Infamous Iraqi Prison Still Open: Red Cross

Critics blame Maliki, who controls the elite units running the prison
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2011 5:25 PM CDT

(Newser) – A notorious Baghdad prison run by security forces controlled by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues to operate months after it was supposed to have shut down amid allegations of torture, says the Red Cross, which is demanding access to prisoners. Though the government denies the allegation, the situation at Camp Honor prison highlights a major source of friction in Iraq, notes the Los Angeles Times: Maliki's refusal to give up control of elite security forces. The dispute has a bearing on the US because those security forces will be taking over when American troops pull out.

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Maliki's supporters say he needs control to prevent coups and sectarian violence, but his critics say he's reneging on promises to preserve authority. The New York Times has a related piece on how the Maliki regime, dominated by Shiites, is generally turning a blind eye to Shiite militias across Iraq, even those attacking US troops. But attempts by the US military to take direct action against the militias is opposed by the government as a violation of its sovereignty. (Read more Iraq stories.)

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