Region | Iraq

Al Maliki is a roadblock to abuse probe, activists say

Rising number of crimes against humanity in Iraq will not be investigated if the current PM remains in power, says member of parliament

  • By Duraid Al Baik, Associate Editor
  • Published: 00:00 October 30, 2010
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Human rights activists are worried that the rising number of crimes against humanity in Iraq will not be documented unless the current government of Nouri Al Maliki steps down.

Citing fear and intimidation, people have refrained from coming forward to lodge complaints against influential members in the current government.

A current member of parliament, speaking to Gulf News on the condition of anonymity, said the state of human rights will further aggravate in Iraq if Al Maliki stays in power.

Commenting on the latest release of documents by Wikileaks exposing US and Iraqi forces for crimes against humanity, the source said that none of the released material surprised Iraqis.

"Al Maliki's ‘State-of-Law' coalition is no more than a State without Law," according to the source.

"Iraqis are seeing similarities between Al Maliki's government and Saddam Hussain's regime," he said.

"35,000 cases of crimes against humanity were committed in the past seven years, but a few of these cases were documented properly due to the fear of reporting and registering official complaints," Shatha Al Obosi, deputy director of Al Harith for Development and Human Rights, said.

Al Obosi, herself a mother of two, survived seven assassination attempts in the past three years.

There have been 3,226 documented cases of prisoners who have not been tried in courts, according to Al Obosi.

"This shouldn't happen in a democratic state. There is no excuse for any government to halt legal procedures against even a single suspect indefinitely," she said.

She said that the handling of these prisoners by the government does nothing more than breed more terrorists.

Al Obosi believes human rights violations are becoming larger in scale in Iraq and high ranking officials are involved.

Al Harith Establishment for Development and Human Rights was established in the name of Harith Al Obaidi, a member of the previous parliament who was assassinated last year after accusing officials at the Defence Ministry of human rights abuses.

Al Obosi said she will pursue human rights abuse cases regardless of the consequences.

"I suffered seven documented attempts against my life, in which security personnel protecting me were killed and injured, but I will not be deterred from speaking up against such crimes," she added.

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