NewsSpecial WireInquiry sheds light on Iran’s role in Iraqi prison...

Inquiry sheds light on Iran’s role in Iraqi prison abuse

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Iran Focus: Baghdad, Dec. 07 – An official inquiry into the torture of more than 170 Iraqi prisoners in a secret detention centre in Baghdad found that prison officials had close ties
with neighbouring Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an Iraqi official said on Wednesday. Iran Focus

Baghdad, Dec. 07 – An official inquiry into the torture of more than 170 Iraqi prisoners in a secret detention centre in Baghdad found that prison officials had close ties with neighbouring Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, an Iraqi official said on Wednesday.

The inquiry was conducted by Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch Nouri Shaways, who is one of the leaders of Massoud Barzani’s Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP).

Shaways was asked to investigate the case after the discovery of malnourished detainees, many bearing signs of torture, in an underground bunker at the Iraqi Interior Ministry. The discovery came after a United States Army soldier investigated an Iraqi family’s complaints that one of its sons was being secretly held.

When U.S. troops raided the facility last month, they expected to find a few dozen detainees, not 173 sickly men and boys, all Sunni Arabs.

The investigation found that prison officials operated on the direct orders of Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr, a senior official in the Iran-backed Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

More significantly, the inquiry established that a key figure in the torture operation was an Iranian national with several aliases, including Abu-Karam Alvandi, according to the Iraqi official who read Shaways’ report. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has close ties with the KDP.

Alvandi, according to the official, is a liaison officer between Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the Badr Brigade, SCIRI’s military wing. When Shaways summoned him for questioning, Alvandi did not turn up and has not been seen since, the report said, adding that he had fled Baghdad to an unknown location.

The Iraqi official said Shaways’ report has deepened the rift between Iraq’s main Kurdish and Shiite groups ahead of important parliamentary elections later this month. He said SCIRI leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim accused KDP leader Massoud Barzani in a heated conversation of trying to undermine his group at a critical time.

Al-Hakim has been making frantic efforts to prevent the publication of the Shaways report, the official said, while Barzani continues to insist that the findings must be made public.

The official noted that Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, himself a Shiite, has so far rejected demands for the release of the report on the grounds that it would politically damage the pro-Iran Shiite slate, led by al-Hakim.

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