Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Reality bites II
With a major hat tip to the inimitable Keith Olbermann, a bit more bad news about Iraq:

Iraq, with a population of approximately 25 million, is a republic with a freely elected government. During the year [2005] unsettled conditions prevented effective governance in parts of the country, and the government's human rights performance was handicapped by insurgency and terrorism that impacted every aspect of life. In such an environment and supported by elements of the population, three groups with overlapping but largely different memberships violently opposed the government: Al‑Qa'ida terrorists, irreconcilable remnants of the Ba'thist regime, and local Sunni insurgents waging guerrilla warfare. The ongoing insurgency, coupled with sectarian and criminal violence, seriously affected the government's human rights performance; elements of the security forces, particularly sectarian militias, frequently acted independently of governmental authority. ...

...Throughout the year the prime minister renewed the "state of emergency" originally declared in November 2004 throughout the country, excluding Kurdistan. The state of emergency was based on the dangers posed by the ongoing campaign of violence aimed at preventing the establishment of a broad-based government and the peaceful participation of all citizens in the political process. The state of emergency allows for the temporary imposition of restrictions on certain civil liberties. Where there is specific evidence or credible suspicion of the crimes outlined by the law, the prime minister may impose curfews and certain restrictions on public gatherings, associations, unions and other entities; put a preventive freeze on assets; impose monitoring of and seizure of means of communication; and allow for the search of property and detention of suspects. Notwithstanding such powers, the law prohibits the prime minister from abrogating the TAL in whole or in part and provides for judicial review of all decisions and procedures implemented pursuant to this law. The government exercised these powers throughout the year.

The following human rights problems were reported:

  • pervasive climate of violence
  • misappropriation of official authority by sectarian, criminal, terrorist, and insurgent groups
  • arbitrary deprivation of life
  • disappearances
  • torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment
  • impunity
  • poor conditions in pretrial detention facilities
  • arbitrary arrest and detention
  • denial of fair public trial
  • an immature judicial system lacking capacity
  • limitations on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association due to
  • terrorist and militia violence
  • restrictions on religious freedom
  • large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs)
  • lack of transparency and widespread corruption at all levels of government
  • constraints on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
  • discrimination against women, ethnic, and religious minorities
  • limited exercise of labor rights
Hm... torture and degrading treatment of prisoners ... lack of transparency and widespread government corruption ... descrimination ... limited labor rights ... wow, they really are learning from us ... oops, sorry ... read on:
Civic life and the social fabric remained under intense strain from the widespread violence, principally inflicted by insurgency and terrorist attacks. Additionally, the misappropriation of official authority by groups—paramilitary, sectarian, criminal, terrorist, and insurgent--resulted in numerous and severe crimes and abuses. ...

...A climate of extreme violence in which people were killed for political and other reasons continued. Reports increased of killings by the government or its agents that may have been politically motivated. Additionally, common criminals, insurgents, and terrorists undermined public confidence in the security apparatus by sometimes masking their identity in police and army uniforms (see section 1.g.). ...

...Insurgents and terrorists killed thousands of citizens (see section 1.g.). Using intimidation and violence, they kidnapped and killed government officials and workers, common citizens, party activists participating in the electoral process, civil society activists, members of security forces, and members of the armed forces, as well as foreigners.

Insurgent and terrorist groups also bombed government facilities, mosques, public gathering spots, and businesses resulting in massive losses of life and grave injuries. There were no indications of government involvement in these acts.
More bad-mouthing from the mainstream media? Nope, the George W. Bush / Condi Rice State Department.

The good news? I'll have to get back to you...

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posted by JReid @ 9:27 PM  
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