Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 5, 2009


Jeremy Scahill, Antiwar - A new UN human rights report examining Iraq shows that torture of prisoners by Iraqi authorities is widespread and accountability is nonexistent. "The lack of accountability of the perpetrators of such human rights abuses reinforces the culture of impunity," the UN bluntly states. The 30-page report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, examined conditions in Iraq from July to December 2008. . .

UN investigators said it was of "particular concern" that a senior Iraqi police official complained that the Iraqi government's pending ratification of the Convention Against Torture would "not be helpful," stating, "How are we going to get confessions? We have to force the criminals to confess, and how are we going to do that now?" . . .

The UN says, "There are no documented cases to this day where an official of the Minister of Defense has been held accountable for human rights abuses." That is exactly the situation within the U.S. Department of Defense (and Justice and CIA and White House for that matter. . .

As of December 2008, there were 41,271 people being held in prisons throughout Iraq, 15,058 of them in the custody of the U.S.-controlled "Multi-National Forces." The UN found that "many" of the prisoners "have been deprived of their liberty for months or even years in overcrowded cells" and expressed concerns "about violations of the minimum rules of due process as many did not have access to defense counsel, or were not formally charged with a crime or appeared before a judge."

While the report primarily focused on Iraqi run prisons, it notes that in U.S.-run prisons "detainees have remained in custody for prolonged periods without judicial review of their cases." And remember, the U.S. is in the process of turning over more prisoners to Iraqi custody.


Anonymous Now it's ok to commit a crime to prevent a crime (dickheaded Cheney logic). said...

The Torturer's Apprentice

World Torture Tour

May 7, 2009 10:50 AM  

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