Maliki’s Sectarian Arrests Fuel Another Political Crisis in Iraq

Parliament's Human Rights Committee Head Slams Raids

Politically motivated raids and arrests continue to be the order of the day in Iraq, as more top Sunni Arab politicians have been captured by the Maliki government today, following growing complaints about the practice.

Yesterday it was revealed that Maliki’s government had arrested more than 1,000 political opponents in recent months, almost exclusively Sunni Arab members of the Iraqiya bloc, the largest political faction in Iraq. Many were victims of torture, and a number appear to have been aimed at extracting confessions implicating former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.

The arrests appear to be an extension of the tactic used by the Maliki government against Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is currently in hiding in Kurdistan in the face of accusations by Maliki that he is a “terrorist.”

The increasing policy of targeting Sunni politicians has fueled even more anger among this bloc, with MP Salim al-Jubouri, the head of Iraq’s Human Rights Committee angrily condemning the arrests, noting that no comparable move against Shi’ite factions had been made.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of