Monday, July 04, 2005

Iraq and Torture

Hak Mao comments on recent torture in Iraq. Hak quotes the Observer. Go read the whole piece.

Here's a taster
The deputy minister, Aida Ussayran, is a life-long human rights activist who returned from exile in Britain to take up this post. She concedes that abuses by Iraq's security forces have been getting worse even as her ministry has been trying to re-educate the Iraqi police and army to respect detainee rights.

'As you know, for a long time Iraq was a mass grave for human rights,' she says. 'The challenge is that many people who committed these abuses are still there and there is a culture of abuse in the security forces and police - even the army - that needs to be addressed. I do not have a magic solution, but what I can do is to remind people that this kind of behaviour is what creates terrorists.'

There is a sense of frustration too in the Ministry of Human Rights, for even as the security forces rapidly increase in size, the ministry tasked with checking abuses has only 24 monitors to pursue cases, at a time when officials believe it needs hundreds to keep Iraq's police and army effectively in check.

If Ussayran is robust about her country's problems with human rights abuses, others are convinced that, far from being the acts of rogue units, the abuse is being committed at the behest of the ministry itself - or at least senior officials within it.

'There are people in the ministry who want to use these means,' said one. 'It is in their ideology. It is their strategy. They do not understand anything else. They believe that human rights and the Convention against Torture are stupid.'
When a beseiged democratic administration employs security forces previously employed by a torture-happy a Fascist totalitarian government should anyone be surprised that torture is seen as a useful strategy?

A strategy of torture is wrong wrong wrong. Morally wrong. Politically wrong. Wrong every upside down, downside up, backwards, forwards way of looking at it. Anti-fascist, anti-totalitarian forces should be better than that.

Torturers *must* be prosecuted for Human Rights abuses. The Iraqi security forces need cleansing of Ba'athite supporters. Even 'ex' ones.

No comments: