Global Policy Forum

Al Sadr Movement: 20,000 of Our Supporters in Prisons


By Hussein Ali Da'oud

October 31, 2008

The Al-Sadr movement revealed yesterday that the number of its supporters imprisoned in Iraqi and American detention centers has reached 20,000. The movement stressed that those detainees are being treated differently than the other detainees as they are tortured and only very few of them are included in the releases that take place routinely from Iraqi and American jails. The movement pointed out that the wave of arrests is still continuing against the supporters of the movement. This comes after the Iraqi supreme judicial council announced that 123,000 detainees and suspects have been included under the general pardon bill ratified last February.

The Iraqi army announced that it has released more than 15,900 detainees since early this year. The official spokesman for the Al-Sadr movement, MP Salah Al-Obeidi, announced to Al-Hayat that "the supporters and followers of the Al-Sadr movement are suffering from the dozens of campaigns targeting them that are being carried out by the American and Iraqi forces". He attributed these campaigns to the "persistent attitude of the Al-Sadr movement against the American occupation and our rejection of the security treaty to be signed between the American and Iraqi governments". He considered that "a campaign was launched by the security forces against the Al-Sadr movement and included the arrest of dozens of them for no crime.

Al-Obeidi added: "When they are sent to stand trial, it becomes clear that they were arrested following tips from secret informants. It became clear that the informants are providing the security forces with false information about people being involved in violence and this is what pushed us to call on the judicial council to put an end to these violations."

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