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Iraqi judiciary accused of bias, failure

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is accused of using the judiciary to fight his political opponents.
Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki speaks during an interview with Reuters in Baghdad January 12, 2014. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki threatened on Sunday to cut central government funding for Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region if the Kurds pursued a drive to pipe oil exports to Turkey without Baghdad's approval. The Kurdistan Regional Government said last week that crude had begun to flow to Turkey and exports were expected to start at the end of this month and then rise in February and March.    T
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Many of those who opposed the regime of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and worked to deliver information about his crimes and violations to international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, never expected that these organizations would someday publish reports about serious human rights violations in Iraq led by Saddam’s opponents. There is, however, a yawning gap between the high expectations for post-Saddam Iraq and today’s reality. This gap is particularly apparent in the Iraqi judicial system.

Amnesty International's “Annual Report: Iraq 2013” points to serious human rights violations and to the failure of the Iraqi judiciary to ensure that justice is carried out according to international standards. The report criticizes the increasing recourse to the death penalty and the prevalence of torture and ill-treatment in detention centers, especially those controlled by the Ministries of Defense and Interior. While the report notes serious violations by armed groups, it also criticizes the government for mass arrests, alleging that many of the convicts, including some who have been executed, did not receive fair trials.

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