First Published: 2006-09-30

 
US threatens to cut funding for Iraq's police
 

Khalilzad to notify Baghdad of cut due to violations of human rights by Iraq army, police.

 

Middle East Online

Look who's preaching about human rights!

NEW YORK - The United States may cut off funding for Iraq's police because of its failure to punish people responsible for torture, the US ambassador to Iraq said in an interview published on Saturday.

Zalmay Khalilzad told the New York Times that Washington has yet to formally notify Baghdad that funding may be cut, but officials are reviewing programmes because of a US law that forbids funding armies or police that violate human rights.

Khalilzad said he still had faith in Iraq's new Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, who oversees the police, and hoped he would punish those responsible for torture to avoid sanctions under the law, named for Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy.

"There is a Leahy Law that affects support if the terms of the law are not observed and implemented, and he has assured us that he will do so," Khalilzad said. "And we are still in discussions with him."

The United Nations said in a report earlier this month that torture was rampant in Iraqi detention centres and in the widespread sectarian killings seen across the country, based on the signs of abuse on victims' bodies.

The world body has demanded punishment of police responsible for abuse in Iraq after US and Iraqi inspectors uncovered evidence in May of systematic torture at a prison known as Site 4, run by the Interior Ministry's national police.

Some 1,400 inmates were kept at the site. No Iraqi officials have been arrested. Khalilzad said Bolani was waiting for written assurances that indictments had been handed down.

Several senior US military officials have briefed reporters this week expressing concern that the new government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has failed to crack down on Shi'ite death squads since taking office in May.

One of those officials said police units were continuing to cooperate with death squads as recently as the past few weeks, by allowing them to re-enter areas US forces had secured in a seven-week-old crackdown in the capital Baghdad.

Bolani, a Shi'ite engineer, is seen as having little clout among the powerful parties with their own militia that controlled the Interior Ministry in the government Maliki replaced. But Khalilzad said Bolani has the right intentions.

"He wants to do the right thing," he said.

"Not because of us, but because that's what Iraqi law would require him to do as well. That's a much better reason for him to do the right thing than for the US pressing him or the US threatening with some sort of a sanction."

 

Blair calls on West to combat ‘growing’ danger of Islamist extremism

No Qatar ‘concessions’ on end of dispute with fellow Gulf states

Bahrain expels representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Netayahu to Abbas: Does you want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?

Dubai's Emaar posts huge Q1 profit

Witnesses in Morsi trial: Hamas and Hezbollah attacked Egypt prisons

Family of detained Al-Jazeera reporter in Egypt call for his release

Bomb targets convoy of Education Minister in north Iraq

After Ervin scandal, Iran Prisons Chief becomes Head of Justice Department

Egypt FM travels to US as Washington relaxes hold on military aid

US diplomat visits Libya amid political upheaval

Jarba asks Saudi Arabia to increase support for Syria rebels

Better late than never: Erdogan offers condolences over mass WWI killings of Armenians

Hezbollah veto dashes Geagea dreams of presidency

UN aid chiefs make impassionate call for Syria access

Police brigadier general killed in Cairo bomb attack

11 new MERS infections registered in Saudi

EU denounces Syria plans for June 3 election

Iran envoy row fails to make headway at UN

Amnesty: Qatar fails to protect domestic workers

US will deliver 10 Apache choppers to Egypt to counter terrorism

US expresses horror at South Sudan violence

Egypt's next president will have to deal with frustrated workers

Rival Palestinian leaders agree on national unity govt

Jumblatt backs lawmaker Henri Helou for Lebanon presidency

Global chemical watchdog: Syria weapons handover at 86.5 percent

Kerry ‘prefers’ Cold War-like situation to current complex challenges

Israel to call up Christian Arabs for military service

Egypt prosecutors submit new evidence in Jazeera trial

Families of Iran prisoners break silence over abuses at notorious Evin

Lebanon sends rare aid to its territory in Syria

Iran divorce rate increases amid slow population growth

Suspected militant attacks kill four Yemen officers in two days

Distrust casts shadow over South Kordofan peace talks

Ali Tarhuni heads Libya constituent assembly

Washington revisits story of Syria chemical weapons

PM Erdogan to tour Europe for expat presidency votes

Erdogan to May Day protesters: Give up on your hopes of Taksim!

Palestine plays down threat to dismantle PA

South Sudan army battle rebels as insurgents target oil fields

Two Somali MPs shot dead in 24 hours

MERS death toll keeps climbing in Saudi

Court deals blow to US administration on drone attacks

Berber protesters clash anew with Algeria police

US has 'indications' of new chemical attacks in Syria