3 detainees die in prison in Iraq's Basra: Rights commission

UN report accuses Iraqi government of widespread torture of detainees held in country's detention facilities.

3 detainees die in prison in Iraq's Basra: Rights commission

Three Iraqi prisoners on trial have died in detention in the last month, the country's rights commission said on Saturday.

The High Commission for Human Rights said in a statement that the three detainees under trial died in a prison facility controlled by the Interior Ministry in the southern Basra province.

The commission called on the ministry to release the findings of the investigations into the three detainees' deaths.

The Iraqi authorities have not yet responded to the commission's statement.

On Tuesday, a UN report accused the Iraqi government of widespread torture of detainees held in the country's detention facilities.

The report said legal procedures designed to bring interrogations and detention under judicial control within 24 hours of the initial arrest are not respected and access to a lawyer is systematically delayed until after security forces interrogate suspects.

"The authorities need to effectively implement the provisions written in the law in each and every detention center," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. "If not, they remain a dead letter."

UN Human Rights spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said "the report also raises concerns that the authorities ignore complaints and signs of torture and says that the systems established to address official complaints appear to be neither fair nor effective."

Iraqi security forces have reported a number of deaths in al-Hoot prison in the southern Dhi Qar province in the past months, but without specifying the reason for the deaths.

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Hüseyin Demir

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