With Custody Transferred to Baghdad Government, Iraqi Prisoners Suffer Torture and Abuse
Interview with Geneve Mantri, Amnesty International's government relations director for terrorism and counter-terrorism, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Amnesty International released a new report on Sept. 12 titled, "New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful Detentions and Torture in Iraq," which highlights concerns about the treatment of Iraqi prisoners now under the control of Iraqi security forces, after the U.S. transferred their authority to the Baghdad government.
Through interviews gleaned from former prisoners and others, the report focuses on many kinds of abuse, including detainees being subjected to beatings, suspension by their limbs, electric shock, suffocation, threats of rape, arbitrary arrest and being held without charge or trial. Amnesty estimates that 30,000 detainees are currently being held without trial in Iraq. More than 400 detainees were held in a secret prison at the old Muthanna airport, whose existence was revealed publicly in April 2010.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Geneve Mantri, Amnesty International's government relations director for terrorism and counter-terrorism, who describes how the report was compiled and explains what Amnesty hopes will happen as a result to protect the rights of Iraqis, regardless of their guilt or innocence for the crimes they are accused of committing.
Contact Amnesty International's Washington, D. C. office at (202) 675-8754 or visit their website at amnesty.org, where you can read a copy of the "New Order, Same Abuses" report.
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