Iraq: Iran Revolutionary Guards controls secret prison near Baghdad

May 10
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Iran has set up secret detention centers in Iraq
Iran has set up secret detention centers in Iraq

By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Tuesday, 10 May 2016

At a time when the Iran Revolutionary Guards is engulfed in crises in Syria, the Rafedein Ahrar Human Rights organization in Iraq has unveiled dangerous information related to a number of secret detention centers controlled by the Popular Mobilization Force without any supervision by the Iraqi Ministry of Justice.

Raheb Saleh, executive director of this human rights organization said in an interview with the al-Quds al-Arabi daily the Iran IRGC detention center located near Baghdad is a top secret jail where former senior Iraqi army officers are held who had participated in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. Based on the information Saleh is citing the number of prisoners in this jail is more than 97 former army officers who have been placed under various types of torture.

In another event last week, Amnesty International revealed that human rights conditions continue to degrade in Iraq, and Shiite militias and Daesh (ISIS) operatives are continuing their rampage of crimes and mass killings. This organization reiterated that today’s Iraq has become a land to settle scores through arbitrary attacks targeting Daesh-controlled areas, mass executions, abducting women and girls, planned murders, widespread torture and mistreatment of prisoners, execution of various prisoners without due process of law.

More to read:

Conditions in Iraq detention centre 'shocking': Amnesty

By Afp 

Monday, 2 May 2016

The Iraqi authorities are holding often innocent "terror" suspects in dire conditions across the country and have no ability to process cases, Amnesty International said on Monday.

A delegation from the rights group, including its secretary general Salil Shetty, was able to visit one such centre in Amriyat al-Fallujah, west of Baghdad, on Saturday.

"We visited a detention centre in Amriyat al-Fallujah... where we found 700 people confined, locked up there for months, so-called terror suspects," Shetty told AFP in Baghdad.

A delegation from the rights group, including its secretary general Salil Shetty, was able to visit one such centre in Amriyat al-Fallujah, west of Baghdad, on Saturday ©Guilemette Villemin (AFP/File)

"The conditions under which they are kept there were quite shocking, some one square metre or so per person, with no place to even lie down," he said.

"The toilets are in the same room, they get... very minimal food, the conditions are just shocking overall," Shetty said.

Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser, said the centre -- run by Iraqi anti-terrorism forces -- had only four investigators to process cases and was overwhelmed.

Amriyat al-Fallujah is in the western province of Anbar, where security forces have been battling the Islamic State group since 2014.

Military operations have displaced huge numbers of civilians in the province. Thousands of Sunni men have been detained on suspicion of terrorist activities and held incommunicado.

"Not even one of them has been formally charged. They are there for months and months because the local authorities don't have any capacity to investigate these cases," Shetty said.

"Even the authorities themselves said they don't even know how most of those people have ended up there -- they think that most of them are innocent," he said.

The Amnesty team members said they had no prior knowledge of the detention centre's existence or of the 700 men held inside it.

"It is symptomatic of a much bigger problem because we met 700 of them but there are many, many such places across the country," Shetty said.

"It's a really bad example of how the criminal justice system in this country simply does not function."

Amnesty argues that strengthening the justice system should be one of the priorities in Iraq, where serious rights abuses continue to go routinely unpunished.

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