Iraqi Rights Body Rejects HRW Claim of Secret Prisons in Mosul

Published July 24th, 2018 - 03:00 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) denied reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) about the existence of secret prisons or detention centers east of Mosul with about 400 terrorism suspects.

HRW said that Iraqi security authorities had acknowledged for the first time that it is detaining hundreds of terrorism suspects for prolonged periods of time, calling on Iraqi authorities to improve conditions of detention and inform families of detainees.

The organization issued a statement indicating that Iraq’s National Security Service (NSS) is holding more than 400 detainees in a detention facility in east Mosul. As of July 4, 2018, 427 men were there, some of whom had been held for more than seven months, the statement detailed.

On July 04, NSS granted HRW access to a detention facility where the organization indicated that the detention conditions appeared improved but remained overcrowded.

Another NSS officer who spoke to researchers on condition of anonymity said that some detainees had been held for over one year.

HRW stressed that authorities should release all children not yet formally charged.

“Authorities should be doing whatever it takes to make sure that families know where their loved ones are,” according to Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

Following the reports, the IHCHR in Iraq denied the existence of secret detention centers in Iraq.

IHCHR member Fadel al-Gharawi told Asharq al-Awsat that "our meticulous follow-up and our offices, including the one in Mosul, confirm there are no secret prisons or detention centers."

He indicated that the numbers referred to in the report are inaccurate, given that the government has officially announced the numbers of detained ISIS members and their families.

Gharawi affirmed that ISIS members were transferred to a known center at the airport, which the commission constantly visits.
 
 
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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