|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
UNCHR 'concerned' over Iraqi prisoners' status
May 06, 2004 03:51 IST
Last Updated: May 06, 2004 04:06 IST
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights expressed "serious concern" over the "uncertain" legal status of many detainees being interrogated in Iraq and asked the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council to clarify the legal status of each person.
Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention Leila Zerrougui sought the information following reports that prisoners of torture of people in detention by American and British soldiers.
In a statement, she said she was "seriously disturbed" that they have not been granted access to a court to let them challenge the lawfulness of their detention. She pointed that a majority of those in detention have been arrested during public demonstrations, at checkpoints and in house raids.
"They are being considered 'security detainees' or 'suspected of anti-coalition' activities," she said. She asked all countries that have forces in Iraq to respect the principles of international human rights in case of detainees, and the Geneva convention in the case of prisoners-of-war.