The human rights situation in Iraq has not improved since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

It has now been seven years since the end of Saddam Hussein's rule over Iraq and there are currently 23,000 Iraqis being held without charge or having had a trial. Torture and abuse in jails is also still widespread. The most famous example was in the Abu Ghraib prison, in which US soldiers were accused of gross mistreatment of prisoners for which only junior officers have been brought to justice. The drawdown of the US forces in Iraq is having little impact on the human rights situation in Iraq. Indeed once the US is truly gone it may be seen as the right time by the Shiite community to seize control and repress the smaller groups much as Saddam did to them.

The human rights situation in Iraq has not improved since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

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Hand over of detainees to Iraq

The US-led invasion of Iraq has not only failed to improve the nation’s human rights situation it has in fact generated higher levels of human rights abuse especially for the women of Iraq than prior to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. A recent report by Amnesty International: “New Order, Same Abuses: Unlawful Detentions and Torture in Iraq,”[[http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE14/006/2010/en/c7df062b-5d4c-4820-9f14-a4977f863666/mde140062010en.pdf]] released on 13th September 2010 documents the systematic grave violations of human rights orchestrated by the US-backed Iraqi regime through the criminal treatment of detainees. Washington has now transferred 10,000 detainees to Iraqi control and has also agreed to transfer the prisons where Iraqis were held after being captured by US forces, in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). ‘Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, Malcolm Smart, stated in releasing the report…“Yet, the US authorities, whose own record on detainees’ rights has been so poor, have now handed over thousands of people detained by US forces to face this catalog of illegality, violence and abuse, abdicating any responsibility for their human rights.”’ ² The act of transferring detainees to a regime that is in clear violation of human rights through illegal torture practices on detainees will be the latest contributor to Washington’s countless violations of international law.

The human rights situation in Iraq has not improved since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Yes because... No because...

Many detainees are never charged and evidence is often obtained by torture

The report also highlights that the majority of the detainees have never been charged and the minority that are brought to the façade of a trial are prosecuted on the basis of confessions extracted through gruesome torture tactics of which include “Rape or the threat of rape. Beating with cables and hosepipes. Prolonged suspension by the limbs. Electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body. Breaking of limbs. Removal of toenails with pliers. Asphyxiation using a plastic bag over the head. Piercing the body with drills. Being forced to sit on sharp objects such as broken bottles.”[[http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/sep2010/amne-s14.shtml]] The fact that the perpetrators of these criminal acts enjoy complete impunity reflects the lawlessness and corruption endangering the entire society that will only lead to further amputations of human rights.

The human rights situation in Iraq has not improved since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Yes because... No because...

Decline in the treatment of women

Despite Saddam Hussein’s own record of criminality, Iraqi women are indisputably worse off than prior to the invasion: ‘for decades, the freedoms and rights enjoyed by Iraqi women were the envy of women in most other countries of the Middle East. Before the U.S. invasion, Iraqi women had high levels of education. Their strong and independent women's movement had successfully forced Saddam Hussein's government to pass the groundbreaking 1959 Family Law Act, which ensured equal rights in matters of personal law’. ³ Post-invasion: the repeated rape of female detainees during interrogations, growing public executions of women by ultra-conservative Shiite forces, the resurgence of honour killings amongst Kurdish conservatives and not to mention the escalating violence against women in sectarian conflicts have emerged in attempts to ‘liberate’ women of Iraq akin to the afflictions of women in Afghanistan. ‘For the first time in more than 50 years of Iraq's history, Iraqi women's right to be treated as equal citizens has been overturned. This disgrace has happened on the watch of the United States.’[[http://www.seattlepi.com/opinion/297771_women02.html]]

The human rights situation in Iraq has not improved since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Yes because... No because...

Treatment of children

Furthermore ‘approximately 1,500 children were known to be held in detention facilities’[[http://www.newint.org/features/2010/05/01/post-invasion-iraq-facts/]] Catastrophic escalating humanitarian crisis, forced confessions, employment of torture and abuse, unfair capital trials, mass executions, calamitous especially to the women and children of Iraq are all testimony of the deteriorating human rights situation that indicates not only no signs of improving but steadily worsening as Washington’s puppets exercise greater corruption while their imperial masters prepare for ‘complete withdrawal’.

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