Middle East News
UN: Human rights violations, violence continue in Iraq
Aug 8, 2011, 17:00 GMT
New York - An estimated 3,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed last year, mostly by armed insurgents and terrorist groups, in what the United Nations described on Monday as a continuing pattern of human rights violations.
The UN said violence has continued to impact on large numbers of Iraqis, targeting minorities, women and children, who have suffered disproportionately in the conflict. The updated study on human rights conditions in Iraq was made by the UN mission in Baghdad and the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
'The human rights situation throughout Iraq remains fragile,' the study said. It added that entrenched poverty in the country is considered a 'silent' human rights violation.
'Widespread poverty, economic stagnation, lack of opportunities, environmental degradation and an absence of basic services constitute 'silent' human rights violations that affect large sectors of the population,' it said.
The study said political rights, including freedom of assembly and expression, have improved in some areas. It said 'significant problems' have remained with law enforcement and the administration of justice, especially provision and respect for due process and fair trial rights.
'Ending impunity also remains a serious challenge in Iraq,' the study said. 'Perpetrators of crimes committed over many years continue to be unaccountable. A number of mass graves were discovered during the year containing the victims of various human rights abuses committed at various times over the past few decades.'
The study called for establishing an independent human rights commission in Iraq and for the country's legislature to ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment.
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