Iraqi Union of Lawyers: Torture during criminal investigations and confessions under duress prevalent in Iraq

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi Union of Lawyers issued a statement on the use of torture in the extraction of confessions, pointing out the need to investigate such instances and prevent them from occurring in the future.

On Wednesday, the Union stated that a recent incident in Babil Governorate, the acquittal of a man who had confessed to the murder of his wife only to have to her reappear alive, was not out of the usual for Iraq given the unlawful methods employed by police.

The Iraqi Constitution criminalizes all kinds of psychological and physical torture and inhuman treatment, said the Union, and this constitutional imposition should be adhered to by all security agencies that initiate investigative proceedings regardless of the charges against those arrested.

One of the most prominent failures of the justice system in Iraqi is the failure to inform defendants of their right to a lawyer, said the statement. Without a lawyer present, other abuses become easier to commit.