Committee against Torture
List of issues in relation to the second periodic report of Iraq *
Follow-up questions from the previous reporting cycle
1.In its previous concluding observations, the Committee requested the State party to provide information on the follow-up to its recommendations on armed conflict and acts of terrorism, conflict-related sexual violence, fundamental legal safeguards and secret detention in cases involving security concerns contained in paragraphs 12 (a), 13, 14 and 16 (a) (CAT/C/IRQ/CO/1 and Corr. 1, para. 32). Noting that a reply concerning the information sought by the Committee was provided on 4 June 2020 (CAT/C/IRQ/FCO/1) and with reference to the letter dated 23 July 2020 from the Rapporteur for follow-up on concluding observations, the Committee considers that the recommendation included in paragraph 12 (a) of the previous concluding observations has not been implemented and that the recommendation included in paragraph 14 has been only partially implemented. The information provided by the State party regarding paragraphs 13 and 16 (a) of the concluding observations is considered insufficient to assess implementation.
Articles 1 and 4
2.With reference to paragraphs 5 and 12–18 of the State party’s second periodic report (CAT/C/IRQ/2), please indicate the status of the anti-torture bill and whether the State party’s criminal laws have been amended to ensure that all acts of torture are punishable by appropriate penalties that take into account the grave nature of such acts, in accordance with article 4 (2) of the Convention. Please clarify whether the legislation on the statute of limitations for the offence of torture has been amended.
3.With regard to paragraphs 13, 26, 30, 38–42 and 203–204 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide information on any new measures taken by the State party to ensure that all detainees, in particular those detained for terrorism-related offences, including minors, enjoy all legal safeguards, in law and in practice, from the outset of their deprivation of liberty. In particular, please provide information on any measure:
(a)To ensure the rights of detainees to be informed of the reasons for their arrest and the nature of the charges against them, to receive legal counsel without delay, to notify a relative or any other person of their choice of their arrest, to receive an examination by an independent physician of their choice and to be brought promptly before a judge;
(b)To keep detention registers up to date;
(c)To ensure the availability of free legal aid in all cases where the interests of justice so require.
4.With reference to paragraphs 45–49, 200, 248 and 253 of the State party’s periodic report, please indicate which measures have been adopted to ensure that the High Commission for Human Rights has the independence, budget, infrastructure and resources it needs to fully execute its mandate in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles). Please clarify whether the High Commission for Human Rights is able to conduct regular and unannounced visits to all places of detention, including detention facilities under the authority of the Counter-Terrorism Service, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence, without any restriction. Please indicate whether the State party has considered ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment with a view to establishing a system of regular unannounced visits by national and international monitors, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Please also clarify whether all human rights non-governmental organizations and institutions who ask to visit the country’s prisons are granted access and under which conditions.
5.With regard to paragraphs 66–126 and 136–175 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide updated information on the legislative or other measures taken during the period under review to combat all forms of violence against women, including rape, domestic violence and crimes committed in the name of “honour”, especially those cases involving actions or omissions by State authorities or other entities which engage the international responsibility of the State party under the Convention. Please also provide updated information on the protection and support services, including access to State-run and private shelters available to victims of gender-based violence related to acts or omissions by State authorities. In that regard, please comment on reports indicating that privately run shelters for victims of gender-based violence continue to be the target of attacks by State and non-State actors. Please include statistical data on the number of complaints of gender-based violence and the investigations, prosecutions, convictions and punishments resulting from those complaints since the consideration of the initial report of Iraq. Please indicate if the State party has taken any concrete steps to repeal mitigating and exculpatory provisions in the Penal Code about rape and “honour” crime. Please comment on reports that women have been held in prisons or detention centres in order to protect them from potential “honour” killings. Regarding paragraph 71 of the periodic report, please provide further information on the measures that the State party has taken to strengthen its efforts to combat harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation and child, temporary and forced marriages.
6.With reference to paragraphs 19–20, 70 and 220–239 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide updated information, disaggregated by the age, sex, ethnicity or nationality of the victims, on the number of complaints, investigations and sentences recorded in cases of trafficking in persons since the consideration of the State party’s initial report. Please provide up-to-date information on:
(a)Any new law or measure that has been adopted to prevent or combat trafficking in persons and to effectively implement the Trafficking in Persons Act No. 28 of 2012;
(b)The measures adopted to ensure that victims of trafficking have access to effective remedies and reparation, as well as to adequate victim and witness protection programmes;
(c)The measures taken to ensure that non-custodial accommodation is provided, with full access to shelters and appropriate medical and psychosocial support, for potential victims of trafficking while identification processes are being carried out, and that victims of trafficking for forced sexual exploitation are not criminalized for prostitution-related offences;
(d)The signature of agreements with the countries concerned to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.
7.With reference to paragraphs 31–35 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide updated information on the measures taken during the period under review to ensure that no person was returned to a country where he or she was at risk of being tortured. Please indicate the status of the bill concerning refugees (Council of Ministers’ Decree No. 304 of 2017), and whether individuals facing expulsion, return or extradition are informed that they have the right to seek asylum and to appeal a deportation decision. If so, please indicate whether such an appeal has suspensive effect. Please provide an update on appeals that have been made and the outcome of those appeals. Please also provide detailed information on the measures adopted to identify vulnerable persons seeking asylum in Iraq, including victims of torture or trauma, and to ensure that their specific needs are taken into consideration and addressed in a timely manner.
8.Please provide updated information on the number of asylum applications received during the period under review, the number of successful applications and the number of asylum seekers whose applications were accepted because they had been tortured or might be tortured if returned to their country of origin. Please include information, disaggregated by country of origin, on the number of persons who have been returned, extradited or expelled since the Committee considered the State party’s periodic report, including a list of countries to which individuals were returned.
9.Please indicate the number of returns, extraditions and expulsions carried out by the State party during the reporting period on the basis of diplomatic assurances or the equivalent thereof. Please also indicate the minimum content of any such assurances or guarantees and what measures have been taken in such causes with regard to subsequent monitoring.
Articles 5 to 9
10.With regard to paragraphs 36–40 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide information on any new legislation or measures that have been adopted to implement article 5 of the Convention. Please inform the Committee of any extradition treaties concluded with other States parties and indicate whether the offences referred to in article 4 of the Convention are included as extraditable offences in such treaties. Please indicate what measures have been adopted by the State party to comply with its obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare). Please clarify what treaties or agreements on mutual legal and judicial assistance the State party has entered into and whether such treaties or agreements have led in practice to the transfer of any evidence in connection with prosecutions concerning torture or ill-treatment. Please provide examples.
11.Regarding paragraphs 63 and 240–249 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide up-to-date information on educational programmes developed by the State party to ensure that all law enforcement officials, prison staff, border guards and members of the military are fully acquainted with the provisions of the Convention and are aware that breaches will not be tolerated and will be investigated, and that any offenders will be prosecuted. Please also provide details on the programmes used in the training of police officers and other law enforcement officials in non-coercive investigating techniques. Please indicate whether the State party has developed any methodology to assess the effectiveness of training and educational programmes in reducing the number of cases of torture and ill-treatment and, if so, please provide information on that methodology. Lastly, please indicate the measures taken to give effect to the provisions of article 10 (2) of the Convention.
12.With reference to paragraph 243 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide detailed information on the training programmes for judges, prosecutors, forensic doctors and medical personnel dealing with detained persons on detecting and documenting the physical and psychological sequelae of torture, including whether the programmes contain specific training on the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Istanbul Protocol).
13.Please describe the procedures in place for ensuring compliance with article 11 of the Convention and provide information on any interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices or arrangements for custody that may have been introduced since the consideration of the initial report. Please indicate the frequency with which they are reviewed. Please also indicate the ministries, national security organs and agencies of the Government with powers of arrest and detention, including the conditions under which they may carry out arrests and detentions. Please comment on reports regarding the existence of unofficial places of detention, including detention facilities run by militia groups.
14.Please provide updated information on the measures taken to address concerns regarding conditions of detention, including poor sanitation, in prisons and other places of detention. With regard to paragraphs 202 and 206 of the State party’s periodic report, please also provide further information on the concrete measures taken to reduce overcrowding in places of detention during the period under review, including the use of alternatives to imprisonment both before and after trial. Please provide statistical data, disaggregated by gender, age and ethnic origin or nationality, on the number of pretrial detainees and convicted prisoners, and the location and occupancy rate of all places of detention.
15.With reference to paragraphs 29, 43, 45 (c), 75, 143 and 183–203 of the periodic report, please provide updated information on the efforts by the State party to ensure adequate health-care services and medical staff capacity in prisons and other detention facilities, and to meet the special needs of women, minors and persons with disabilities. Please clarify the current legislation and policies in relation to juvenile remand and the use of alternative measures to conviction and imprisonment for juveniles. Please further inform the Committee about measures taken to ensure that detained juveniles are separated from adults in all places of detention.
16.Regarding paragraphs 182 and 205 of the State party’s periodic report, please indicate whether the State party has taken measures to bring its legislation and practice on solitary confinement into line with international standards. Please include data on the use of solitary confinement during the period under review and an indication of its duration. Please indicate whether this prison regime is subject to any oversight mechanism or external supervision.
17.Please provide information on whether the authorities monitor inter-prisoner violence; the number of complaints that have been made or registered; and whether investigations are conducted and the outcome of such investigations. Please describe any preventive measures that have been taken in this regard.
18.With regard to paragraphs 21, 46 and 50–51 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide statistical data regarding deaths in custody during the period under consideration, including police custody, disaggregated by place of detention, sex, age, ethnic origin or nationality, and cause of death. Please provide information on the manner in which those deaths were investigated, the results of the investigations and the measures taken to prevent similar cases from occurring in the future. Please indicate whether relatives of the deceased persons received compensation in any of the cases.
19.Please provide information on the number of persons deprived of their liberty in psychiatric hospitals and other institutions for persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. Please indicate what the situation is with respect to alternative forms of treatment, such as community-based rehabilitation services and other outpatient programmes.
Articles 12 and 13
20.With reference to paragraphs 65 and 181–182 of the State party’s periodic report, please indicate what concrete measures the State party has put in place to ensure that all instances of torture, ill-treatment and excessive use of force are promptly, effectively and impartially investigated. Please provide statistical data, disaggregated by sex, age, ethnic origin or nationality and place of arrest or detention, on complaints filed during the period under review concerning acts of torture or ill-treatment and excessive use of force resulting in the death of demonstrators, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances, particularly any complaints submitted in relation to large-scale demonstrations or protests held since October 2019. According to the information before the Committee, security forces threatened and fired at medical staff treating protesters. Please comment on allegations of torture during interrogations in prisons in Mosul under the control of the Ministry of the Interior, in some cases leading to the deaths of detainees. Please also provide updated information on the measures taken to ensure that officials suspected of having committed acts of torture or ill-treatment are immediately suspended from duty for the duration of the investigation. Please include examples of relevant cases and/or judicial decisions.
21.Please provide updated information on the investigation and prosecution of serious human rights violations and abuses, including torture and ill-treatment, enforced disappearances and conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, by Iraqi Security Forces and affiliated forces during the fighting with the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other armed groups. Regarding paragraphs 52 to 126 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide up-to-date information on the concrete measures taken to document and investigate the severe human rights violations and abuses committed by ISIL and associated groups, including acts of sexual and gender-based violence, in order to identify, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of those crimes and provide effective redress to victims. With regard to paragraphs 11 and 254 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide information on the implementation of Act No. 58 of 2017 concerning the protection of witnesses, experts, informants and victims.
22.With reference to paragraphs 179–180 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide detailed information on redress and compensation measures, including means of rehabilitation, ordered by the courts and actually provided to victims of torture or their families during the period under review. Please include the number of requests for compensation that have been made, the number granted and the amounts ordered and actually provided in each case. Please also provide information on any ongoing reparation programmes, including treatment of trauma and other forms of rehabilitation provided to victims of torture and ill-treatment, and the material, human and budgetary resources allocated for their effective functioning.
23.With regard to paragraphs 12, 18, 23–24, 26–27, 128–135 and 213 of the State party’s periodic report, please provide information on the measures taken to ensure respect in practice for the principle of inadmissibility of evidence obtained through torture and ill-treatment. Please also indicate whether judges have refused to admit evidence in any cases during the reporting period on the grounds that it was obtained through torture or ill-treatment.
24.Please provide information on the measures taken to protect human rights activists, journalists and other media workers and to punish perpetrators of attacks, intimidation and other criminal acts against them.
25.Regarding paragraphs 176 and 178 of the periodic report, please provide information on the steps taken to investigate and criminally prosecute acts of violence and killings of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.
26.With regard to paragraphs 258–274 of the periodic report, please indicate whether the State party has reconsidered its position regarding the possibility of abolishing the death penalty and, in the meantime, establishing a moratorium on executions.
27.With reference to paragraphs 204 and 259 of the periodic report, please provide updated information on the measures taken by the State party to respond to threats of terrorism. Please describe whether those measures have affected human rights safeguards in law and in practice and, if so, how they have affected them. Please also describe how the State party has ensured that those measures are compatible with its obligations under international law, especially the Convention. Furthermore, please indicate what training is given to law enforcement officers in this area; the number of persons who have been convicted under legislation adopted to combat terrorism; the legal remedies and safeguards available in law and in practice to persons subjected to anti-terrorism measures; and whether there have been complaints of the non-observance of international standards in applying measures to combat terrorism and, if so, what the outcome was.
28.Given that the prohibition of torture is absolute and cannot be derogated from, including in the framework of measures related to states of emergency and other exceptional circumstances, please provide information on any steps taken by the State party during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to ensure that its policies and actions comply with its obligations under the Convention. In addition, please specify the measures taken in relation to persons deprived of their liberty and in other situations of confinement, such as in homes for the elderly, hospitals or institutions for persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities.
29.Please indicate whether the State party has considered the possibility of acceding to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and becoming a party to the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts.
30.Please indicate whether the State party has considered the possibility of making the declarations under articles 21 and 22 of the Convention.