Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Iraqi NGOs allege torture, abuse of children in prisons

Concerns have been raised by Iraqi NGOs about the treatment of children in prisons. The organizations say that they are abused and tortured during interrogation, IRIN reported last week.

Children are being treated as adults in Iraqi prisons and our investigations have shown that they are being abused and tortured,” said Khalid Rabia’a, a spokesman for the Prisoners’ Association for Justice (PAJ).

According to Rabia’a, PAJ’s investigation began after families brought their children, who were recently released from prison, to the organization for psychological help.

The five children showed signs of torture all over their bodies. Three had marks of cigarettes burns over their legs and one couldn’t speak as the shock sessions affected his conversation,” Rabia’a said. “It is against international law that protects children and we call for interventions in all Iraqi prisons to save the lives of these children.”

The Ministry of Interior denied the accusations, and said that children and youth are only held in interrogation for a maximum of 48 hours and are not abused or tortured. However, one senior ministry official from the ministry, who has been supplying PAJ with updates on a daily basis but asked not be named, told IRIN that every prison is holding at least 20 children, all of them suffering abuse.

It is believed that at least 220 children are currently detained in Iraqi prisons. IRIN’s request to visit the prisons was denied.

For the full article, click here.

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