Re: Islam Today
Death squad victims piled by the hundreds
By Andrew Buncombe
Hundreds of Iraqis are being tortured to death or summarily executed every month in Baghdad alone by death squads working from the Ministry of the Interior, says the United Nations' outgoing human rights chief in Iraq.
John Pace, who left Baghdad two weeks ago, said up to three-quarters of the corpses stacked in the city's mortuary show evidence of gunshot wounds to the head or injuries caused by drill-bits or burning cigarettes.
Much of the killing, he said, was carried out by Shiite groups under the ministry's control.
Much of the statistical information provided to Pace and his team comes from the Baghdad Medico-Legal Institute, next to the city's mortuary.
He said that in last July alone the morgue received 1100 bodies, about 900 of which bore evidence of torture or summary execution.
The pattern prevailed throughout the year until December, when the number dropped to 780 bodies, about 400 of which had gunshot or torture wounds.
"It's being done by anyone who wishes to wipe out anybody else for various reasons," said Pace, who worked for the United Nations for more than 40 years in countries such as Liberia and Chile. "But the bulk are attributed to the agents of the Ministry of the Interior."