Terror and Repression in the "New" Iraq


* Amnesty International Report (13 September 2010)

Tens of thousands of detainees held without trial in Iraq, many of whom were recently transferred from US custody, remain at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful detentions and torture in Iraq details thousands of arbitrary detentions, sometimes for several years without charge or trial, severe beatings of detainees, often in secret prisons, to obtain forced confessions, and enforced disappearances.

Read the full Amnesty report in PDF


Maliki’s election platform: 900 Iraqi prisoners face summary execution
In the run-up to elections, Maliki proposes executions to bolster his chances
Democracy in the new Iraq equals death and repression
The current regime in Iraq serves the US occupation: it is the occupation that kills Iraqis



* Urgent Appeal for releasing the prisoners detained in Iraqi prisons.

World Association of Arab Translators and Linguists (WATA) - 11 March 2010

* STOP THE DEATH PENALTY IN IRAQ - Read and sign the statement (14 Dec 2009)

With broken hearts we would like to inform you that the USA occupying forces in Iraq have locked-up more than (162,000) hundred and sixty-two thousand Iraqi citizens in more than (50) prisons and detention camps including (28) camps run by US occupying forces, in addition to many undisclosed investigation and incarceration centers over IraqThe number of detainees registered in International Red Cross records is around (71,000) Seventy-one thousand, the other detainees are not recorded with the IRC because they are arrested at US detaining centers where visits by the Red-Cross representatives are denied by the occupying forces and thousands of war prisoners and old age detainees have been imprisoned and detained for more than six years suffering from unbearable and painful living and health conditions .Read more .


The Iraqi Human Rights Centre sent a letter to the UN general secretary detailing the horrible situation of human rights in Iraq. It mentions the irresponsible US action of handing 15,000 prisoners to the Iraqi government that does not guarantee the safety of prisoners and is contrary to international law. They knew well that most of those prisoners will either be assassinated, judged without charges, humiliated to the degree of annihilation or forced to leave the country.


It mentions, too, the case of 19,000 families in Najaf stripped of their rights and collectively punished. These poor people are obliged to leave their homes and city solely for being suspected of being against the local government. This reminds us of the sectarian killings that produced five million refugees and the displaced. It is the modern educated middle class that is targeted.

This is the American liberation of Iraq and bringing democracy. Horrible!


Albayaty Abdul Ilah (25 Jan 2010)



We demand that the Belgian government immediately intervenes with the Iraqi authorities to save the life of Oussama Atar, a young Belgian, aged 26, who has been detained in Iraq for six years.
In the messages that he has sent us during the last years, via the Red Cross, Oussama has never complained about his diabolical conditions of detention. But, in the last few weeks, he started to send SOS messages that his health is rapidly deteriorating: he loses blood and weight visibly. Me and my family are extremely worried about the situation. He is today in a grave and critical state. He needs the urgent medical treatment that is being refused by the prison authorities. We ask that the Belgian authorities intervene as quickly as possible to ensure that Oussama receives immediate hospital treatment. We demand that the Belgium government goes through the diplomatic channels so that Oussama can receive medical treatment in Belgium and complete his sentence in Belgium.

Oussama was arrested in the village of Ramadi in Iraq for having illegally crossed over the frontier from Syria into Iraq. This is the single act for which he has been reproached. Unjustly condemned for this by a tribunal to 25 years in prison, a sentence reduced on appeal to 10 years, he has been sent to several prisons, such as the horrible Abu Ghraib





Hiba Al-Shamaree, an Iraqi woman writer/blogger who has been kidnapped/arrested by the Iraqi forces on the 20th of January 2010 in the Sayyediya neighborhood in Baghdad. She has been arrested, detained and put on trial because of writing an anti-occupation blog. Please take action for her release. Go to Layla Anwar's webpage to find out what you can do.

Her sister has updated her blog with the following :

Hiba Al-Shamaree is arrested and detained by Baghdad's security forces on the charges of supporting the Iraqi Resistance (through her writings), she will be presented to the Criminal/Penal Court...

I am now authorized by Hiba to reveal her true identity to you.

Her name : Hanan Ali Ahmad Al Mashadani
Age : 33 years old
Profession: Doctor in Ophtalmology

The charges pressed against her : Inciting to violence and supporting the Resistance and according to informed sources this is a charge that falls under the clause of Terrorism as per the Iraqi law.

Hiba lived in Amman with us, but she insisted on going to Baghdad on a humanitarian mission/assignment, for a project financed by an Indian NGO called HMOK and which dealt with deaf and mute Iraqi children. Hiba was working as a consultant for this  Indian NGO.

They discovered her pen name Hiba Al Shamaree because when they arrested her she had her laptop with her which they confiscated and they saw the articles she has been posting on her blog.

Signed Huda Al Shamaree, sister of the doctor and writer Hiba Al Shamaree.


Joint study on secret detention of the Special Rapporteur on torture & other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights & fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention & the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.



1. With regard to secret detention practiced by the Iraqi government, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) referred to “unofficial detention” by Iraqi authorities, notably the Ministry of Interior, in several of its reports.[1] One facility, Al-Jadiriya, is mentioned repeatedly in this connection.[2] In 2006, drawing attention to the lack of effective investigations after its discovery UNAMI noted that “One year after the discovery of the illegal detention centre of Al-Jadiriya’s bunker in Baghdad, on 13 November 2005, where 168 detainees were unlawfully detained and abused, the United Nations and international NGOs […] continue to request that the Government of Iraq publish the findings of the investigation on this illegal detention. It may be recalled that a Joint-Inspection Committee was established after the discovery of the Al-Jadiryia’s bunker in November 2005, in order to establish the general conditions of detention. The existence of the bunker was revealed after a raid of the Ministry of Interior’s bunker by MNF I/Iraqi forces. The Iraqi Government should start a judicial investigation into human rights violations in Al-Jadiriya. The failure to publish the Al-Jadiriya report, as well as other investigations carried out by the Government regarding conditions of detention in the country, remains a matter of serious concern and affects Iraq’s commitment to establish a new system based on the respect of human rights and the rule of law.”[3] Another unofficial place of detention under the Minsitry of Interior was the so-called “Site 4.” UNAMI described the following: “On 30 May [2006], a joint inspection led by the Deputy Prime Minister and MNF-I, in a prison known as “Site 4,” revealed the existence of 1,431 detainees with systematic evidence of physical and psychological abuse. Related to alleged abuses committed at “Site 4,” a probe by 3 separate investigative committees was set up. After two and a half months, the probe concluded that 57 employees, including high-ranking officers, of the Ministry of Interior were involved in degrading treatment of prisoners. Arrests warrants against them were allegedly issued, but no arrests have reportedly yet taken place.”[4]

2. In relation to Kurdistan province, UNAMI noted in 2006: “Despite concrete acknowledgement by the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] of the arrest of individuals by […] intelligence and security forces and their detention at unofficial detention facilities, there appears to be little impetus by the authorities to effectively address this pervasive and serious human rights concern. There has been little official denial of the existence and sometimes locations of secret and illegal detention cells in Suleimaniya and Erbil which are often no more than rooms in private houses and government buildings.” UNAMI reiterated in 2007 that “the practice of administrative detention of persons held in the custody of the Asayish (security) forces in the Kurdistan region, the majority having been arrested on suspicion of involvement in acts of terrorism and other serious crimes. Many are said by officials to be members or supporters of proscribed Islamist groups. Hundreds of detainees have been held for prolonged periods, some for several years, without referral to an investigative judge or charges brought against them. In some cases, detainees were arrested without judicial warrant and all are routinely denied the opportunity to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. UNAMI also continues to receive allegations of the torture or ill-treatment of detainees in Asayish detention facilities. […] On 28 January and again on 27 February [2007], families of detainees arrested by Asayish forces demonstrated before the Kurdistan National Assembly in Erbil, demanding information on the whereabouts of detained relatives and the reasons for their arrest […].”[5] In 2009, UNAMI further reported that “The KRG 2006 Anti-Terrorism Law, which forms the legal basis for many arrests, has been extended into mid-2010. […]UNAMI/HRO continues to document serious violations of the rights of suspects and those deprived of their liberties by the KRG authorities. These include claims of beatings during interrogation, torture by electric shocks, forced confessions, secret detention facilities, and a lack of medical attention. Abuse is often committed by masked men or while detainees are blindfolded. [6]

3. The Experts took up the case of a group of individuals arrested and held in secret detention for prolonged periods in the spring 2009 in connection with accusations against Mr. Al-Dainy, a former member of Parliament.[7] According to the allegations received, several former collaborators of Mr. Dainy were arrested in February 2009, held in secret detention at a number of different locations. In particular, they were detained in a prison in the Green Zone run by the Baghdad Brigade. Their families were not notified of their whereabouts for several months. The current location of eleven persons is still not known. While being held at the Baghdad Brigade prison, most of them were severely ill-treated, including by beating with cables, suspension from the ceiling with either the feet or hands upwards for up to two days, or electroshocks. Some had black bags put over their heads and were suffocated for several minutes until the bodies became blue several times in a row. Also, some had plastic sticks introduced in the anus. They were also threatened with the rape of members of their families. They were forced to sign and fingerprint pre-prepared confessions. As a result of the ill-treatment, several of them had visible injuries on several parts of their bodies. Many lost considerably weight.

[1] UNAMI Human Rights Report 1 November– 31 December 2005, paras 9-11;
[2] UAMIT Human Rights Report 1 July – 31 August 2006 , paras 70-73; UNAMI Human Rights Report 1 May –30 June 2006, paras 76-78;
[3] UNAMI Human Rights Report 1 November - 31 December 2006, paras 90 – 91.
[4] UNAMI Human Rights Report 1 November - 31 December 2006, para 92.
[5] UNAMI Human Rights Report 1 January – 31 March 2007, paras 73 – 75.
[6] United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Human Rights Report, 1 July to 31 December 2008, May 2009; paras. 91,92; http://uniraq.org/documents/UNAMI_Human_Rights_Report_July_December_2008_EN.pdf . See also: Amnesty International, “Hope and Fear: Human Rights in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” April 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE14/006/2009/en/c2e5ae23-b204-4b46-b7f5-06dc1501f62f/mde140062009en.pdf .
[7] Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture (/HRC/13/39/Add.1) and report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (A/HRC/13/31), para. 295.

The case of Iraqi MP Mohamed Al Dainy



 Appeal to stop repression and state crimes in Iraq

For the BRussells Tribunal, its supporters and audience, secret prisons in Iraq are no surprise. We made repeated alerts during years that repression in the “New Iraq” is systematic.
Repression in Iraq takes multiple forms: deprivation of resources and services, arrests, assassinations, deportation of millions, torture of every kind, death squads, hanging and other death penalties, confiscating property and houses, blowing up residences, markets and groupings, killing at checkpoints and in the streets for no reason, trade of children and women, inhuman conditions in secret or public prisons, rape of children, men and women, killing from the air, killing on identity, kidnappings, stealing during investigation, extorting money from prisoners, stealing organs in hospitals, killing academics, journalists, doctors and state servants, threats, deprivation of legal rights and human rights, imprisonment without charge for long periods of time, re-imprisonment of the innocent after release, illegal and unfair trials, etc. All Iraqi communities are victims of this repression.

This repression, coupled with corruption and a policy of disinformation and lies and the fomentation of civil strife, is a hell of blood and fear in which Iraqis live. Iraqis know this well. They know that the American withdrawal from cities is in reality handing the dirty job to their local puppets. Maliki is the proconsul of this repression. It is his electoral platform and his way to remain prime minister.

International institutions and human rights associations hesitated for a long time before divulgating the reality to Western and international public opinion, despite multiple alerts sent by numerous Iraqi sources on the tragic situation in Iraq. Now it is done. We support every effort and action to prevent local Iraqi authorities and the US occupation from continuing their criminal repression of Iraqis, to make the criminals involved accountable for their crimes, and to compensate the victims.

We call on the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, with the aid of human rights associations and institutions, to take action to save the Iraqi people from these bloody policies and criminal authorities. We call on individuals, associations, institutions and governments to constitute a united front to take action to stop the repression in Iraq.
The BRussells Tribunal

BRussells Tribunal campaigns against repression in Iraq: