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Iraqi justice troubles Amnesty International

May 23, 2013 at 12:38 PM

LONDON, May 23 (UPI) -- Forced confessions put "possibly hundreds" of people on death row in Iraq, Amnesty International reports.

Amnesty published its 328-page "State of the World 2013" report, highlighting the rights record of 155 countries and territories. In a forwarding statement, the rights group said the world is "an increasingly dangerous place" where governments are more interested in protecting their borders than the rights of their citizens.

On Iraq, the report said torture and other forms of abuse were "common and widespread" in prisons controlled by the Iraqi government. Amnesty said prisoners were often subjected to electric shocks, sexual abuse and partial asphyxiation.

"Torture was used to extract information from detainees and 'confessions' that could be used as evidence against them at trial," the report said.

Amnesty reported that some of prisoners who were forced into making confessions were later sentenced to death.

"As in previous years, many, possibly hundreds, of people were sentenced to death, swelling the number of prisoners on death row," the report said. "Most were convicted on terrorism-related charges."

Iraq is struggling with national security issues more than a decade after the U.S-led invasion. CNN reported at least 12 people were killed Wednesday when gunmen opened fire inside a brothel in Baghdad.

The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq said 595 civilians and 117 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed by acts of terrorism or general violence last month, making April the deadliest month for Iraq since June 2008.

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