Iraq is a country of suppression of several groups, involving discrimination in public life, at work, at school; arrests; detention incommunicado; torture; staged trials; long time imprisonment, usually under terrible conditions; and for many even execution.
Most of the people persecuted in Iraq are opponents and believed opponents to the regime. The threshold for suppression is low, in July 2001, two men had their tongues cut out in front of a public audience, for slandering Saddam Hussein.
Iraq's legal system does not work according to international regulations, and there are many cases where the judges are military officers or civil servants without adequate training.
A substantial number of people have been executed, many have high positions in the society like officers, lawyers or Muslim clerics.
Death penalty is imposed upon non-crimes as homosexual activity and prostitution, as well as crimes like incest and rape.
Torture is performed against both suspects as well as family members. Torture can involve acts like pulling out of fingernails, rape, beating, burning and electrical shocks.
Iraq is a country where there is civil dressed government spy on almost every corner. These spies are not really hired, but get paid for tips. This results in many false accusations, as well as a high degree of fright among Iraqi civilians.
All aspects of Iraqi media is controlled through both direct censorship as well as self-imposed censorship.
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Conditions in the 3 northern provinces comprising the autonomous Kurdish region are better than in the rest of Iraq. Yet, there are several examples that control of political opponents has resulted in arrest without trial. The same actions have been performed against members of the press.
By: Tore Kjeilen