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Iraq rejects Amnesty report of tens of thousands held without trial

09-14-2010 09:02 BJT

BAGHDAD, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iraq rejected on Monday allegations by Amnesty International which said that tens of thousands of prisoners in Iraq have been held in prisons for years without trial and many of them recently transferred from U.S. custody are facing ill-treatment, Iraqi officials said.

"The Iraqi government rejects what was mentioned by the Amnesty International report which claimed that thousands of detainees held in Iraqi prisons are held without trial," Ali al-Mossawi, a media advisor in the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, told reporters.

"The Iraqi authorities are following all the legal procedures before holding any detainee," Mossawi said.

Mossawi dismissed the Amnesty report and its allegations, accusing it of "misleading the public opinion."

However, he admitted that "there is a few and separate cases of misconduct, but those involved have been prosecuted."

Earlier, the London-based non-governmental group said it estimates 30,000 detainees are in Iraqi custody without trial, although there is no exact number for the detainees as the Iraqi authorities have failed to provide precise figures.

It said that several detainees are known to the group that they have died in custody, apparently as a result of torture or other ill-treatment by Iraqi interrogators and prison guards, the report said.

"Iraq's security forces have been responsible for systematically violating detainees' rights and they have been permitted to do so with impunity," the report quoted Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's director for the Middle East and North Africa, as saying.

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