View Full Version : Iraq Abuse As Bad Now As Under Saddam, Iyad Allawi

11-26-2005, 10:59 PM
Iraq abuse as bad now as under Saddam -former PM


(Gold9472: Let's not forget that this man is trying to win an election. Let's also not forget that this man's Government, backed by the United States Government, stole $1Billion, and has 28 warrants (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5383) out for their arrest.)

26 Nov 2005 23:08:24 GMT

LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Abuse of human rights in Iraq is as bad now as it was under Saddam Hussein, if not worse, former prime minister Iyad Allawi said in an interview published on Sunday.

"People are doing the same as (in) Saddam Hussein's time and worse. It is an appropriate comparison," Allawi told British newspaper The Observer.

"People are remembering the days of Saddam," said Allawi, a secular Shi'ite and former Baathist who is standing in elections scheduled for Dec. 15. "These are the precise reasons why we fought Saddam Hussein and now we are seeing the same things.

"We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated," said Allawi in an apparent reference to the discovery of a bunker at the Shi'ite-run Interior Ministry where 170 men were held prisoner, beaten, half-starved and in some cases tortured.

"A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations."
Allawi said the Interior Ministry, which has tried to brush off the scandal over the bunker, was afflicted by a "disease".

If it is not cured, he said, it "will become contagious and spread to all ministries and structures of Iraq's government".

"The Ministry of the Interior is at the heart of the matter," Allawi said. "I am not blaming the minister himself, but the rank and file are behind the secret dungeons and some of the executions that are taking place."

Allawi was Iraq's first prime minister of the post-Saddam era but failed to win January's election, which brought current Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, an Islamist Shi'ite, to power.

An opinion poll in an Iraqi newspaper a week ago suggested over half of Iraqis want Jaafari to stay on in the job after the December vote.

Allawi, who enjoys some support among both Shi'ites and Sunnis, came third in the poll behind Mithal al-Alusi, a secular Sunni who heads his own election list.

11-27-2005, 05:12 PM
Iraq leader attacks abuse claim
BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4476098.stm)

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has dismissed as "nonsense" the charge that the country's rights abuses are as bad as they were in Saddam Hussein's era. Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi made the comparison as he called for prompt action on recent torture claims.

Mr Talabani told the BBC modern abuses cannot be compared to the concentration camps and mass graves of Saddam's time.

Mr Allawi's remarks have angered the Shias and Kurds, who suffered most under Saddam, a BBC correspondent says.

Mr Allawi's remarks were published in an interview with the UK's Observer newspaper on Sunday, as Iraq gears up for parliamentary elections next month.

They are set to heat up the election debate and are likely to be well-received by the Sunni community, the BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad adds.

Sunni leaders have repeatedly accused Iraq's new government of torturing detainees from their community, in which support for the insurgency is strongest.

Two weeks ago, some 170 detainees were found at an interior ministry centre, many allegedly suffering from abuse and starvation.


Mr Talabani, a Kurd, told the BBC everyone opposed torturing or harming detainees and there were no parallels to be drawn between the present and abuses that took place under Saddam Hussein.

"If you go back to Saddam's Iraq, we see that Iraq was turned by Saddam to concentration camps on the ground and mass graves underground," he said.

Mr Allawi, he said, "cannot compare this situation with that situation". [Partridge: Or, "You cannot compare our torture and murder with Saddam's torture and murder. It's just not on!"]

"I cannot convince myself or imagine that such nonsense has been said by Dr Allawi," Mr Talabani said, pointing out that Iraqi now enjoyed a range of democratic rights - from free expression to free elections.

Mr Talabani said at least three people had died after being tortured at the interior ministry during Mr Allawi's term as prime minister, which ended in April this year.

But, he said, that did not make Mr Allawi worse than Saddam Hussein.


Mr Allawi told the Observer "people are doing the same as [in] Saddam Hussein's time and worse".

"It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam," he said.

Mr Allawi - who was displaced earlier this year by Shia factions - said Shia militias had infiltrated the police, and warned that their influence could spread throughout the government.

He also warned of the danger of Iraq disintegrating in chaos.

"Iraq is the centrepiece of this region," he said. "If things go wrong, neither Europe nor the United States will be safe."

Mr Allawi was Iraq's first interim prime minister, but he failed to win January's election which brought the current Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, to power.

He has since formed a coalition to contest next month's parliamentary elections.