Iraqi detainees denied rights: Amnesty
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Iraqi detainees denied rights: Amnesty

The system of detention that has been established is arbitrary and a recipe for possible abuse.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 22:32 IST

Thousands of detainees in Iraq, held by the multinational forces led by the US, are trapped in a system of arbitrary detention that denies them their basic rights, Amnesty International said in a report published on Monday.

The report -- "Beyond Abu Ghraib: Detention and Torture in Iraq" -- said, "from the outset, the occupying forces attached insufficient weight to human rights considerations".

"Three years after it toppled Saddam Hussein, the US-led alliance has failed to put in place measures which respect the basic rights of detainees under its control and to safeguard them from possible torture or other abuses," said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"The system of detention that has been established is arbitrary and a recipe for possible abuse."

Some detainees have now been held without charge or trial by the forces for more than two years without being given an adequate opportunity to challenge the reasons for their imprisonment.

They face the prospect of being held for years more on the basis of information to which they do not have access.

"The systems the US and Britain use to review detainees' cases fail to meet international standards, including the requirement for court oversight. Detainees are also routinely denied access to lawyers and their families," it said.

"International human rights law applicable in Iraq as well as domestic Iraqi legislation contain safeguards to protect the fundamental rights of people in detention -- including the right not to be subjected to torture or ill-treatment. Hadj-Sahraoui said.

"It is high time for all parties to the conflict to start observing the laws to which they have been and remain legally bound," he added.

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 19:53 IST