THE ARAB COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CALLS FOR A PUBLIC AND INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION

Washington, 30 April 2004
Contact: Abderrahim Sabir
(202) 468-8220

THE ARAB COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CALLS FOR A PUBLIC AND INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION

The Arab Commission For Human Rights is deeply troubled by the images of torture and ill treatment of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. The ACHR calls for urgent and independent investigation into the documented images of torture and other allegations of torture and ill treatment.

”The occupation authority is bound by International and the Geneva Conventions to protect the Iraqi civilians, including detainees. The soldiers shown in broadcast images were boasting with total impunity for their crimes, ” said Doctor Violette Daguerre, President of the Arab Commission for Human Rights. The images show Iraqis stripped naked, hooded and being tormented by their captors.

“Torture and ill-treatment should not be tolerated under any circumstances. The occupation authority should call for a full independent, impartial and public investigation into all allegations of torture and ill treatment. Any findings of such investigations should be made public and reparation, including compensation, must be paid to the victims or to their families,” added Dr. Daguerre.

The Arab Commission for Human Rights does not consider these images as an isolated incident. The ACHR documented 350 cases of extra-judicial killings and received reports of tens of credible cases torture or other ill-treatment by Occupation Forces during the past year. Detainees have reported being routinely subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment during arrest and detention. 38 articles of the four Geneva Conventions were ignored by the occupying forces.

The occupation authority has from the start demonstrated ambivalence toward human rights and humanitarian law concerns. The stalemate in Falluja and other areas has led to allegedly thousands of Iraqis killed. The occupation authorities are alleged to have used excessive use of lethal force. The ACHR calls on the occupation leadership to abide by the U.N. Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.