UN human rights expert hails dialogue with Iraq but urges key reforms

UN human rights expert hails dialogue with Iraq but urges key reforms

While welcoming the fact that he is able to conduct a dialogue with officials in Iraq, a United Nations human rights expert has called on the country to undertake a series of reforms aimed at ending abuses, according to a report to the UN General Assembly released today.

While welcoming the fact that he is able to conduct a dialogue with officials in Iraq, a United Nations human rights expert has called on the country to undertake a series of reforms aimed at ending abuses, according to a report to the UN General Assembly released today.

Andreas Mavrommatis, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iraq, cites various sources pointing to ongoing abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment and punishment, forced displacement, the lack of fair trial, freedom of expression and association, religious freedom and other rights.

During a visit to Iran earlier this year, Mr. Mavrommatis gathered “considerable information regarding alleged human rights violations by the Iraqi Government, including reports relating to “secret detention sites, where allegedly torture, cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment and punishment is widespread.”

Calling on Baghdad to implement proposals he has long put forward for improving the human rights situation in Iraq, the Special Rapporteur lauds the fact that a dialogue has been initiated with the Government. He urges the Iraqi authorities to provide all requested information, including that concerning individual cases he has brought to their attention.

Mr. Mavrommatis also calls on the Government to implement a moratorium on executions and to “end all actions and policies that directly or indirectly affect or encourage religious intolerance, or any other sort of discrimination.” Baghdad, he says, should abolish the special courts, and ensure that the rule of law is respected everywhere and at all times in Iraq.