Annual Report: Iraq 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Iraq 2010

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  • Watban Ibrahim al-Hassan and Sab'awi Ibrahim al-Hassan, both half-brothers of former President Saddam Hussain and respectively once Interior Minister and Head of Intelligence, were sentenced to death on 11 March for crimes against humanity. Former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq 'Aziz was sentenced to 15 years in prison, as was 'Ali Hassan al- Majid, who had already been sentenced to death in three other cases. The four were among eight people tried in connection with the killing in 1992 of 42 Baghdad merchants who had been accused of racketeering when the country was subject to UN imposed economic sanctions. Three other accused received prison sentences ranging from six years to life; one man was acquitted.

Human rights violations by Iraqi security forces

Iraqi security forces committed gross human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, torture and other ill-treatment, and arbitrary detentions, and did so largely with impunity. Detainees were held in heavily overcrowded prisons and detention centres, where they were abused by interrogators and prison guards. Torture methods reported included beatings with cables and hosepipes, suspension by the limbs for long periods, the application of electric shocks to the genitals and other sensitive areas, breaking of limbs, removal of toenails with pliers, and piercing the body with drills. Some detainees were alleged to have been raped.

  • In June, a human rights body affiliated to al-Diwaniya Governorate in southern Iraq accused the security forces of torturing detainees to extract "confessions". Interior Ministry investigators subsequently reported that 10 out of the 170 prisoners at al-Diwaniya prison had bruising that could have been caused by torture or other ill-treatment. Video film apparently taken by a prison guard showed a prisoner lying with his hands tied behind his back, being whipped by guards and subjected to electric shocks until he lost consciousness. One guard is heard to say, "He is done."

Human rights violations by US forces

US forces committed serious human rights violations, including unlawful killings of civilians. US military tribunals examined several court cases involving soldiers accused of crimes committed in Iraq in previous years.

  • On 1 January, US troops shot and critically wounded Hadil 'Emad, an editor for the TV station Biladi, when she was near a checkpoint in Karrada, Baghdad. The US military said that US troops shot a woman who "acted suspiciously and failed to respond to warnings."
  • On 16 September, US troops patrolling central Falluja shot dead Ahmed Latif, said to be mentally ill, apparently after he insulted and threw a shoe at them. The US authorities said he was shot because US troops suspected a grenade attack.
  • On 21 May, Steven Dale Green, a former US soldier, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in the USA for the rape and killing in Iraq of Abeer al-Janabi, a 14-year-old girl, and the murders of her mother, father and six-year-old sister in March 2006. Three other former soldiers were sentenced to life imprisonment in the same case.

Violence against women

Women continued to face high levels of discrimination and violence. Some were attacked in the street by armed men or received death threats from men who accused them of not adhering to strict Islamic moral codes. In May, inmates of the women's prison in al-Kadhimiya told members of the parliament's human rights committee that they had been raped in the prison or while detained elsewhere. The government provided little protection against societal and family violence.