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U.N. Report Condemns Torture in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD, Iraq, AP – A new U.N. human rights report condemned continuing insurgent violence in Iraq while issuing a stinging indictment of alleged torture and summary executions by Interior Ministry forces.

The bimonthly report by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq cited &#34serious allegations of extra-judicial executions taking place which underline a deterioration in the situation of law and order.&#34

The United Nations report, released Thursday, took special note of the Aug. 25 discovery of &#34the bodies of 36 men, blindfolded, handcuffed, bearing signs of torture and summarily executed&#34 near the Iranian border.

A top Sunni cleric has said the men”s bodies, found in a dry riverbed, were believed to be those of Sunni Arabs kidnapped a day earlier from their northern Baghdad neighborhood of Hurriyah.

&#34Families of the victims reported to the Human Rights Office that the men had been detained on 24 August … following an operation carried out by forces linked to the Ministry of Interior,&#34 the United Nations said.

The same thing was reported after 11 men were detained by Interior Ministry forces on July 10 in a different Baghdad neighborhood and &#34found dead three days later at the Medico Legal Institute,&#34 according to the report.

In addition to the alleged summary executions and mass arrests, the U.N. said it had &#34first and second hand accounts from Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk and the Kurdish governorates, as well as corroborating information from other credible sources … (of) the systematic use of torture during interrogations at police stations and within other premises belonging to the Ministry of Interior.&#34

The U.N. said it had brought the allegations before Iraqi authorities and &#34it is expected…violations will be investigated and the results of such investigations be made public.&#34

Both the insurgents and some government-linked groups have been accused of running so-called death squads in a growing wave of vengeance killings in the shadows of the unrelenting sectarian and ethnic violence in the country, more than two years after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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