Patterns of Torture in Iraq

06.10.22

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In the first half of 2022, Iraq came under the scrutiny of the UN Committee Against Torture and the UN Human Rights Committee which, under their respective monitoring and reporting mechanisms, assessed Iraq’s record in upholding civil and political rights and preventing torture, inhuman or degrading treatment at the hands of both the authorities and non-state actors. The concluding observations of both periodic reports demonstrate that torture remains a widespread and systematic practice in Iraq that takes place against a backdrop of socio-political turmoil characterised by the oppression of human rights defenders, members of wider civil society and minority groups by state and non-state actors. 

Based on the findings of the aforementioned UN Treaty Bodies and the extensive reporting of individual cases by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and other human rights organisations, this report examines the key patterns of torture in Iraq since the beginning of the widespread peaceful demonstrations that erupted across the country in October 2019. 

The key patterns that emerge are: the systematic perpetration of torture in places of detention; the fostering of a culture of impunity through a reliance on forced confessions and a lack of effective investigations into allegations of torture; and the targeting of women and the LGBTIQ+ community.

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