According to a statement issued by a human rights group on Tuesday, August 10, at least three Iraqis were killed by the Basra police in southern Iraq due to excessive torture within 10 days of their detention, Middle East Eye reported. The statement comes just days after a United Nations’ report accused the Iraqi authorities of involvement in widespread torture and ill treatment of prisoners and detainees in the country.
Three men identified as Mohammad Hisham, Mohammad al-Dabi and Ali Mubarak al-Shamri were arrested on suspicion of being involved in different criminal activities. They were reportedly tortured and killed during their detention between July 28 and August 7 by the Basra police.
Hisham and al-Dabi were tortured in Basra’s anti-crime headquarters while Ali was killed in Basra’s Al-Baradiyah police station, according to the statement released by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.
The statement quotes family members of the deceased and some eyewitnesses. The eye witness in Hisham’s case claimed that he was severely tortured by the security forces at Basra’s anti-crime headquarters. Family members of al-Dabi and Ali claimed that there were clear signs of beating, stabs and fractures on their bodies.
Earlier this month, the UN released a report in which it accused that Iraqi authorities of being involved in various forms of torture and ill treatment of detainees. The report titled “Human Rights in the Administration of Justice in Iraq: legal conditions and procedural safeguards to prevent torture and ill-treatment” was prepared by the Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It states that at least half of 235 individuals who have reported torture or ill treatment by the state authorities and police between the period of July 1, 2019 to April 30, 2021 “provided credible and reliable accounts of torture.”
The report also underlined that out of the 1,406 complaints of torture and ill treatment received in 2020 by Iraq’s High Judicial Council, it has only been able to provide closure to 18 cases. The report urges the governments in Iraq and Kurdistan region to “address the continued practice of torture and/or other forms of ill-treatment in places of detention.”
Through a UN General Assembly convention adopted in December 1984, which came into effect in June 1987, all kinds of torture and ill treatment has been prohibited and such acts are considered violation of basic human rights.