Human Rights 'important' in US-Iraq relations: US

WASHINGTON- Respect for human rights is an important issue in relations between Washington and Baghdad, the US State Department said Monday after a rights group issued a report on rampant abuse in Iraqi prisons.
"Human rights is a critical component" of US work "to build up institutions of the Iraqi government", said spokesman Philip Crowley.

The report by Amnesty International said that tens of thousands of detainees are being held without trial in Iraqi prisons and face violent and psychological abuse as well as other forms of mistreatment.
"We're aware of the report and the serious charges contained in the report. We've just received it... and are studying it", Crowley said.
Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the human rights coordinator for the Iraqi government, Crowley said.
"It is an important aspect of our ongoing work with Iraq", he said.
In its report, the London-based rights watchdog estimates that some 30,000 people are held in Iraqi jails, noting several are known to have died in custody, while cataloguing physical and psychological abuses against others.
Amnesty also criticized the United States for handing over several thousand detainees to Iraqi custody "without any guarantees against torture or ill-treatment."
Iraq's Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim dismissed the report and allegations of torture in the justice ministry's prisons.
A US military spokesman in Baghdad said that the Iraqi detention facilities were "inspected frequently and abide by the rule of law and international standards for detainee care and management."

Tuesday, September 14th 2010

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