Is Iraq Better? Part 1

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Somewhere in the leadup to the war, or after the war started, one of the reasonings for the war was to better the life of the people living in Iraq under the rule of Saddam. Three years into this war/conflict/occupation is a good time to take an in-depth (at least as in-depth as I can get from this side of the globe) look at what we installed for a government in place of Saddam.

We all know about the terror and torture that was routine under the rule of Saddam, however recent reports, studies and first-hand accounts have shown the new government and the security forces of Iraq are operating with similar brutality. The main players in this new regime of intimidation and ruthless killings are the forces set in place to safeguard the people of Iraq, mainly: The Iraqi National Guard (ING), The Iraqi Special Forces (ISF) and the Ministry of Interior. The Human Rights Watch has released a 94-page report titled The New Iraq? Torture and Ill-treatment of Detainees in Iraqi Custody, documenting the many cases of abuse.

The Iraqi government has even acknowledged, on July 3, 2005, that security forces were torturing people very similiarly to practices going on under the rule of Saddam. The response from the spokesman for the Prime Minister of Iraq, Laith Kubba, was: "These things happen. We know that." Saad Sultan, head of a board overseeing the treatment of prisoners at the Human Rights Ministry estimates that up to 60% of the roughly 12,000 detainees in the prisons are subject torture.

A new television show airing on the American financed network Al Iraqiya showing daily in prime time is: "Terrorism in the Grip of Justice." This show, the brainchild of General Adnan Thabit (we will get back to him later) is a reality type program that airs live confessions of detainees. I use the word detainee here because although some of these people may indeed be "insurgents", they are arrested (for lack of a better word) and tortured/interrorgated into giving confessions-many times showing visible signs of abuse. A recent report by the Iraqi Lawyers Association has sharply criticized the new show. The report names 27 Iraqis that are alive, despite televised confessions by people claiming to have killed them.

Who makes it on the show? One such lucky contestant was Khalida Zakiya, a 46 year old housewife. She appeared on the program in February after being detained for 13 days, arrested in Mosul by the Wolf Brigade (more on them later also). What happened in the 13 days of detention without a charge before she gave a confession of supplying insurgents with money and explosives? Zakiya claims she was blindfolded, handcuffed and gagged while being beat by six men with electric cables. She claims one interrorgator threatened to sodomize her with a bottle. On the 13th day she says she was handed a scripted confession which she read on the television show. She was transferred to local authorities when the Wolf Brigade left Mosul. Local authorities deemed her innocent and released her 10 days later. She was even visited by the chief of police for Mosul who appoligized to her in her home on television.


jj said...

The Shi’ite security forces are exacting revenge for years of oppression. Who could have possibly seen that one coming? Or the civil war and closer ties with Iran?

Human Rights Ministry estimates that up to 60% of the roughly 12,000 detainees in the prisons are subject torture.

11 Sunni men have been tortured and killed by police.

As for prisoners that are abused what makes it even worse is the fact that most are innocent.
The Associated Press
GENEVA - Intelligence officers of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq estimated that 70 percent to 90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested by mistake, the Red Cross said in a report that was disclosed Monday, and Red Cross observers witnessed U.S. officers mistreating Abu Ghraib prisoners by keeping them naked in total darkness in empty cells.

Some great post keep up the good work.

Copyright © Outside The Box