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Rights group finds secret prison in Basra


Iraqi Parliament’s Human Rights Commission has found up to 200 malnourished and disease-stricken Iraqi detainees locked in a secret prison in the southern city of Basra. The commission’s spokesman, Amer Thamer, said many of the detainees bore signs of torture. "They are crammed in a circular room surrounded with slabs of concrete with no roof," Thamer said. He said the prison is operated by the Defense Ministry and none of the inmates has ever been tried or given access to legal assistance. "We put the blame for the horrific conditions of the inmates squarely on the Defense Ministry," he said...

[47165]



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Rights group finds secret prison in Basra

Mohammed Hamdoun, Azzaman

basraprisoner.jpg

September 11, 2008

Iraqi Parliament’s Human Rights Commission has found up to 200 malnourished and disease-stricken Iraqi detainees locked in a secret prison in the southern city of Basra.

The commission’s spokesman, Amer Thamer, said many of the detainees bore signs of torture. "They are crammed in a circular room surrounded with slabs of concrete with no roof," Thamer said.

He said the prison is operated by the Defense Ministry and none of the inmates has ever been tried or given access to legal assistance.

"We put the blame for the horrific conditions of the inmates squarely on the Defense Ministry," he said.

Members of the commission came across the prison during a routine tour of Basra.

"Searing temperatures and extremely hot sun had almost grilled some inmates," he said.

"We were told of grave instances of abuse which violate basic human rights conditions," he added.

"To leave prisoners in the open under the scorching heat is inhuman and a flagrant violation of human rights," he said.

Thamer said the 200 prisoners only had access to one flooded and dirty latrine.

"The prison is an example of the denial of the most basic rights of inmates," he said.

"The Human Rights Commission in the Parliament considers these violations an example of barbaric and inhuman practices … and a serious violation of human rights,"

He said the commission has demanded the authorities shut down the prison immediately.





:: Article nr. 47165 sent on 11-sep-2008 22:21 ECT

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Link: www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2008-09-11\kurd.htm



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