US and UK 'ignore torture by Iraqi police'

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The Independent Online

Iraqi security forces have been committing widespread torture and other human rights abuses while US and British authorities turn a blind eye, according to a report.

Iraqi security forces have been committing widespread torture and other human rights abuses while US and British authorities turn a blind eye, according to a report.

The accusation that police and soldiers, trained by the occupying powers, are routinely mistreating detainees, including children, is made by the pressure group Human Rights Watch. In a report called The New Iraq - Torture and Ill-treatment of Detainees in Iraqi Custody, it has catalogued malpractice by security forces ranging from arbitrary arrest and severe beatings to extortion. It says the interim government of Iyad Allawi had flouted the principles for which the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was justified.

Human Rights Watch says international monitors put in place to prevent corruption and brutality by Iraqi security officials have failed to act."The US government has devoted considerable resources towards providing international advisers to assist the Iraqi interim government in training and equipping Iraq's security and police forces. Unfortunately, these advisers have apparently given low priority to addressing the crucial issue of detainee abuse by the Iraqi police."

The report says US soldiers intervened at times to stop abuse by members of the Iraqi security forces and made arrests.But the soldiers' superiors usually told them not to interfere.

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