Allawi: Abuse as bad as in Saddam era

In an interview published in London on Sunday, former interim prime minister Ayad Allawi told The Observer newspaper that human rights abuses in Iraq are now as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein.

    Allawi accused fellow Shia of forming death squads

    "People are doing the same as

    (in)

    Saddam's time and worse," he was quoted as saying. "It is an appropriate comparison."
     
    Allawi accused fellow Shia in the government of being responsible for death squads and secret torture centres.

    "These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same thing," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

    For months, Sunni Arabs have been accusing the Interior Ministry of wholesale arrests and abuse of Sunnis in an attempt to find a

    handful of armed fighters.

    The discovery by US troops this month of up to 173 detainees - malnourished and some showing signs of torture - hidden in an Interior Ministry building in central Baghdad gave credence to those charges.

    Demonstration

    Protesters demanded information
    about detained relatives

    The Iraqi government has set up a committee that is investigating the case, but President Jalal Talabani told reporters on Sunday that he didn't think there was a serious problem.

    "I believe there is exaggeration, but every incident should be investigated," he said.

    In Baghdad on Sunday, a group of women protested outside the Ministry of Interior building, demanding information about relatives who have been taken by security forces, never to be heard from again.
     
    "Let the government tell us where they are. If they were killed let them tell us where their bodies are," said one woman, who identified herself only as Um Nabeel.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.