Rights abuses remain in Iraq, U.N. says

Dec. 2, 2008 at 4:57 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Human rights abuses persisted in Iraq during the first half of 2008, despite improvements in general security, a U.N. report released Tuesday said.

The report indicated grave abuses, such as targeted killings, assaults on minorities, alleged torture of detainees and attacks against women "remained unaddressed," the United Nations said in a news release issued from New York.

The report by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq called on the Iraqi government to institute a number of steps -- ranging from protection of detainees and minorities to prompt access to legal counsel -- to help end the abuse.

"Grave human rights violations that are less widely reported, and the elimination of which requires long-term political commitment, remain unaddressed," the report said.

In addition to recommendations for the Iraqi government, the report recommended the multinational security forces investigate promptly and impartially credible allegations of unlawful killings by military personnel, and take appropriate action against those found to have exercised indiscriminate or excessive force. It also called on the international forces to consider implementing basic due process guarantees to improve prisoners' access to counsel and grant human rights monitors access to detention facilities.

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