Iraqi Police - Iraqi Police and The Iraqi Government

Iraqi Police and The Iraqi Government

The Iraqi Government has also been accused of using (or tolerating) the police and other groups to carry out sectarian killings and kidnappings of Sunni Iraqis. In December 2005 the Iraqi Interior Ministry found itself the centre of attention when US troops found 625 inmates being held in "very overcrowded" conditions in a Baghdad interior ministry building. Twelve of the prisoners were reportedly showing signs of serious torture and many other signs of malnourishment. It was reported that Police Commando's had been responsible for some of the prisoners.

This story only served to lend weight to the accusations and sow more distrust of the police force. A report into the findings at the building was promised by Iraqi President Ibrahim Jaafari at the end of December 2005 but as of the 4 May 2006 no report has been issued. It's also the case that groups infiltrating the Iraqi police have stolen uniforms and carried out kidnappings and killings whilst dressed as police. When you combine these actions with those of members of the police force carrying out killings outside their own code of conduct it is often very difficult to identify exactly who is responsible.

The US State Department in 2006 released a human rights report that accused Iraq's police force of widespread atrocities.

The Iraqi government dismantled in October 2006 a complete police brigade because they had connections with sectarian death squadrons. Instead of fighting against the death squads, the police helped them. The dismantled brigade has been transferred to a US base where they will be re-educated for their police job. Other police brigades will be subject of internal investigations for any liaison with death squads or other groups.

On November 14, 2006, some workers of the Ministry of Higher Education were kidnapped by gunmen who are suspected to be linked to Shi'ite militias and the Iraqi police. During that morning, kidnappers who wore recently-issued Iraqi police uniforms raided a Ministry of Higher Education building and seized over 100 men during broad daylight. There were reports that the vehicles which carried the hostages passed through Iraqi police checkpoints without being stopped. The Ministry of Interior spokesperson said that there are reports that the remaining hostages were to have been transported to Sadr City, a Shi'ite militia stronghold in eastern Iraq. At least several senior Iraqi police officers were being investigated. This incident calls into question the links between Shi'ite militias and the Iraqi police, where the true power of Iraqi security forces lie, and tensions between the Sunni-controlled Ministry of Higher Education and the Shi'ite-controlled Ministry of Interior.

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