Iraqi government officials denied accusations that the Maliki government has been holding detainees in secret prisons, some of them for years, without charges and in abusive conditions.
“It is under the control of the ministry of justice. It is my responsibility, and I deny all these accusations – they are all lies,” insisted Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim. He added that the Red Cross has visited the detention center.
Which was news to the Red Cross, which was said to be in talks to visit the facility but never once was allowed on the site because the government refused demands to let them interview detainees about their treatment. They also added that just because the Red Cross visited a prison doesn’t mean its operating properly.
Former US officials familiar with the facility said it was heavily overcrowded, and that the Justice Ministry’s control was “on paper” only, and that Prime Minister Maliki’s personal security forces had the run of the site.