In January 2009, the Irawi Security Forces [ISF] became responsible for security in Iraq. Since then, security incidents continue to drop while the overall security environment under the ISF’s lead continues to improve within the framework of the SA. Iraq’s security environment remained stable, and despite a spike on election day, experienced historically low levels of incidents during the reporting period. The ISF continued to lead security efforts and succeeded in securing the March 7, 2010 parliamentary elections. Most of the election day incidents consisted of either largely ineffective noisemaking “bottle” improvised explosive devices (IEDs) designed to cause fear in the voting community, or found and cleared IEDs, with incidents failing to significantly affect voter turnout.
Research conducted in April 2010 revealed that over 70% of Iraqis described their local area as calm. Iraqis generally believe the security situation is better locally than nationally. April 2010 research indicated over 50% believe their province is calm and over 20% of Iraqis say Iraq is calm, both showing a slight decrease since January. In April 2010, almost 90% of Iraqis felt that the security situation remained constant or improved in their neighborhood over the last six months, unchanged since January 2010.
Iraqi security forces (ISF) reported to civilian authorities, but continuing violence, corruption, and organizational dysfunction undermined the government's ability to protect human rights. a variety of significant human rights problems remain, including: arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life; extremist and terrorist bombings and executions; disappearances; torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; poor conditions in pretrial detention and prison facilities; arbitrary arrest and detention; impunity; denial of fair public trials; delays in resolving property restitution claims; insufficient judicial institutional capacity; arbitrary interference with privacy and home; limits on freedoms of speech, press, and assembly and extremist threats and violence; limits on religious freedom due to extremist threats and violence; restrictions on freedom of movement; large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees; lack of transparency and significant, widespread corruption at all levels of government; constraints on international organizations and nongovernmental organizations' (NGOs) investigations of alleged violations of human rights; discrimination against and societal abuses of women and ethnic, religious, and racial minorities; human trafficking; societal discrimination and violence against individuals based on sexual orientation; and limited exercise of labor rights.
On 19 April 2010, the local and international media reported the discovery of a secret prison operated by security forces under control of the Prime Minister's Office containing more than 400 Sunni detainees, of which over 100 were reportedly tortured. The detainees were arrested by the ISF during October 2009 security sweeps in Ninewa Province and then transferred to a prison in Baghdad. One prisoner reportedly died in January from the abuse, while others were allegedly beaten, raped, suffocated with plastic bags, and had electricity applied to them. Authorities initially arrested three officers, but they were later released without charge. There were no prosecutions of any officer or judge associated with the event. Subsequently, 75 of the prisoners were released and 200 were transferred to other jails, according to government officials.
By August 2003 the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority had begun a covert effort to recruit and train personnel with the disbanded Iraqi intelligence service to help identify resistance to American forces. By that time, Iraqi officials said that dozens, possibly as many as a few hundred, former staff had been recruited. The intelligence service known as the Mukhabarat was the primary but not the only target for the US effort.
The Czech Republic assisted Iraq in establishing its interior ministry. Iraqi authorities had requested this assistance from Prague since the Czech Republic had experience in undergoing a transformation from a totalitarian regime to a democracy. Czech experts will thus not only be involved in the process of training policemen and investigators but will advise Iraq on structural changes at the ministry.
In the fall of 2003 Iraqis requested the assistance of the United States in establishing an intelligence service capability, and the US is assisting them with their request. The United States government is assisting in that effort. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan confirmed reports on 11 December 2003 when asked to comment on a Washington Post article reporting that the Central Intelligence Agency is helping set up an Iraqi intelligence service inside of Iraq.
The primary mission of that intelligence service would be to provide information to combat terrorism inside Iraq. This was all part of our larger effort to continue working with the Iraqi people to turn more and more responsibility over to the Iraqi people for security in their own country. But they had requested US assistance. The United States government was assisting in that effort, at the request of the Iraqi people.
Iraqis continued to become more and more involved in their own security, from patrolling the streets of Baghdad and other cities, to protecting critical infrastructure, and, most importantly, protecting their fellow citizens from the terrorists who want to return Iraq to the days of a very brutal regime, which would not happen.
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