Maliki controlled security forces abusing detainees at secret sites: HR Watch

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BAGHDAD - Security forces under the control of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are reportedly running secret detention sites in Baghdad where prisoners are being abused, the Human Rights Watch has claimed.

Former prisoners, who were held at a military base in the Green Zone that was vacated by U.S. troops last summer, have told Human Rights Watch researchers that detainees there were regularly abused by hanging them upside down, beating, and even giving electric shocks to various body parts, including the genitals, the Washington Post reports.

The Green Zone Prison is reportedly being operated by the 56th Brigade of the Iraqi army and the Counter-Terrorism Service, both of which are controlled by the prime minister’s office.

Human Rights Watch has further claimed that it has discovered another secret prison located at Camp Justice in the northwestern Baghdad, near Kadhimiyah, in which detainees are being kept without access to lawyers, family members or prison inspectors, “prompting fresh concerns that the 56th brigade may be torturing detainees,” the report said.

Over 280 prisoners were transferred to the Camp Justice prison from the Green Zone site in November, apparently to avoid a planned visit by an international inspection team, it added.

“Revelations of secret jails in the heart of Baghdad completely undermine the Iraqi government’s promises to respect the rule of law,” Joe Stork, Deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said. (ANI)

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