Friday, January 04, 2008

New Amnisty bill in Iraq proposed while Sunni leader held

Adnan al-Dulaimi case

Iraqi media reported that a number of politicians would ask parliament to strip Adnan al-Dulaimi, the head of a mainly Sunni party, of his parliamentary immunity.

A joint force of the Iraqi police and multinational forces recently found a cache of weapons in al-Dulaimi's house and investigations reportedly revealed the involvement of al-Dulaimi's son in the killings of civilians.

After the incident, Iraqi authorities transferred al-Dulaimi from his residence to the Rashid Hotel inside Baghdad's Green Zone to keep him under monitoring.

Al-Dulaimi's house was similarly raided last year and weapons were found inside it, but the matter was later settled after a meeting between him and US officials.

Qoutes of Adnan al-Dulaimi

* "Our participation in this so-called national unity government is weak and marginalized and our ministers have no authority to serve Iraq or its people."[1]

* "When you are forgotten and suffer psychological pressure you tend to go back to religion and appeal to God to end your ordeal, added to that the desire to take revenge on those who illegally threw you in jail, you tend to be a soft target for extremists."

* "In every meeting I have with US officials I repeat my appeal to them to take into consideration that they cannot keep people in prison indefinitely without charges.

* "It is just not right and gains them nothing but increasing extremists who spend their days in detention looking forward to one thing, which is to be released one day and to take their revenge."

* "They keep reassuring me that they would take action but they never did. They release [a] few dozens and the next day arrest hundreds."

* "There are now around 17,000 Iraqi detainees in Buka camp in the south. Most of them are innocent people. They get arrested and thrown in jail for months and years without charges and without trial, and while in prison they are approached by al-Qaeda people."

Amnesty bill

The Iraqi government took a small step towards national reconciliation by sending a draft amnesty bill to the parliament speaker.

The bill, drafted by the Shia-dominated government, falls far short of Sunni demands, however. It covers less than a quarter of those held in Iraqi prisons, and none of those held by the American military.

Sunni parliamentarians have argued that most prisoners are charged with terrorist crimes, rendering it ineffective.

Some also fear referring the bill to parliament will actually delay prisoner releases.

Ali al-Dabbagh, the government's spokesman, said the draft bill would exclude those imprisoned for a variety of crimes ranging from terrorism, kidnapping and rape to antiquities smuggling, adultery and homosexuality.

It also excludes senior figures of the former Baath government.

If passed in its current form, the bill could see some 5,000 prisoners released, al-Dabbagh said. The Iraqi government has about 20,000 people in custody, while the US military holds about 25,000.

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