Prisoners from all sects, official says

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week And government spokesman Laith Kubba defended the Interior Ministry, saying all the detainees were legally arrested and most were referred to courts for prosecution. They were kept at the detention center in the Jadriyah district because of a lack of jail space, he said. “The Interior Ministry is doing its job at a difficult time and some mistakes happen,” he said. That did little to assuage Sunni Arab anger, with Sunni politicians saying the Jadriyah center was not the only place where detainees are tortured. Sunni leader Adnan al-Dulaimi said he had complained to the government about abuses at three Interior Ministry compounds. He and several other Sunni politicians demanded an international inquiry. Some alleged that Shiite-led security forces were trying to intimidate Sunnis from voting in the Dec. 15 parliament elections. Many Sunnis saw the hand of Shiite-dominated Iran, which offered sanctuary to many Iraqi Shiites during Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-led regime. “Some government officials want to keep the Sunnis away from the next elections by terrorizing us,” Saad Farhan, a Sunni merchant in Ramadi, said, adding that his brother and cousin had been held in Jadriyah. “We believe that Iran’s agents are behind it because normal and genuine Iraqis never do this.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BAGHDAD, Iraq – A top Interior Ministry official said Wednesday the 173 malnourished prisoners found by U.S. forces last weekend included all Iraqi sects, playing down allegations of a campaign by Shiite-led security forces to suppress Sunni Arabs ahead of next month’s election. The Shiite-led government sought to dampen Sunni outrage over revelations Tuesday by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari that the detainees, some showing signs of torture, were found by U.S. troops at an Interior Ministry lockup in the capital. Most were believed to be Sunni Arabs, the leading group in the insurgency. But the deputy interior minister, Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, said the detainees also included Shiites, Kurds and Turkomen. He gave no breakdown. President Jalal Talabani said there was “no place for torture and persecution in the new Iraq” and that anyone involved “would be severely punished.” last_img read more

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