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Children in Iraq Face Torture and Lack of Legal Protection

Children in Iraq Face Torture and Lack of Legal Protection

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) stated that children in Iraq are subject to constant violations, whether from their home, or security forces, or other groups. The phenomenon of children’s torture has increased recently due to the lack of legal measures to stop violators and protect children’s rights.

 

6 - 5 - 2017

 

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) stated that children in Iraq are subject to constant violations, whether from their home, or security forces, or other groups. The phenomenon of children’s torture has increased recently due to the lack of legal measures to stop violators and protect children’s rights.

IOHR has documented the death of child Hussein Mazen (17 yrs old), on 4 May 2017, after he was arrested by local police in Karbala province, beaten and tortured by a police member. The Karbala Police justified the arrest because the child was ‘loitering’ in the middle of the night.

The child’s uncle, said in an interview with IOHR: “Hussein was arrested with three of his friends by police forces affiliated to the Control Directorate of Al Hindiya area in Tuwairij district, for not carrying their ID cards".

He added: “At the police center in Al Hindiya area, my nephew (Hussein Mazen) was tortured, where a police officer with the rank of lieutenant beat him until he fell unconscious. He was transported to the hospital, but he died before reaching there".

Mazen’s uncle continued, “Once we arrived at the hospital, it was clear he had been beaten on his head, and we saw the results of the autopsy report, even before we learned of what had happened to him".

In a press statement, Al Hindya Hospital Administration said: “The child (Hussein Mazen Nasser) was brought in by the Crimes Office in Karbala Province to Al Hindya Hospital’s Emergency Department on Wednesday night. He was dead on arrival".

Ali Mazen Nasser, the deceased’s brother, said that his brother, born in 2000, and a resident of Al Diwaniyah Province, has been working in Karbala for 15 days. He was invited by his friend to Al Hindiya area, when a police patrol stopped him on the road along with his friends, and asked to see his national identification card. He wasn’t carrying it at the time, and the police officers took him back to the police station in Al Hindya".

He added: “The police committed two legal violations against my deceased brother, one of them was to transfer him to the Crimes Department while he was still a juvenile, and the second offence was when a lieutenant tortured him, and beat him, causing his death".

As a result of this incident, and until the investigations are concluded, the Minister of Interior, Qasem Al-Araji, ordered the detention of the officers who arrested the deceased child.

IOHR stated that the Ministry of Interior must announce the official results of the investigation, and not to delay the punishment and legal consequences for the perpetrators.

In addition, the IOHR documented in April 2017, a number of cases of domestic violence towards children, for unknown reasons, in Basra, Baghdad, Najaf, Kirkuk, and Al Diwaniyah provinces.

Activists in Basra stated: “A 9-month old baby girl was beaten brutally by her father, who was at the time intoxicated, where he had taken crystal meth before proceeding to beat his infant daughter".

They added: “This was not the first time that the infant girl was beaten by her father, but it was her last, as she could not handle the brutal beating and died".

The video showing the father beating his daughter went viral on several social media platforms.

On 17 April 2017, a father of two, along with his brother, hung his children from a ceiling fan and began to beat them. The video depicting the scene went viral on social media websites, showing the father and uncle in Baghdad, as they tortured two children by beating them cruelly and hanging them using a rope tied to the ceiling fan. They justified their actions as a method to prevent the children from acting inappropriately".

In Al Najaf province, images were posted on Facebook showing bruises and marks of violence on two daughters (Zahra and Ghadeer) by the hands of their father.

Eyewitnesses stated to IOHR: “Zahra is 4 years old, and Ghadeer is two years her elder. They live in Al Najar province, where their father would imprison them, and brutally beat them after tying up their mother".

They added: “The latest episode of violence led to a broken right thigh for Zahra, in addition to several, clearly visible bruises and bite marks on both of the girls’ bodies".

In another domestic violence case in Kirkuk, images show 10-year-old Ali beaten cruelly by his father and elder brother, as a punishment for being late in returning home.

In Al Diwaniyah province, IOHR documented an incident against 3-year-old Danya, where she was tortured and burned by her grandmother, who was using Danya for begging".

Fears grow of the increasing phenomenon of abusing and torturing children, particularly in light of the presence of a legal article in the Iraqi Penal Code (no. 111, 1969) which allows for corporal punishment in the home. Article 41 of the Iraqi Penal Code (1969) states: “There is no crime if the act is committed while exercising a legal right. The following are considered to be in exercise of a legal right: (1) The punishment of a wife by her husband, the disciplining by parents and teachers of children under their authority within certain limits prescribed by law or by custom".

Given the above article, the Iraqi Parliament was severely delayed in the process of issuing legislation on domestic violence.

IOHR demands that the Iraqi Council of Representatives, and respective political blocs, expedite the process of agreeing on a suitable legal legislation to end domestic violence and protect the rights of children, in order to end the violations faced by children in Iraq.

IOHR states that executive bodies in the Iraqi Government must perform their duties to the best of their ability to protect children in dangerous situations, and not allow perpetrators of domestic violence to escape punishment.

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