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."

 

Syria army advances deeper into east Aleppo

Saudi Arabia names new Labour Minister, reshuffles councils

US rules out military intervention in Libya

Putin getting admirers from US to Europe to Syria

Qarawiyyin library holds written wonders

Egypt court strikes down part of protest law

Eight arrested in Morocco over alleged ties with IS

Syria regime seizes half of rebel parts of Aleppo

Europol warns of changing IS tactics

Palestinian contenders for Fatah posts set to declare

Protests erupt in Istanbul over ‘Aleppo massacre’

Aleppo family reunited after war kept them apart for months

Syria rebels put up fight for key Aleppo district

Obama unlikely to act on Israel-Palestine before leaving office

UN says torture 'widespread' after Turkey coup

International push aims to protect endangered heritage

Journalist's body found shot in Iraq’s Kurdish region

Iran urges Kenya to release two of its citizens

Morocco business diplomacy at heart of strategy to rejoin African Union

Turkish prosecutor calls for drop of Gaza ship charges against Israelis

Iran preparing ‘appropriate’ response to US sanctions renewal

Saudi government detects fresh hacking attempts

Congress approves Iran sanctions extension

Staggering casualty toll in Mosul offensive

Pentagon says IS jihadists making 'last stand' in Sirte

Iraq faces post-IS problem in Shiite militias

Turkey detains business executive for alleged Gulen links

Putin says Russia not looking for enemies

Tunisia sentences protesters to 14 years in jail

Saudi increases jail term for rights activist to 11 years

Misery deepens for Mosul refugees with heavy rain

Turkish parliament to vote on bill expanding Erdogan’s power

UN envoy to Yemen, President meet in new peace bid

Syrian Grand Mufti rejects terrorism claims

Qatar blocks popular news website

Desperate civilians brave Aleppo front line

OPEC spares Iran oil production cuts

Minister says Abbas is Israel's top 'ideological' foe

Erdogan insists Syria operation only targets terrorists

Kuwait opposition must form strong coalition to be effective

Russian FM denies Russia, Syria to blame for Turkish deaths

UN warns of ‘giant graveyard’ in Aleppo as Syrian troops advance

Nobel laureates call for protection of heritage sites

OPEC output cut boosts oil price

Morocco accuses AU chair of blocking readmission