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Iraq: Annan Concern at Reported Abuse of Detainees

Iraq: Annan Deeply Concerned by Reported Abuse of Iraqi Detainees

New York, Nov 16 2005 2:00PM

In the wake of the reported abuse of a large number of detainees at an Iraqi interior ministry building, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today recalled that the United Nations has repeatedly voiced concern over ongoing human rights violations in Iraq, and specifically the lack of due process for detainees and the ill treatment they have endured.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan said he was "deeply concerned" by the latest reports and welcomed the immediate investigation announced by Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari as well as the Prime Minister's statement that such practices are completely contrary to Iraqi Government policy.

He noted that the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) had most recently expressed its concerns over ongoing abuses in its second bimonthly report on the human rights situation in the country earlier this month.

The report painted a grim picture of civilian bloodshed and rights abuses fuelling a pervasive climate of fear, and recommended that the country's authorities focus on fighting lawlessness and impunity.

"The right of victims to timely justice and redress should be central to any strategy to combat violations," the report said. "Iraq would benefit from enhanced accountability systems and increased efforts to combat impunity for crimes committed by all sides of the conflict."


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