Elections, Investigations, and Iraq’s Consitution Fail to Stop Torture - 12.29.2005

It has been just over two months since Iraqis approved a new consitution. This constitution outlaws torture and the detention of Iraqis by foreign occupation forces.

Despite these articles in the consitution, torture continues in Iraq. It also continues after an election with 69% turnout, which many Iraqis believed would cause these kinds of actions to end, and the Bush administration has predicted will help complete Iraq’s transition to democracy.

Just 4 days before Iraq’s historic election and the next step in its transition to democracy, four more Sunnis were abducted by Iraqi police from the Abu Dasher district in Baghdad.

According to a source close to the situation, these men were found dead one day later in the condition seen here in photos from the source.

[Editor’s note: Most of these photos are gruesome and quite disturbing, if you choose to view them, please consider yourself forewarned.]

Photos of Victims

Photos of previous victims:
Set 1
Set 2

Due to the ongoing problems of torture in Iraq, the United States, despite its expressed desire to establish a democracy in Iraq, is currently in violation of Iraq’s new consitution.

According to the New York Times, the United States, “will not pass on facilities or detainees until they meet the standards we define and that we are using today.”

Amnesty International’s Jumana Musa has also indicated that prisoners should not be turned over to Iraqi authorities, again, in defiance of Iraq’s new constitution.

His words can be seen in this article from Reuters, discussing the problems facing the United States due to its ballooning prisoner population in Iraq.

These statements, as I’ve said, appear to be in violation of Iraq’s new constitution, as per articles

21, section 1: First: No Iraqi shall be surrendered to foreign entities and authorities;

and 35, part B: B. No person may be kept in custody or interrogated except in the context of a judicial decision.

However, Iraq’s government itself is also in violation of its own constitution according to the same article

35, part C: C. All forms of psychological and physical torture and inhumane treatment shall be prohibited. Any confession coerced by force, threat, or torture shall not be relied on. The victim shall have the right to compensation in accordance with the law for material and moral damages incurred.

and also 19, section 12: Twelfth:
A. [Unlawful] detention is prohibited.
B. Detention or arrest is prohibited in places not designed for it, pursuant to prison regulations covered by health and social care and subject to the scrutiny of the law.

More about the Iraqi Constitution, and links to various versions here on Wikipedia.

Both of these ironies, are typical of the nature of the situation in Iraq currently, and the daily contradictions occurring on the ground. Irony one is the refusal of the United States to cooperate fully with what the Bush administration considers Iraq’s democratically elected government and irony two is the failure of the Iraqi government to comply with what it considers its new constitution, legitimately accepted during the October 15th referendum.

The failure of the media to put a spotlight on the contradictions inherent in Iraq’s existence continues to impact the nature of the conflict. Furthermore, manye of these contradictions help to shed light on the nature of complaints the Iraqi resistance has toward the interim government and the occupation authority.

Until the United States properly accomodates international law and deals directly with the resistance in order to develop a proper truce or armistice, it is likely these contradictions will continue. Nearly all Iraqi parties involved in the conflict are opposed to the presence of Al Qaeda and foreign fighters, however the continuing presence of the United States in conflict with the resistance prevents an adequate and unifed response being directed against Al Qaeda and these foreign parties generating problems for Iraq’s unification and reconstruction.

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