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.

 

Deadly Sinai attacks force Sisi to cut short overseas trip

New Saudi king announces sweeping cabinet shake-up

Hezbollah warns it does not fear new war with Israel

Jordan still kept in the dark over pilot fate

British mosques open doors to reach out to citizens

AU: Ignoring South Sudan findings will help the guilty

Saudi blogger’s flogging postponed for third week

Iran seeks good relations with Saudi Arabia

Syria’s Qaeda fights Western-backed rebels

Abbas to visit Stockholm after Palestine recognised

UN chief to African leaders: do not 'cling to power'

Israel to go ahead with 430 new West Bank settler homes

Libya rivals to join peace talks if held on home soil

Israel reduces energy supplies to Palestinians

Syria opposition embassy in Qatar renews passports

Hezbollah sends message to Israel ‘conflict is over’

Women protest against Egypt police after fatal shooting

Libyan airline suspends flights

Iraq government vows to investigate Diyala massacre

MSF withdraws help from two Sudan states

Jordan wants to see proof pilot alive before exchange

US says thousands of Somali children facing starvation

Kuwait online activists arrested 'over Saudi criticism'

Iran, Europe officials to meet Thursday in Istanbul

IS issues new deadline to kill Jordanian pilot if demand not met

Netanyahu warns Hezbollah will pay 'full price'

African Union sees no military solution to Libya crisis

Yemen powerful militia prevents fresh protest in Sanaa

Iran appoints new UN ambassador after US visa refusal

Pentagon confirms US involvement in talks with Yemen Huthis

Hezbollah missiles threaten to spark new war in volatile region

In new website, France warns would-be jihadists: You will die alone

Israel retaliates against Hezbollah attack

Can Iraqis trust their government to rebuild their country?

Sheikh Ali Salman rejects charges as trial opens in Bahrain

Protesters try to storm UN headquarters in Gaza

UN peacekeeper killed in southern Lebanon amid border clash

Kobane in ruins after symbolic blow to jihadists

Jordan bows to IS demand

Hezbollah claims attack on Israeli military convoy

Somali PM proposes new cabinet list

Syria opposition groups, Assad representatives meet in Moscow

Yemen’s Huthis free top presidential aide

French FM urges international cooperation against extremism

Clock ticking towards 24-hour IS deadline to kill hostages