Iraq's human rights failures
Human rights conditions still poor, especially for religious and ethnic minorities.
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2010 12:11 GMT

Human rights conditions in Iraq continue to be extremely poor - especially for religious and ethnic minorities and displaced families.

In many parts of Iraq, sectarian violence continues and families are still forced to leave their homes. However, economic pressures have also led many Iraqis who had left the country to return.

But, the government still has no workable plan for these returnees. In Baghdad, only a few of them are able to reclaim their former homes. In rural communities many find their houses destroyed and they lack access to basic services, including water, electricity and healthcare.

With the resurgence of violence in the latter half of 2009, some returnees have found themselves displaced once again.

In addition to this refugee crisis, human rights organisations says they receive numerous reports of torture and other abuses of detainees in Iraqi prisons.

Government-run detention facilities struggle to accommodate about 30,000 detainees. Prisons are totally overcrowded - and some detainees spend years in custody without charge or trial.

The government says it is willing to address these issues, but critics say the current Iraqi leadership is part of the problem rather than the solution.

Jasim Azawi is joined by: Joe Stork, the deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch, Sabah al-Mukhtar, the president of Arab Lawyers, UK, and Shatha al-Obosi, the deputy chair of the Human Rights Committee in the Iraqi parliament.

This edition of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, February 19, 2010.

Al Jazeera
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