Network of Iraqi Reporters for Investigative Journalism

Network of Iraqi Reporters for Investigative Journalism

Iraq’s Non-Functioning Justice Apparatus .. Innocent Citizen Apprehended Every Five Minutes

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By Kadhem Sadoun Mouhamed

On the heartrending night of the 7th of September 2016, the destiny of ‘Abu Alyaa’s family’ was endlessly turned upside down, after a security force burst into their house in Al-Jihad neighborhood, west of the capital Baghdad. While still in night clothes, the hands of the 43 years old householder were handcuffed amidst his wife’s screams for their neighbors’ rescue. For six long weeks, his fate or the whereabouts of his detention were kept entirely unknown, until it came to their knowledge that the charge leveled against him was ‘terror’ and his life would tragically come to an end by capital punishment.

 

“On that night, we heard violent knocks at the doors; I was then sleeping with my husband and two daughters, when a force consisting of five persons stormed into the house and led him away without giving any clarifications. No one could do or say anything.  We had been shocked for days, looking for him and approaching whoever can in any way help us out. No news came about him, nothing at all, while he was completely isolated from the outside world”, the wife said.

 

The distressed family lived weeks of worry and bewilderment. The man is not known to have any political or armed activity and he rarely goes to the mosque, only on occasions. “His life routine was confined to moving between home and workplace and at times meets with his friends. But since his detention during the arrest campaigns in which a number of others were arrested, our neighbors and even friends avoided any contacts with us.” the wife added.

 

In mid November of that same year, the wife received telephone call carrying news from the lawyer the family entrusted to follow up the case, who informed her that the judge of the Central Investigation Court affiliated to the Supreme Judicial Council acquitted her husband from the charges against him. But the family’s joy seemed to be incomplete, due to the fact that the judicial innocence was only the first step on a long road before their family man can be set free.

 

“The prison’s administrations are used to delay the implementation of judicial sentences on purpose to blackmail the detainees”, she said and added saying, “Lawyer with initials (K.T) told me the officers supervising the jail had asked for money to release him and the amount they demanded was horrific, $ 90,000.”

 

The wife betted on the deliberations running among Iraq’s legislators within the parliament to remove any obstacles hindering the release of the detainees acquitted by courts, and some MPs demanded the government to urgently interfere to close this file. However, days went by without anything new, and that what made the wife submit to blackmailing. ‘ an Iphone (S5) was delivered by the lawyer to one of the prison guards in which she wrote a message to her husband asking his opinion about selling half of their house to get the sum of money requested for his release”.

 

The family refuses to name the prison where ‘Abi Alyaa’ is jailed, to make it easier for us to know his identity and let him tell his story in this investigation. She speaks to us conditional on not revealing the name of the officers involved in this suspicious deal for fear of their revenge.

 

However, she allowed the author to go through the documents and text and voice messages on the mobile’s WhatsApp service between her and elements from the local police station, security and judiciary, and with other intermediaries who offered to help in return for monies, over the period of the family’s ordeal. The author went through the messages exchanged before the conclusion of the deal and the arrangements of handing in the money requested to the assistant of the responsible officer whose rank was police commissioner, at a place agreed-upon  by the lawyer and the police party.

 

Now the 5-member family lives in half of their house, after dividing its area into two sections separated by a wall and building a kitchen and bathroom in their remaining residential area after selling half the house.

 

The husband who is now preparing to leave the country with his family after applying for immigration through the United Nations says, “The complaint submitted against me could have been malicious or perhaps I might have been a victim of indiscriminate random detention. Nobody explained to me the nature of my charge. They only said that I am a terrorist.”

 

He adds saying, “I was an employee and my family has been known in the neighborhood for years. I had a job and my life was happy.  But I’ve lost so much and the reputation of my daughters was tarnished. They hear their schoolmates say hurting words and I no longer trust any security or judicial apparatus.”

 

Delay in Detainees’ Referral to Judiciary

 

Abi-Alyaa’s story is not a unique case. Another one that seems more complicated took place in Al-Enbar. The victim was 15 years old when he was sent to jail, on being accused of helping terrorists. He spent a total of six years under detention, during which his beard grew up and his features hardened. He moved between many prisons and investigation centers, after which he was acquitted from all the charges leveled against him by the Central Criminal Court.

 

The victim’s name is ‘Ghazwan’ and he refuses to talk about any details concerning his imprisonment period, which had no doubt stolen a part of his childhood and youth.

 

However, MP ‘Meshaan Al-Gabourri, who mediated to release that lad, after he had been exonerated by court, says,’ I spent (90) days in contact with the officials, including the general manager of jails and other directors, until I finally managed with strenuous efforts to bring him back home. We knew later on that some were bargaining his family for his release.”

 

The preparer of this investigation compiled statistics produced by official sources and Iraq’s judiciary, revealing that large numbers of the people detained were proved to be innocent later on. Such detainees were not released before spending months in the prisons of the Interior Ministry or in the other security detention centers. Whoever owns money or has any political or tribal intermediary obtains his release order, but those who cannot afford the cost of bribes have to face their unknown fate that might be capital punishment.

 

Investigation on similar cases supported by Iraqi legislators refers that the core of the problem is lying in the several jail officials’ inattention to the effective laws and judicial decisions, through delaying the referral of detainees to judiciary for weeks and months.

 

Lawyer Thabet Al-Lammy points out that it is imperative as per law, for the security formations to refer the detainees’ to the concerned judiciary circle within 24 hours after arrest. Nevertheless, what happens on the ground of reality is exactly the opposite. “Even the effectuation of the release decisions issued by the judicial authorities for the release of innocent detainees are intentionally postponed. Corrupt officers are behind such postponement with the intention of using them as winning cards in their blackmailing operations.” he said.

 

 12 Innocents Detained Per Hour

One of the shortcomings registered in the way jails are run in Iraq is the multiplicity of the establishments and administrations concerned with jails, some of which are affiliated with the Ministry of Justice, while others with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in addition to the existence of another administration including both the interior and defence ministries, besides the intelligence bodies that have their own jails.

 

Such multiplicity of administrations makes it rather difficult to find an overall statistics of the exact number of prisoners, since these establishments never reveal accurate statistics.

 

The preparer of this investigation managed to go through some information issued by the ‘Supreme Judicial Council’ that enjoys complete independency as per the third chapter of Iraq’s constitution. That data includes statistics of the number of the detainees who were acquitted of the charges against them by courts, whether such charges are criminal or related to terror. But these statistics do not disclose the total numbers of the present prisoners in the country.

 

This investigation is based on following the electronic archives published on the website of ‘The Judicial Authority in Iraq’ in the course of three years (2014, 2015, and 2016) in addition to a large group of statistics and other scattered data. The last statistics was published in December, 2016 covering the month of November of the same year.

 

And during the year 2016 from January to the last statistics in November, the official data investigated refers that Iraq’s judiciary issued an acquittal resolution for (76415) detainees, including (8418) detainees accused of terror, with a rate of (6368) detention cases in a month, and (212) per day.

 

June 2016 registered the highest rate of the detainees’ acquittals, reaching as high as (10791) cases including (1608) cases accused of terrorism, followed by May which recorded (10373) acquittal cases, including (3456) persons accused of terror.

 

And in 2015, statistics refer that the Judiciary Authority endorsed the acquittal of (88297) prisoners from January to December, including (10124) persons accused of terror, that is (7358) detention cases in a single month, at a range of (245) detention cases daily.

 

In the same context, September 2015 registered the highest rate of detainees’ acquittals, as high as (9480) cases, followed by December with (9268) cases. However, the statistics did not point out the number of cases concerned with terror accusations, since the judiciary is reserved about publishing details in some periods.

 

Concerning the year 2014, the Supreme Judicial Council, declared during the Annual Media Conference held in Baghdad on the 11th of January 2015, by the judicial authority members – declared the acquittal of (150158) of those under custody, including (8957) cases related to terror charges. That number is bigger than the innocent detainees in the two years 2015 and 2016, with monthly number of (12513) innocent victims.

 

It seems that the attack launched by ISIL Organization in June, 2014, and the state of anarchy that became widespread after the collapse of the Iraqi army, was behind the escalation of the number of ‘innocent detainees’ in that year.

 

MP Shalaan Al-Kareem, representative of the national coalition, pointed out in a press conference held in July 2017 within the council that “the majority of the detention operations carried out since 2014 until now are incorrect.”

 

And by summing the above statistics, we find out that the total number of innocents or wrongly arrested people is (314870) during the above said three years, at a rate of (8996) every single month, that is (300) cases per day, and (12) per hour, and one person every 5 minutes. These figures include those apprehended due to different criminal or terror charges.

 

Official authorities do not in fact announce the precise number of Iraqis behind jail bars or their geographical distribution. But MP ‘Zana Saeed, a member of the legal committee of Iraq’s parliament, said to the author of this investigation, ” The number of prisoners according to the statistics mentioned to us by the Ministry of Justice before 2017 is as high as 35,000 in the public jails, but we don’t have at the present time any more details.”.

 

The volume of innocent captives refers to a real problem in the security and investigative system in Iraq, according to some experts we met in the course of our investigation. The fact of the matter is that thousands are being randomly apprehended in an attempt to confront the escalating violence operations. Such detentions create problems in the societal peace and at the end of the day lead to more differences among the political powers. That is because the Sunni powers and parties keep on accusing the security apparatuses of sectarianism, whereas the Shiite powers charge the Sunni inhabitants in the governorates of supporting extremists.

 

  Secret Detention Centers

The aforementioned statistics do not include detentions in the ‘prisons’ affiliated to the factions of the ‘Popular Mobilization’ (known in Arabic as Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi), which were created in and before the summer of the year 2014, to confront ‘ISIL Organization’ (known in Arabic as Daesh), after the collapse of the army units.

 

MP representing Al-Enbar Governorate in the parliament , Ahmed Al-Salmanny, spoke about such detentions on 8/8/2017, saying that the armed Shiite faction known as ‘Hizb Allah’ detained (3000) people from Enbar on stages. That began to happen since the launching of the battle of restoring Al-Falouga city from the extremists in May 2016. Al-Salmanni stresses that their fate is still unknown.

 

One of the captives apprehended by a Shiite faction in June 2016,Mohammed A-Gameely, from ‘Al-Moallamen’ region in ‘Falouga’, the second prominent city in the Governorate of Al-Anbar, after Al-Ramaddi, was set free after a clannish intermediary by one of the leaders of the Sunni clannish mobilization which is known to be on good terms with the leaders of the ‘Popular Mobilization’, known in Arabic as ‘Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi’.

 

Mohammed Al-Gameely (27 years) calls to memory the circumstances of his detention saying, “I tried to flee Al-Falouga which was then under the control of ISIL ‘Daesh’ . That was at the beginning of June 2016. I went out with my family including dozens of children and women, in the direction of the security forces which had attacked the city then. It was really scorching hot and we ran out of the water we had. Then we reached an armed group raising the Iraqi flag, and saw military vehicles stationed nearby raising the flags of the Shiite factions affiliated to the ‘Popular Mobilization’.  He adds saying, “The group’s elements separated men from women and children, and forced us to get on big vehicles.”.

 

The vehicle carrying Mohammed was thickly crowded with detainees according to his description. “We were crammed at the back of the car, calling ‘Daesh’ bad names and swearing by God to the armed groups that we are not supporting ‘Daesh’ or sympathizing with them. They hurt and starved us and we came to seek your rescue”. Other detainees were reciting ‘Al-Shehada’ (There’s no God but Allah, and Mohammed is His Prophet), since we were quite sure that we were driven to the execution square.”.

 

Mohammed and the other detainees arrived at a deserted building after around an hour drive. “The place was not a concentration camp, it might be an abandoned school or a public building.”, he said.  Five days later he was set free with four others. ” Thanks to the mediation of one of my relatives, I was set free but and I still don’t know anything  about the fate of the other detainees.”, he exclaimed.

 

   Terror Charge is the Most Costly

As per the data carrying the official stamp of the Supreme Judicial Council, which we obtained, (27499) persons were apprehended by the security apparatuses, as per the fourth article of the anti-terror law throughout the years of (2014, 2015, and 2016), and who were later on proved to be innocents, after they could have been  exposed to the death penalty. Most of those victims are from governorates mid and west of Iraq.”.

 

Politicians and clans’ chieftains from the aforementioned governorates were used to use the phrase ‘4 Sunni’ referring to the fourth article targeting the Sunni sect solely. This legal article is pillared on the anti-terror law No (13) of 2005, which stipulates the death penalty ” to anyone committing or assisting in a terror act. Like the original doer, this  very same capital punishment is inflicted on the instigator and planner and financier or any other one enabling terrorists to perpetrate any terror operations. And whoever intentionally hides any knowledge about any terror act or shelters or assists a terrorist, faces the life imprisonment punishment.

 

Lawyer (with initials K. T.), who defended many detainees charged with terror cases, including ‘Abi Alyaa’, and who mediated with many officials and officers to set them free, says, “Whoever is accused of terror charges becomes a rich feast for the officers and supervisors serving in jails. The monies they request from the families are the highest in terror cases, in view of the fact that the death penalty is the punishment stipulated in the current effective Iraq’s laws for anyone indicted in terror crimes”.

 

Meanwhile, a member of Iraq’s parliament, Kamel Al-Ghareery, stresses the fact that ” there is bargaining between security apparatuses and the prisoners’ families for the payment of certain amounts of money in return of the release of their imprisoned relatives”.

 

And concerning the way such blackmailing practices are carried out, he says, ” This is done through the lawyers entrusted with the case papers”. He adds saying, ” Those who are moneyless cannot be released from prison despite their innocence,”

 

As for the common price list for the release of detainees, it depends, according to what the Iraqi representative says, on the type of the charge leveled against the prisoner. “The terror charge is the most expensive of all other accusations. And its cost amounts to 200,000 or 300,000 US dollars, followed by theft crimes”.

 

The MP carries on saying, “They are organized mafias beyond the reach of any one, even legislators, as they are known to be attached with several big personalities.” Then he adds, ” Some detainees paid such high amounts of money and failed to be set free and racketeering continues.’.

 

“Unless Wanted in Other Cases” 

 

Representative for Mosul, ‘MP Noura Al-Baggarry’, affirms what her friend, MP Al-Ghareery had said. In the course of her talk with the author of this investigation, she said, ” The volume of what can be called as ransom monies depends mainly on the legal article ruling the charge leveled against the prisoner, coupled with his financial position”.

 

 

He carries on saying, “The corrupt bodies investigate the prisoner’s social status well. If he is moneyed, the bargained amount gets higher, and such transactions are surrounded with utter secrecy.”.

 

The extent of risk and secrecy surrounding the conclusion of such financial transactions and bargains, prevent the prisoners’ families from revealing them for fear of vengeance, according to what is confirmed by Iraqi legislators.

 

In the meantime, subsequent statements published by the Supreme Judicial Council appealed to the different  executive security apparatuses to respect the judicial resolutions concerning the release of all the prisoners acquitted by courts of Justice.

 

The Supreme Judicial Council declines to make any comments in this regard, and suffice itself with making its official statements. However, Shawaan Sabber, head of the ‘Network of Justice for Prisoners Organization in Iraq’ says to the preparer of this investigation, ” We have cases registered with us for security bodies refusing to release the detainees whose acquittals had been judicially proved by courts of justice”.

 

Shawaan points out that procrastination in their release occurs under several pretexts, for instance, it is claimed that the judicial decision issued for the acquittal of a detainee is ended with the phrase, “unless he is not wanted in other cases”. Such a phrase is exploited by the police apparatus to gain time, claiming that they are in the process of addressing the other security bodies to secure the accused is not wanted by any of them.”.

 

MP for the Governorate of Baghdad, Abdul Kereem Abttaan, describes this phrase as “the key to the haggling door “. He carries on saying, “Through this door enters payment demands that are led by some influential bodies (unnamed by him).”

 

On his part, Shawaan Sabber, surprisingly explains that “some of the innocent detainees’ claims obtain a judicial confirmation from the ‘Judgment Court’, which is considered the supreme judicial authority in the country and its decisions are requisite and applicable. And in spite of this such decisions are not executed by the executive or the police bodies”.

 

Sabber attributes the phenomenal procrastination in the release of the innocents to the multiplicity of the prisons’ administrations, some of which are affiliated to the Ministry of Justice , and another to the Ministry of labor and Social Affairs, in addition to other existing administrations affiliated to the two  ministries of interior and defence.

 

Subsequent to phone calls to several officials at Iraq’s Ministry of Justice and visits to their offices, an official standing as assistant head of department agreed to see the editor of this investigation, conditional on not revealing his identity for security reasons.

 

That public official says, “This phenomenon is common and as regards the prisons affiliated to the Ministry of Justice, violations are committed by the messengers who carry the release orders of the innocent prisoners to the judicial authorities. They delay and postpone procedures, seeking bribes from the detainees’ families. We have detected several cases of this nature and are in the process of making things right.”

 

In the same context,  the representative for Shiite ‘National Coalition Bloc’, MP ‘Selim Shawqi, who is also a member of the legal committee in the parliament, admits the existence ‘ of blackmailing practices committed by corrupt persons against those under legal custody and detainees. What is being perpetrated is illegal and unconstitutional.”. He adds saying, “We need statistics from concerned bodies about the detainees who are still under custody in jails after the issuance of ‘the General Amnesty Law’.”

 

  Judges within Concentration Centers

The testimonies we heard from those pronounced innocent by the courts but are still under security custody, points out that the coercive arrest cases are spoilt by a double- edged compound corruption process. First, there are those who are being exposed to blackmailing during the early stages of their investigation whether within the regional police stations, which is the first authority accountable for this phenomenon, or at offices affiliated to the army regiments. This actually occurs prior to referring their papers to the judiciary. Their blackmail is done through threatening their families to attach fabricated charges to their relatives’ claim papers before being referred to the court.

 

The second corrupt stage comes after the case papers are referred to the court and the accused is exonerated from the charges against him and gets his release decision. Here the police bodies delay the execution of the judicial order. “Many cases were registered by us, where judicial release decisions had been postponed for months”, said MP Abdul Kereem Abttan.

 

In the course of three months, the authors of this investigation had made many attempts to communicate with any official from Iraq’s Interior Ministry, which is the first party accountable for the illegal detention operations, to comment on the issue, but in vain. One of the employees in the ministry’s information office said on condition of not referring to his name or to his position, “We cannot actually comment on such cases. Our duty is confined to publishing official statements and declarations for making them publicly clear. The detainees’ cases are completely sensitive and no comment can be made on them without prior consent from the minister or one of his undersecretaries.”.

 

And since the year 2014 until now, the position of the interior minister was alternately taken by two ministers, firstly by ‘Mohammed Al-Ghayaan, one of the leaders in ‘Badr Organization’, who submitted his resignation in the wake of the bloody explosion which struck Al-Karadda region on 2/7/2016 and resulted in more than (300) victims. He was then succeeded by his party colleague ‘Qassem Al-Ahraggy’, who took the reins of his position on 30/1/2017.

 

An Iraqi judge in the Central Investigation Court confirmed that ” the several apparatuses supervising the detention centers do not most often implement judiciary decisions, whether those related to the obligation of referring the detention papers to the court within 24 hours after arrest, or the release of those under custody soon after obtaining their acquittal.”

 

The judge said to the author of this investigation, ” A few months ago, the Supreme Judicial Council was compelled to take intrepid resolutions to rectify this phenomenon and for the first time ever and unlike the commonly taken procedures, we decided to dispatch judges to the detention centers instead of waiting for the investigation papers to be dispatched from these centers to the courts. We did actually discover several violations concerning the delay in sending the papers of those into security custody to the judiciary.”

 

The judge gives just one example saying, ” After the visits paid by some judges to the detention centers  affiliated to the Anti-Terrorism and Intelligence Public Directorate, west of the capital, and to the premises of the anti-terror intelligence, south of Baghdad in January 2016, we managed to release around (150) detainees accused of terror, whereas papers of (130) others were referred to the courts. That all happened in a couple of weeks and in two locations only.”.

 

“Meanwhile, eight judicial commissions were distributed among the regional police centers in December 2015 and managed to terminate approximately (4000) cases in a single month.”, the judge said and added, ” The judiciary in collaboration with the general prosecution have recently decided delegating members serving with the attorney general  together with other judicial investigators to the police stations and other security formations’ centers to keep the situation under control.”.

 

Detectives  

Mohsen Al-Attar, a trader working in the well-known ‘Al-Shawraga’ Market in the heart of Baghdad and, resides in ‘Al-Zayona’, one the upper-class neighborhoods of the capital, began to receive notices in the course of three months from a police station, not far away from his house, after which he was arrested in March 2015 with a terror charge leveled against him. He was kept into police custody for days during which he was struck by acute diabetes from the shock.

His elder son says, ” Our suffering started soon after his detention. After he got sick and lost consciousness, we were compelled to offer bribes just to allow the diabetes insulin injections and capsules for his hypertension.”.

The family entrusted a lawyer specialized in this kind of cases. He managed to reach the threads of the case. He got to know that an edict issued by a detective is behind the detention of his client. Both family and lawyer made attempts to challenge the case through the legal procedures but all their efforts came to nothing. A few weeks later, the sons had no option but to settle the case through paying an amount of $ 150,000 (equivalent to 1,187,000 Iraqi dinars) to set their father free and close the file of the case.

 

The lawyer informed the family that ‘ some traders in competition with his father in the market are behind what happened. But he failed to find out the identity of the  informant, due to the fact that the law bans the revelation of the detectives’ identities.

 

The random detention of persons who are proved later on to be guiltless is not only achieved through sudden raids carried out by security forces in regions considered according to their classification as hot spots or incubator of terror, but it extends to the information they obtain through what is called a ‘ detective’. This is a security job which is originally pillared on the amended Penal Judgments Code No (23) of 1971.

 

The Council of Ministers, however, made a decision in March 2013 to cancel the effectuation of that law after the protests that had broken out in the governorates inhabited by Sunni majorities.

 

Shawan Sabber, head of ‘The Network of Justice for Prisoners” says, “The job of the detective proved to be a failure in Iraq after it was made clear that most of the information obtained through informants is untrue and encompasses illegal practices of blackmailing or personal vengeance.”.

 

Such a fact is admitted by official authorities as well. Haider Al-Zamly, the Minister of Justice, declared in December 2015 that more than (500) secret agents were arrested and referred to courts after being accused of providing malicious claims against innocent individuals.

 

In the meantime, Iraq’s judiciary made a crystal clear statement in April 2016 in which it was declared that the Central Investigation Court cancelled (1004) bill of indictments originally based on detectives’ false information or similarity of names.

 

And in the course of a statement made by ‘Zana Saeed’, member of the legal committee, he pointed out that the detective’ job is still effectively existent in the criminal and administrative corruption cases, but not in the terror causes. He made clear that “over (400) informants were suspended in 2016 by Iraq’s judiciary for being indicted of providing malicious information about  guiltless persons.”. He also illustrated that the ‘general amnesty law’ opened the door wide open for those who had stood for trial after being maliciously reported by detectives, to go on trial again.

 

  Similarity of Names

The faulty detention operations can also be done through the similarity of names, and it is a common phenomenon in Iraq, simply because the common names are so many and are all derived from religious and tribal heritage. Hundreds of innocents have been wrongly detained for being wanted by law by the security authorities.

 

The fact of the matter is that the security sites at the checkpoints overspreading at the many entryways to Iraq’s governorates and between the districts possess computer devices storing data containing the lists of persons wanted to come to trial, for terror or criminal charges, obtained from the judiciary authority in Iraq.

 

The problem is that such lists register the first name of any wanted person and the name of his father and scarcely his grandfather’s name, in addition to the charge against him and the court concerned with it, without having any other data such as the mother’s name or title or the person’s description or even his personal photo.

 

The commonness of the similarity of names’ phenomenon exposed a guiltless citizen named ‘Mohammed Salah’, a public employee in Baghdad, to detainment. He says to author of this report, ” At the main checkpoint of Al-Najaf city, all male passengers were ordered to get off the bus for the security check-up of our identities. The police commissioner looked at my face with gloomy features, after he entered my name into the computer device. Soon after, he contacted through his wireless set with the intelligence officers staying in a nearby cabin, and I was then informed that I was judicially wanted to stand trial.”.

 

The correspondence between the police station and the court in Baghdad took five weeks during which Mohamed was imprisoned. He says, ” I was forced to pay an amount of $ 9,000 (that is about 10,000,000 Iraqi dinars) just for accelerating the exchanged correspondence which eventually acquitted me by comparing the wanted name’s mother and his fourth grandfather with my same very names, which were definitely different.”

 

On the 6th of August 2017, Haider Al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister agreed on the proposals submitted by both the Interior Ministry and the Supreme Judicial Council, as regards the similarity of names after the escalation of the popular indignation against it.

 

Iraq’s Interior Ministry said in a statement  “The submitted proposals included the abolishment of the arrest warrants which do not include the information stipulated in Article (93) of the Penalty Code No (23) of 1971, the most significant of which is the inclusiveness of (the quadric name, mother’s name, and title) within any arrest or detention notices.”.

 

In this context, Ihssan Mohamed, a legal activist, says that amongst the whirlpool of security crises and political conflicts in the country, and in the midst of the complexities related to corruption and blackmailing under the present security inefficiency and the failure or slowness of judiciary procedures, there are thousands of innocents still locked behind jail bars and or imprisoned behind detention walls, waiting impatiently for the settlement of their cases.

He wonders what can ever compensate the thousands of detainees or their households, who had been proved to be innocent, but after their lives had been devastated.

This investigative report was achieved with the support of the Network of Iraqi Investigative Journalism “NIRIJ’ and supervised by Kammy Al-Melhem.

 

NB

 

  • Names of Al-Alyaa family and the trader Mohsen Al-Attar and the youth Mohamed Al-Gebeely had been changed upon their request for security reasons.

 

  • The electronic websites issued by the Supreme Judicial Council including data about the innocent detainees for each month over the three years (2014, 2015, and 2016).

 

List of Aforementioned websites:

 

2016

November

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3593/

October

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3553/

July

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3411/

June

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3399/

May

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3352/

April

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3323/

March

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3292/

February

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3244/

January

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3202/

 

2015

December

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3164/

November

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3126/

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3091/

October

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3080/

September

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3027/

August

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.3002/

June

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2911/

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2890/

May

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2876/

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2848/

April

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2838/

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2822/

January, February and March

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2805/

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2787/

 

2014

December

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2685/

 

November

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2653/

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2657/

From January to September

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2664/

http://www.iraqja.iq/view.2566/