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II. Recommendations

To the Iraqi Interim Government and the successor Iraqi Transitional Government

On Torture and Ill-treatment:

  • Publicly condemn the practice of torture and other ill-treatment and state unequivocally that it will not tolerate such abuses.

  • Investigate promptly all allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and ensure that guards, interrogators, and other detention facility officials who are responsible for the abuse of prisoners are subjected to disciplinary measures or criminal prosecution as appropriate. To that end, authorize the establishment of a transparent and independent investigation into allegations of routine and widespread torture by the Ministry of Interior’s Major Crimes Directorate and the Criminal Intelligence Directorate in particular.

  • Conduct a medical examination of detainees alleging abuse when they are transferred to the jurisdiction of the courts.

  • Ensure that prisoners have access to medical care on a regular basis.

  • Comply with international standards relating to the treatment of children in detention, in particular by holding them in facilities separate from adult detainees and establishing interim measures to hold possible children separately from adults until authorities establish age in each case.

  • Compensate victims of torture, ill-treatment, and arbitrary detention adequately and speedily.

    On Unlawful Arrest and Detention:

  • Immediately release or charge with cognizable criminal offenses all those currently held without charge.

  • Ensure that persons taken into custody are brought before an investigative judge within twenty-four hours of arrest, in conformity with Iraq’s CCP.

  • Ensure that family members and legal counsel have prompt access to detainees.

    On Administration of Justice:

  • Limit the use of confessions as a basis for pre-trial detention or conviction to confessions freely made in the presence of counsel and ratified within twenty-four hours before a judge and the defendant’s counsel.  Suspend in anticipation of later abrogation those provisions of the CCP that permit the use of confessions and other evidence obtained through torture or other coercive methods.

  • Take steps to ensure that arrests by the Ministry of Interior’s law enforcement agencies comply with domestic legislation that requires the issuance of arrest warrants from a judicial authority.

  • Take immediate steps to end widespread extortion of detainees by police officials.  Thoroughly investigate all allegations of abuse by such personnel, and take disciplinary action and bring prosecutions as appropriate against all those found responsible.

    On Providing Greater Access and Transparency:

  • Ensure that all detention facilities run by Ministry of Interior agencies fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, as is required by legislation currently in force.  Such facilities should include those located within the Ministry of Interior’s compound.  All detainees should be held in recognizable places of detention that are accessible to government inspection, independent monitors, relatives, and defense counsel.

  • Grant regular and unimpeded access to these facilities to the Ministry of Human Rights, which should be encouraged to regularly assess treatment of detainees and conditions of detention.  The findings of such visits should be made public.

  • Ensure and sustain conditions necessary for the ICRC to conduct visits to pre-trial and post-conviction detention facilities.

  • Grant access to detention facilities under the authority of the Ministry of Interior to independent and qualified domestic and international monitoring organizations.  Authorities should allow such visits to be unimpeded and occurring at frequent intervals.

    On Meeting International Standards:

  • Ensure that conditions in detention centers conform to international standards, including the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.  Detainees are entitled to sufficient food and water, prompt access to medical treatment, adequate washing facilities, and clean and adequate bedding.  They must not be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

  • Ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture).  Consideration should also be given to becoming a party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which allows independent international experts to conduct regular visits to places of detention within the territory of state parties, to assess the conditions of detention and to make recommendations for improvements.

  • Implement the general recommendations made by the Committee against Torture in May 2002 and by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture in 2003, to establish a fully independent complaints mechanism for persons who are held in state custody.

    To the government of the United States and other Multinational Force governments

  • Ensure that advisers to the Multinational Force providing assistance to the Iraqi government on policing and detentions give immediate and adequate priority to the investigation of allegations of the torture or ill-treatment of detainees by Iraqi police forces.

  • Urge and assist the creation of appropriate mechanisms for investigating allegations of abuse of detainees in facilities run by the Ministry of Interior’s specialized agencies, in particular the Major Crimes Directorate and the Criminal Intelligence Directorate.

  • Recommend an increase in the number of Multinational Force advisers deployed in detention facilities run by the Ministry of Interior.  Clarify the role of such advisers with regard to the monitoring of detainee treatment in these facilities.  Establish a mechanism allowing for the timely and effective reporting of instances where physical or other abuse of detainees occurs in facilities where Multinational Force advisers are present.

  • Assist the Iraqi authorities in establishing a mechanism for the prompt investigation of allegations of torture or ill-treatment at the hands of Ministry of Interior law enforcement officials.

  • Encourage and assist the Iraqi government in establishing an independent complaints mechanism, which could include the appointment of an ombudsman for penal and detention matters, to receive and investigate complaints by detainees of physical or other abuse by detaining officials.

  • Assist the Iraqi government to comply with international standards relating to the treatment of children in detention, in particular by holding them in facilities separate from adult detainees and establishing interim measures to hold possible children separately from adults until age is established in each case.

  • Ensure that assistance to the Iraqi government is not used to contribute to human rights violations.

  • In the context of assistance provided to the Iraqi government, send a clear and consistent message that respect for human rights is integral and essential to the success of any security policy, including anti-terrorism operations.

    To the international donor community

  • Closely monitor any police, security and anti-terrorism assistance to the Iraqi government to ensure that human rights standards are strictly observed by police and intelligence forces.

  • Provide human rights training as an integral component of all capacity building and training programs involving the police and intelligence agencies.  Such training should include a component designed to stop the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment as an interrogation technique or punishment.

  • Ensure that aid given includes assistance for the development and support of local human rights groups with a monitoring capacity and the development of an independent human rights commission.

    <<previous  |  index  |  next>>January 2005