Netherlands must take joint responsibility for tragedy of human rights in Iraq

6 March 2006

Netherlands must take joint responsibility for tragedy of human rights in Iraq

In an astonishing and hard-hitting report published today, Amnesty International (AI) gives its assessment of the extremely poor human rights situation in Iraq. In the three years that have gone by since the removal of Saddam Hussein's tyrannical regime, the condition of human rights under the aegis of the Americans has been appalling. Occupation and violent resistance has led to thousands of dead and many more wounded.

Abu Ghraib, imprisoned by the AmericansAbu Ghraib turns out to be the rule rather than the exception. In its report “Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq”, which deals with human rights abuses under both the Iraqi government and the US occupying power, Amnesty International confirms that, notwithstanding all the pre-war propaganda, neither authority has been prepared to bring about a thoroughgoing improvement in the human rights situation. The shocking images of prisoners from Abu Ghraib demonstrated to the world the realities of what has been going on, yet according to AI nothing has improved since then – on the contrary.

Imprisoned by the AmericansThe occupying power has introduced procedures to do with the treatment of prisoners which are in conflict with international law. Responding to the report, SP foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel said that he fully concurred with Amnesty's conclusion that neither the Iraqi government nor the Americans had seen fit to apply the normal rule of law. “It's a scandal and one which will throw oil on the fire of the resistance, putting the entire Iraqi population in danger. What's more, it means that the Netherlands is jointly responsible, because we have fifteen officers providing training for the Iraqi army. These people must be brought back, because things are going from bad to worse and we must make sure that we carry no further responsibility for this. I intend to call on the minister tomorrow in Parliament to withdraw the officers.”

Read the report: Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq (Amnesty International :: March 6, 2006)

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