike - April 20th, 2018
- UN Security Team Still Won't Let Inspectors Visit Douma - April 20th, 2018
- North Korea to Close Nuclear Testing Site - April 20th, 2018