UN Slams Failure to Grant Due Process: Report Says Number Held by MNF Without Charge or Trial
The new UN report on human rights criticized Coalition authorities for indefinitely holding detainees without charge or trial, charging, “The current legal arrangements at the detention facilities do not fulfill the requirement to grant detainees due process.”
The UN praised the resumption of joint Iraqi/MNF inspections of detention facilities in January, after the seven-month hiatus following the public exposure of detainee torture by Ministry of Interior personnel in a Baghdad pre-trial holding center. However, the report also cited the “continuing failure of the Iraqi government as a whole to seriously address issues relating to detainee abuse and conditions of detention.”
Further, the report continues, “The practice of indefinite internment of detainees in the custody of the MNF remains an issue of concern to UNAMI. Of the total of 16,931 persons held at the end of February, an unknown number are classified as security internees, held for prolonged periods effectively without charge or trial.”
According to current procedures, security internees are denied access to defense counsel during their first 60 days in detention, and neither they nor defense counsel are present when the initial review of internment decisions are made.