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.”
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.
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.”