Meanwhile in Iraq

Iraqi Gov’t Oversaw Torture Prison

Under the jurisdiction of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s military office, hundreds of Sunni men were detained by the Iraqi army and sent to a secret prison where they were routinely tortured until the country’s Human Rights Ministry gained access to the facility. October sweeps by the Iraqi army were meant to target Sunni groups in the Nineveh province with ties to al Qaeda and other militants, but the provincial governor alleges ordinary citizens were also captured, many times without warrant. Human-rights authorities learned of the facility five months later in March after being contacted by family members in search of missing relatives. The discovery of the prison could worsen tensions in Iraq as it negotiates the formation of a new government around Maliki, a Shiite Muslim. The revelation of the prison and its 431 prisoners who had been subjected to poor conditions also raised concerns that Iraq may be on the path back to its authoritarian past. Maliki, however, has promised to shut the prison down after receiving the report.