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Iraq: UN cannot ignore human rights now

Iraq: UN Security Council cannot ignore human rights now

(New York) Amnesty International today warned the UN Security Council that it must ensure that human rights are at the centre of any draft resolution on Iraq.

"The language on human rights in the current text presented by the USA, the UK and Spain is weak and vague and does not address the need for full enjoyment of human rights by the Iraqi people," Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International delegates in Iraq have experienced first-hand the need for a comprehensive commitment to human rights, ranging from truth and accountability for past violations to ensuring the security of Iraqis as the law and order situation remains unstable.

"Our delegates in Iraq have seen bodies removed from mass graves, spoken to people who feel unsafe on the streets and heard of security files which could provide vital evidence of past human rights abuses being used to wrap goods in the market. All of this underlines our call for human rights to be at the heart of discussions on Iraq"

The organization called for the UN Security Council to establish an impartial commission of experts to ensure that those responsible for human rights abuses, both past and present, are brought to justice and that Iraq's judicial system is reformed.

In a letter to the members of the UN Security Council, Amnesty International urged them to ensure: - an effective role for the United Nations in which it can act with full authority to take appropriate measures to protect and promote human rights in Iraq;

- that justice and accountability for massive and grave international crimes under international law are addressed;

- the rebuilding of Iraq's judicial and police institutions in accordance with international human rights standards.

"The protection and realization of all human rights by all Iraqis will be essential for the reconstruction of Iraq," the organization concluded.

For more information and to see the letter to members of the UN Security Council, please see:

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