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What a difference 5 years makes… March 11, 2006

Posted by ultor in GWOT, politics.

Here’s a quiz: some of these quotes are from the US State Department’s Report on Human Rights Practices in Iraq in 2000. Some are from the same report in 2005. Which is which?

  1. During the year there were a number of deaths either at police hands or at the hands of militia members and criminals wearing police uniforms.
  2. On May 15, eyewitnesses said armed men in police uniforms took Sunni Council of Scholars (Ulema) member Sheikh Hassan al-Naimi from his Baghdad home. Several days later his body was found with a gunshot wound to the head and signs of torture with an electric drill.
  3. The Government restricts severely freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, and movement.
  4. Criminal and politically motivated disappearances and kidnappings…remained a severe problem.
  5. The U.N. Special Rapporteur, the
    international media, and other groups all have reported a heightened number of summary executions in Iraq….
  6. On three occasions in January and February, prison officials reportedly executed 91 prisoners at Abu Ghurayb….
  7. Many persons who were displaced forcibly still live in tent camps under harsh conditions, which also results in many deaths….
  8. According to a January Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, police torture and ill treatment of detainees was commonplace. In interviews with 90 prisoners, 72 asserted that they had been tortured or mistreated. The reported abuses included beatings with cables and hosepipes, electric shocks to earlobes and genitals, food and water deprivation, and overcrowding in standing-room-only cells.
  9. …abuses included threats, intimidation, beatings, and suspension by the arms or legs, as well as the reported use of electric drills and cords, and the application of electric shocks. Reportedly, police threatened or, in fact, sexually abused detainees.
  10. Corruption was widely perceived to be a severe problem within the police. There were many allegations of police abuse involving unlawful arrests, beatings, and theft from the homes of detainees.
  11. According to former prisoners, torture techniques included branding, electric shocks administered to the genitals and other areas, beating, pulling out of fingernails, burning with hot irons and blowtorches, suspension from rotating ceiling fans, dripping acid on the skin, rape, breaking of limbs, denial of food and water, extended solitary confinement in dark and extremely small compartments, and threats to rape or otherwise harm family members and relatives.


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