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AFP
August 1, 2018

HRW urges probes into ‘rampant’ use of torture in Iraq

World

AFP
August 1, 2018

BAGHDAD: Human Rights Watch called on Tuesday for investigations into the “rampant” use of torture against people arrested on suspicion of belonging to the Islamic State group.

“Torture is rampant in Iraq´s justice system, yet judges lack instructions for responding to torture allegations,” the watchdog´s deputy Middle East director, Lama Fakih, said. “Defendants, including ISIS suspects, won´t be able to get a fair trial so long as the security forces can freely torture people into confessing,” she added. Around 20,000 people were arrested in the three-year battle by Iraqi forces to drive out IS, which had seized swathes of western and northern Iraq in 2014.

HRW found that in 22 of the 30 cases it reviewed in Baghdad, judges had refused to consider allegations of torture. In several cases, judges ordered forensic medical examinations and found signs of torture, “but did not necessarily order a retrial or investigation and prosecution of the abusive officers”, the group said.

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