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States must aid Iraq, UN expert tells Commission on Human Rights in Geneva

States must aid Iraq, UN expert tells Commission on Human Rights in Geneva

The international community must help Iraq to foster democracy, the United Nations expert charged with monitoring abuses in the country today told the Geneva-based Commission on Human Rights.

Andreas Mavrommatis, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iraq, said the global community owed it to the long-suffering Iraqi people to stand by them, providing the necessary training and expertise in diverse fields to enable them to carry out the daunting task of reconstruction and reconciliation, eradicating the culture and remnants of 30 years of a regime that used oppression as its only political tool.

Welcoming this position, Iraq's delegate, Ousama Badedine voiced full support for the Special Rapporteur's position, saying his country is ready for reconstruction and democracy. He added that daily acts of terrorism were creating a climate of fear, but efforts were being made to restore rights by lifting restrictions imposed by the previous regime.

In his written report to the Commission, Mr. Mavrommatis says Iraq's security situation has had an adverse effect not only on the long-overdue reconstruction of the country and the alleviation of the Iraqi people's suffering, but also on efforts to investigate past violations. He notes that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have made allegations regarding the conditions of detention of people arrested by Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) forces, as well as about unnecessary innocent civilian casualties during security operations by the CPA.

In a subsequent update to the report, the Special Rapporteur says he has received important documents about past violations and recommends speeding up the process of criminal investigations in connection with grave human rights violations. He adds that all mass graves must be secured, while the process of identifying remains must be accelerated.