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IraqSide:Developments
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Ninewa: Claims of Assault, Torture by Soldiers
Demonstrations Against Iraqi Army and Police
By DANIEL W. SMITH 06/27/2009 11:51 PM ET
Re-Arresting Camp Bucca Detainees
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Re-Arresting Camp Bucca Detainees

BAGHDAD – Just as June 30th approaches and the performance of the Iraqi security forces is more of a deciding factor in the nation’s stability than ever before, accusations of threats, torture, and killings are being leveled against them in Mosul, the city generally accepted as being Iraq’s most violent.

Small demonstrations have erupted in past days, as families of detainees and other reported victims of both the Iraqi Army and police protest against them. Two judges in Mosul have also complained of being assaulted by local police, after the judges had publicly criticized police for not maintaining better security in Ninewa.

One incident involving Iraqi Army members last week has angered many residents of Mosul. According to witnesses - and corroborated by an anonymous Army source - after an Iraqi soldier was apparently killed by sniper fire in the city’s “Industrial Area,” other soldiers rounded up several civilians. Merchants were beaten and “driven from their shops.”

Protesters who claim they were beaten
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Protesters who claim they were beaten
A soldier also reportedly walked up to a man named Hussam al-Amari and shot him in the head, killing him, as he held his young child. There was a protest immediately afterward comprised of some of the people involved, and others. Cardboard signs were hastily made up, which read, " “We request the operations leader to investigate the killing of the citizen Hussam al-Amari.” The protesters charge that soldiers then “beat us with sticks and cables,” while they demonstrated peacefully.

The next day, Ninewa's second assistant governor and Judge Hassan Mahmoud met with a group of witnesses and participants in the affair at the Ninewa Council Building to hear their grievances. Judge Mahmoud promised to investigate, and punish any guilty parties. An arrest warrant was reported to have been issued against a high-ranking Ninewa Army leader.

Judge Hassan Mahmoud
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Judge Hassan Mahmoud
Also, families of detainees protested, and asked that Iraqi and international human rights organizations to intervene in a case of their family members being tortured in the custody of the Iraqi Army’s 3rd Brigade. They demanded the creation of “special courts to punish those responsible.”

Other prisoners, these a group released from the US-run Camp Bucca prison, near Basra. After being released, and “without charges against them,” members of the Ninewa police arrested them at the airport, and “took them to an unknown location where they were beaten,” according to family members.

One person present said that “These actions will result in violence against the Iraqi Army and police.”
Citizens Complain of Soldier's Actions
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Citizens Complain of Soldier's Actions

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