No secret prisons exist in Iraq, Prime Minister's Adviser says:
2/9/2011 12:59 PM
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki's Media Adviser has called Wednesday on the International Amnesty Organization to visit Iraq's prisons, in order to get acquainted with the circumstances of the prisoners, denying the presence of secret prisons in the country and pointing out that the interantional reports that spoke about the existence of such prisons were not correct, whilst the Organization's official, in charge of the Iraqi dossier said that Iraq's conditions "do not allow visits to its prisons."
"The states usually use secret prisons, where they keep prisoners of opinion or political prisoners, whilst there isn't a single prisoner for political reasons or matters related to the freedom of opinion in Iraq," Ali al-Moussawi told the Saudi-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (Middle East) Newspaper on Wednesday.
He said: "Prisoners in Iraq nowadays are either terrorists or detainees arrested for criminal charges, hence such charges don't need secret prisons, because nobody can defend terrorists, who kill innocent people in the streets."
"We call on the Amnesty International Organization to visit all Iraqi prisons, in order to get acquainted with the facts, instead of getting involved with empty gossip it gets, either from distorted information that it usually becomes victom of, or there are certain motives that stand behind such information," Moussawi said.
The said newspaper has carried a report by the Amnesty International saying that Iraq "has secret prisons, where prisoners face routine torture operations to force them confess, in order to use against them," adding that "about 30,000 men and women are still in Iraqi detention centers, some of them kept in secret prisons, steered by the Defense and Interior Ministries."
Maliki's Adviser said: "I challenge the said Organization or any other organization, speaking about human rights, to bring one evidence that Iraq has prisoners of opinion, kept in secret prisons."
The Iraqi Legislature, representing the Iraqi Centre Coalition, Salim al-Jibouri, has stated last Tuesday that the Human Rights Watch Organization's last report about Iraq has said that Iraq still practiced violations of human rights, including torture and the existence of a secret Iraqi prison.
Noteworthy is that the official in charge of the Iraqi dossier in the Amnesty International, Saeed Bumdouha, told the Saudi newspaper that "the Organization's members refuse to have any observation for their movements inside Iraq, because everybody knows that the circumstances there are not safe, and we are not allowed to carry out free tours alone in Iraqi prisons, so we have depended on information by some prisoners and their families.
Meanwhile, the official said that his Oganization had visited prisons in north Iraq's Kurdistan Region, where its members had toured the prisons freely.
IT / SKH
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