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The danger of Iraq's informants

Thousands of Iraqis were arrested based on information provided by informants and turned out to be innocent, thus raising questions about Iraq’s judiciary system and human rights policies.
Iraqi security forces arrest suspected militants during a raid and weapons search operation in Baghdad's Shaab neighbourhood, July 26, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer - RTX1LU5B

BAGHDAD — Thaer al-Obeidi, who resides in the Baiji district in Salahuddin province in northern Iraq, was arrested by the Iraqi government forces, because he shares the same name as someone who is wanted by the authorities. Obeidi, who was released in May 2009, spent 19 months in several detention centers within and outside the province since his arrest in October 2007.

It took the security forces five months following his arrest to interrogate him, and he was incarcerated the entire time. He then waited for more than a year before appearing before the court, which decided to set him free because of a lack of evidence.

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