June 22, 2005 – An official with Iraqâ€™s Human Rights Ministry says that security forces attached to Iraqâ€™s Interior Ministry have intimidated, beaten or tortured more than half of the 12,000 detainees in the countryâ€™s prisons and detention centers.
"We've documented a lot of torture cases," Saad Sultan told the LA Times. He also said police and security officers have even killed some detainees.
Sultan heads a committee within the Human Rights Ministry that is pushing for greater access to Iraqi-run prisons
"There are beatings, punching, electric shocks to the body, including sensitive areas, hanging prisoners upside down and beating them and dragging them on the ground," Sultan said.
"Many police officers come from a culture of torture from their experiences over the last 35 years," he added. "Most of them worked during Saddam's regime."
In addition to employing Husseinâ€™s former officers, Iraqâ€™s police and national guard units consist of thousands of Iraqis trained by US forces since the 2003 invasion.
The Interior Ministry, which is responsible for the Iraqâ€™s domestic security, acknowledges cases of mistreatment but denies that torture is common.