Middle East News
Amnesty: Iraq holding some 30,000 detainees without trial (Roundup)
Sep 13, 2010, 15:16 GMT
Cairo - Iraqi authorities are holding some 30,000 detainees without trial, denying them access to lawyers and leaving them at risk of torture, leading human rights group Amnesty International said in a report Monday.
Secret prisons are allegedly being used to house detainees, according to the report entitled New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful Detentions and Torture in Iraq. Amnesty also charged that some prisoners had died from maltreatment while in custody.
'The Iraqi authorities have signally failed to take effective action to stop torture and punish the perpetrators, despite overwhelming evidence of its use,' said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa director.
The group's expert on Iraq, Carsten Jurgensen, noted that around 10,000 detainees were recently added to the number of people held without charge after the United States handed them over to Iraqi authorities.
Some prisoners are being held for several years without charges.
The report alleged that prisoners were beaten with electric cables and tortured with electric shocks and drills.
'Torture is widely used in Iraq to obtain 'confessions,'' Amnesty said, adding that in many cases the documents were written by interrogators and signed by blindfolded detainees under duress.
Such 'confessions' are then used to arrest other people who were then also held without trial.
Amnesty said it based its findings, in part, on interviews with former detainees. The report also pointed to cases of long-term detention and torture in the northern autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.