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Transitional justice fails in Iraq

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, measures to implement transitional justice have been largely unsuccessful.
Blindfolded suspected militants, with possible links to al-Qaeda, are seen at Iraqi police headquarters in Diyala province, north of Baghdad December 5, 2011. Police forces arrested 30 suspected militants during a raid in Diyala province, a police source said.   REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CONFLICT) - RTR2UVUD

Transitional justice is an important and decisive phase for societies liberated from a long era of dictatorial or sectarian rule. When transitional justice is not achieved, society will suffer violent chain reactions among the different social groups. In many cases, the relationship between the executioner and the victim is reversed, and the acts of revenge and retribution breed other violations that intensify and deepen the waves of violence in the country. All this started happening in Iraq after 2003.

The goals of transitional justice go beyond trial and punishment for the perpetrators of heinous massacres. They include a whole project with the aim of reaching national reconciliation in a country where trust between the different sects and between the people and state institutions has been lost. Transitional justice should compensate the people of different sects who have been harmed, commemorating the massacres, seeking the truth about human rights violations and paving the way for a more peaceful future in which they are not repeated.

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