Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, October 12, 2007

U.N. report on Iraq released

The United Nations released a report Thursday outlining the “ever deepening humanitarian crisis” in Iraq. Each month thousands of Iraqis have been driven from their homes, indiscriminate killings continue, and torture is routine in prisons, the U.N. says, as reported by The Washington Post today.

According to The Post: “The assessment by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, which covered a three-month period ending June 30, found that civilians were suffering ‘devastating consequences’ from violence across the country. It documented more than 100 civilians allegedly killed by U.S-led forces during airstrikes or raids.”

The report described the situation in Iraq differently than top U.S military and embassy officials did in their congressional testimonies last month.

“The killings are still taking place, the torture is still being reported, the due process issues are still unresolved,” said Ivana Vuco, a U.N. human rights officer in Baghdad.

The treatment of detainees was among the issues addressed in the report. According to the U.N., as of this June, there were 44,325 detainees in Iraqi or U.S custody, a nearly 4,000 person increase since April. Many of the detainees “remained in detention for months without having their cases reviewed or with limited access to legal counsel,” The Post says.

According to the article, the U.N. also “expressed concerns about overcrowding and poor hygiene in detention centers, particularly pretrial holding cells run by the Interior Ministry in Baghdad.” The agency said “it remained gravely concerned at continuing reports of the widespread and routine torture or ill-treatment of detainees.”

According to The Post, “The U.N. report warned of an increased rate of violence against women, particularly ‘honor’ killings in the semiautonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. In the first half of the year, regional government statistics counted 23 women killed by ‘blunt objects,’ 195 by burning and 37 by gunfire.”

The report also noted the high number of Iraqis that live as refugees outside the country.

For the full article, click here.



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