HRW Calls on Iraq To Investigate Torture Claims

The New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch called on Iraq to investigate allegations of torture against its own security personnel. Amir Sarbut Zaidan al-Batawi, who worked as a bodyguard for Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, died while in government custody. A spokesman for the Baghdad Operations Command claims they have proof that the 33-year-old died of renal failure. Perhaps so, but the fugitive Hashemi has said there is photographic and other evidence that his employee was also tortured while in custody.

Batawi was arrested along with other Hashemi staff members. The vice president and his staff stand accused of supporting terrorism, but Hashemi was able to escape to the relative safety of Iraqi Kurdistan. He says the claim is politically motivated and came as the result of coerced confessions. Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry says it is looking into the allegations.

At least three Iraqis were killed and seven more were wounded in light violence.

Two soldiers were killed and three more were wounded when an I.E.D. blew up in Hammam al-Alil.

Gunmen killed a grocer during a home invasion in Samarra.

Two people were wounded during a small arms attack in Khalubazana village.

In Baghdad, mortars wounded a woman. Large parts of the capital are already under lockdown ahead of next week’s Arab League summit.

A sticky bomb wounded a policeman in Tikrit.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for since 2006.