Iraq abuse as bad now as under Saddam




 
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Iraq abuse as bad now as under Saddam
 
November 27th, 2005  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Iraq abuse as bad now as under Saddam


Iraq abuse as bad now as under Saddam
LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Abuse of human rights in Iraq is as bad
now as it was under Saddam Hussein, if not worse, former prime minister Iyad
Allawi said in an interview published on Sunday.
"People are doing the same as (in) Saddam Hussein's time and worse.
It is an appropriate comparison," Allawi told British newspaper The
Observer.
"People are remembering the days of Saddam," said Allawi, a secular
Shi'ite and former Baathist who is standing in elections scheduled for Dec.
15. "These are the precise reasons why we fought Saddam Hussein and now we
are seeing the same things.
"We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are
being interrogated," said Allawi in an apparent reference to the discovery
of a bunker at the Shi'ite-run Interior Ministry where 170 men were held
prisoner, beaten, half-starved and in some cases tortured.
"A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of
interrogations."
Allawi said the Interior Ministry, which has tried to brush off the
scandal over the bunker, was afflicted by a "disease".
If it is not cured, he said, it "will become contagious and spread
to all ministries and structures of Iraq's government".
"The Ministry of the Interior is at the heart of the matter," Allawi
said. "I am not blaming the minister himself, but the rank and file are
behind the secret dungeons and some of the executions that are taking
place."
Allawi was Iraq's first prime minister of the post-Saddam era but
failed to win January's election, which brought current Prime Minister
Ibrahim Jaafari, an Islamist Shi'ite, to power.
An opinion poll in an Iraqi newspaper a week ago suggested over half
of Iraqis want Jaafari to stay on in the job after the December vote.
Allawi, who enjoys some support among both Shi'ites and Sunnis, came
third in the poll behind Mithal al-Alusi, a secular Sunni who heads his own
election list.