Iraq reviewed under the UPR
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 11:50


On the morning of 16 February 2010, the Working Group on the UPR convened to review the human rights situation in Iraq. Ms Wijan Salim, Minister for Human Rights, headed the large, high-level delegation. Almost all States praised the delegation for steps taken to improve the protection of human rights and to promote a human rights culture in Iraq, particularly in light of the significant security challenges currently faced by the country. The majority of States to make an intervention also expressed concern and offered constructive criticism in the following areas:

  • Encouraging the immediate reintroduction of a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to its complete abolition following the increase in capital sentences since May 2009.
  • Guaranteeing the rights of prisoners, through, inter alia, eliminating the practice of torture in detention facilities, improving prison conditions, implementing measures to ensure the compliance of private security companies with international human rights standards.
  • Ensuring the transparency, independence and inclusiveness of its national elections in 2010.
  • The need to raise awareness on women’s rights, including stepping up measures to address violence against women, undertaking legal reform to combat the practice of honour killings, and strengthening the role of women, including Kurdish women, in public life.
  • Ensuring the protection of the rights of religious minorities, and the need to take steps to eliminate discrimination based on religion or belief.
  • Ensuring the protection of the rights of internally displaced persons.
  • Guaranteeing the rights of sexual minorities, including ending the practice of extra-judicial killings on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • The need to ensure the effective operation of the Higher Commission for Human Rights, as well as adequate funding for this body.
  • Strengthening efforts in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular in combating high infant and maternal mortality rates.
  • Encouraging ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on Enforced Disappearances.

Overall, the Iraqi delegation was forthcoming in its engagement in the review process, and provided detailed and frank responses to most questions asked. Iraq expressed a commitment to the protection of human rights and acknowledged States’ deep concerns on the issue of capital punishment, and sought to highlight the ‘extraordinary circumstances’, particularly in relation to terrorism, which it suggested necessitated the maintenance of the death penalty with respect to certain crimes.

Due to a large number of States wishing to make interventions, the speaking time was reduced to two minutes; while all States ultimately had the opportunity to speak, the Iraqi delegation expressed its regret that there was not more time to respond to questions.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 17:17
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