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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US must investigate WikiLeaks files of Iraq abuse, says Amnesty

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Oct 23, IRNA -- Amnesty International Saturday called on the US to investigate how much officials knew about the torture and other ill-treatment of detainees held by Iraqi security forces after new evidence emerged in files released by the Wikileaks.

“We have not yet had an opportunity to study the leaked files in detail but they add to our concern that the US authorities committed a serious breach of international law when they summarily handed over thousands of detainees to Iraqi security forces,” Amnesty said.

The London-based human rights organization said the new disclosures appeared to closely match the findings of its own report ‘New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful Detentions and Torture in Iraq,’ published in September.

“These documents apparently provide further evidence that the US authorities have been aware of this systematic abuse for years, yet they went ahead and handed over thousands of Iraqis they had detained to the Iraqi security forces,” said Amnesty’s Middle East director Africa Malcolm Smart.

Smart said the US is a party to the UN Convention against Torture, the main international treaty prohibiting torture, which requires all states to prohibit torture and to refrain from transferring detainees to the authorities of another state at whose hands they face torture.

“The USA failed to respect this obligation in Iraq, despite the great volume of evidence, available from many different quarters, showing that the Iraqi security forces use torture widely and are allowed to do so with impunity.” He warned in a statement obtained by IRNA.

“The information said to be in these documents also underscores the urgent need for the Iraqi government to take concrete measures to end torture, ensure the safety of all detainees, and root out and bring to justice those responsible,” he added.

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