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Monday, March 6, 2006
Amensty Issues Report on Prisons in Iraq
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:14 am

Via the BBC: Amnesty says Iraq abuses continue

Amnesty International has said that thousands of detainees held by the multinational forces in Iraq are still being denied their basic rights.

This is a legitimate and important concern:

The report says the multinational forces and Iraqi authorities must take urgent steps to stop human rights abuses if there is to be any hope of halting Iraq’s slide towards increasing violence and sectarianism.

The unnecessary detention of Iraqis by coalition forces has the very real, very dangerous potential effect of radicalization those detained, along with their friends and family. As such, numbers such as the following are troubling and problematic:

More than 200 detainees have been imprisoned for more than two years and nearly 4,000 for over a year, it reports.

“To hold this huge number of people without basic legal safeguards is a gross dereliction of responsibility on the part of both the US and UK forces,” said its UK director, Kate Allen

The response of many will be that this is war, and such processes are difficult to implement in such a context. However, I would respond again that if the goal here is democratization—the teaching of liberal governance-then a special effort should have been made from the beginning to take extra special care in this area.

The treatment of war-related prisoners was a chance to help teach key lessons about how the new government could and would be better than the old, and it is an chance that appears to have been squandered, starting with Abu Ghraib.

While there is nothing in this new account that rise to the level of Abu Ghriab, there still appear to be areas of serious concern in these prisons.

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