US report on human rights in Iraq 'outdated and inaccurate', Baghdad says

US report on human rights in Iraq 'outdated and inaccurate', Baghdad says
Baghdad was quick to sweep aside the US State Department's accusations that it had committed human rights abuses including extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances.
2 min read
18 April, 2022
The US State Department found the Iraqi government did not take enough steps to ensure justice for those killed in demonstration. [Karar Essa/Anadolu via Getty]

Iraqi authorities on Sunday dismissed the latest US State Department report on the state of human rights in the country as "inaccurate". 

"The report lacked in accuracy and was partly based on reports from previous years," said Ahmed Al-Sahhaf, the spokesperson of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

The US State Department issued on Wednesday its yearly report on the state of human rights practices across the world.

In Iraq, the US agency documented serious human rights abuses committed by a wide range of political factions and by terrorist groups like the Islamic State.

The findings contained in the report are not new. Human rights organisations have long denounced the growing harassment carried out by political groups in Iraq, including a myriad of armed factions backed by Iran.

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"The government should not deny what was stated in the report, especially since it does not differ from previous reports of international organisations concerned with human rights," Iraqi civil society activist Ahmed Haqqi told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister outlet.

The list of abuses included "credible reports of unlawful and arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings by the government, forced disappearances by the government, torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment by the government."

The report also found that the Iraqi government had only taken minimal steps to achieve justice for victims killed during the October 2019 demonstrations.

Dozens of activists have been murdered, attacked or abducted since the protests which erupted in October 2019 against government corruption and incompetence.