First Published: 2003-11-18

Iraq's Turki criticises coalition 'violations'

Human rights minister say Iraqis, wrongfully treated after May 1, have right to demand compensation from coalition.


Middle East Online

By Joelle Bassoul - BAGHDAD

Coalition is accused of aggression, maltreatment and homicide against detainees

Iraq's interim Human Rights Minister Abdel Basset Turki has criticised alleged violations against Iraqis by US-led forces occupying the war-torn country.

Heading a ministry that did not exist under former leader Saddam Hussein's regime, Turki said that "there are violations under the occupation."

"We have demanded the Americans come to terms with their acts because the Iraqi people, who have suffered enough, cannot bear anymore," he said.

"The interim Governing Council has dealt with the issue directly with the coalition saying it cannot remain silent on this phenomenon that is spreading.

"The Americans know that this can no longer continue. If they want to build a democratic society here, the first steps must be right", said Turki.

In a statement distributed last week, the American military reiterated that it was the "responsibility of all coalition forces to treat all people with dignity and respect."

The text cited nine cases against the military accusing it of "aggression", "maltreatment" and "homicide" against detainees.

A court martial hearing began Tuesday in Tikrit, north of Baghdad where a lieutenant colonel was charged with beating an Iraqi detainee, in the first legal proceedings to be reported against such a high-ranking US officer in Iraq.

Lieutenant-Colonel Allen West is charged on three counts, for beating Yahya Jhodri Hamoody, threatening to kill him and firing his gun near the detainee's head during interrogation on August 20.

According to the minister, Iraqis have the right to demand compensation from the coalition.

But, he said, "coalition forces will not compensate those wrongfully treated before May 1," when US President George W. Bush declared an end to major hostilities in Iraq.

"We consider that Iraqis wronged ... have the right to compensation from the coalition, as stipulated by UN resolution 1483 on the occupation force," Turki said.

"If we don't reach an understanding ... we will have to resort to justice," he said.

The only people eligible for compensation since May 1 are those who have lost a relative one or had property destroyed by US forces.

In September, the US-led coalition said it had paid out around one million dollars in compensation for Iraqis killed, injured or whose property was damaged by occupying troops.

Since October 30, US forces have received more than 8,000 complaints, of which 3,327 have been compensated with a total of 1.3 million dollars, the American military said.

Turki also said that political prisoners should have certain rights and that his ministry has demanded to visit all 55 Iraqis most wanted by the American forces, which have so far captured 38 of them.

"The coalition responded saying those persons are prisoners of war and ... that the only party that can visit them and hand over letters is the Red Cross," he said, adding not all 55 are prisoners of war and that the coalition cannot forbid visits to civilian prisoners.


Iran nuclear deal with six world powers gets parliament approval

Libya rival factions reject UN-proposed peace deal

Al-Nusra Front urges jihadists in Caucasus to target Russia

Wave of violence escalates in Jerusalem

Saudi to triple umrah visas

Ankara attacks raise Kurdish party's with Erdogan

German anti-Islam protesters demand Merkel resign

Palestinians accuse Israel of seeking ‘third intifada’

'Political coup' in Iraq Kurdistan as Barzani clings to power

Yemen PM meets President amid reports of growing differences

Libya factions reject UN-proposed unity government

Algeria orders closure of private TV over 'subversive' interview

Under Russia air cover, Syria regime fights ‘fiercest clashes’ with rebels

EU asks Russia to ‘cease’ air strikes on moderate rebels in Syria

Russian air force hit 53 targets in Syria in last 24 hours

Egypt court orders release of Mubarak sons

Iraq probing reports IS chief injured in air strike

Kurdish militia, Arab rebels join forces in Syria

Britain urged to accept more Syrian refugees

Thousands vent their anger against Erdogan

Putin meets Saudi Defence Minister on Syria

Barzani’s party asks opposition members to leave Arbil

Lessons from second intifada: Palestinian leaders seek to keep lid on clashes

Iran issues verdict on Washington Post correspondent

Iran lawmakers give partial nod to nuclear deal

Russia rules out Syria ground operation

Iran ‘successfully’ tests new long-range missile

Is Russia using cluster bombs in Syria?

Iraq air force ‘hits’ convoy of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Iran holds funeral for senior commander killed in Syria

Pregnant woman, two-year-old child die in Israel deadly strike on Gaza

Ankara bombings exacerbate climate of mistrust in Turkey

Thousands take to streets to demand departure of Barzani

Qaeda in Yemen executes four on suspicion of sorcery

Egypt agrees to buy two Mistral warships from France

Israel struggles to contain spreading unrest as death toll rises

'Terrorist' attack kills at least 86 people in Ankara

PKK Kurdish rebels declare ‘state of inactivity’

Bashir twists knife in Sudan wound as flawed dialogue kicks off

Syria Assad forces advance with Russia air support

Jordan parliament accuses Israel of 'state terrorism'

World leaders urge Libya rivals to sign long-awaited peace deal

Nobel Peace Prize boosts pluralistic democracy in Tunisia

UN chief hails Tunisian Nobel Peace Prize

Israeli troops kill 4 near Gaza border as Hamas praises 'Jerusalem intifada'