A particularly alarming report by Human Rights Watch reports that a secret prison under the administration of current Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Malaki’s Military Office engaged in the systematic torture of detainees. According to the report the vast majority of the detainees were of the Sunni faith, which is sure to inflame opinion both internationally and in the Arab world.
Although Iraq does currently have a functioning government more or less, what is more important that the respect for human rights and the will to strive for accountability. Whether these were merely the actions of misguided officers or came from the present Iraqi leadership, the fact remains that the new Iraqi state must be held responsible. Just as the Abu Ghraib scandal pressured the American military into enforcing a proper code of conduct, which complied with the Geneva Convention Accords, the Iraqi government must do the same.
If the current Iraqi government is unwilling or unable to enforce a proper code of ethics towards detainees and continues to treat prisoners in the same fashion as the former Ba’ath regime, then the plight of Iraqi refugees is far from over. This means that the necessity of aiding those Iraqis fleeing persecution is just as important now, as during the height of the insurgency and general violence in the immediate post-war Iraq.
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