Middle East

Report: Iraq gov’t detains thousands in degrading conditions

BAGHDAD (AP) — A leading international human rights organization is criticizing the Iraqi government for holding thousands of prisoners, including children, in degrading and “inhuman” conditions.

Human Rights Watch cites extreme overcrowding in three pretrial detention facilities in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province where prisoners are held mostly on terrorism charges.

In a statement Thursday, it says the three centers have a combined maximum capacity of 2,500 people and are holding about 4,500 detainees. They often have no space to lie down and prison authorities do not provide mattresses, it said.

Lama Fakih, acting Middle East director at HRW, said Iraq has a duty to ensure that detainees are housed decently, in line with international standards.

Iraq is holding huge numbers of detainees on suspicion of ties to the Islamic State group.

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