Iraq: Security Forces Abusing Women in Detention
Iraqi authorities are detaining thousands of Iraqi women illegally and subjecting many to torture and ill-treatment, including the threat of sexual abuse. Iraq’s weak judiciary, plagued by corruption, frequently bases convictions on coerced confessions, and trial proceedings fall far short of international standards. Many women were detained for months or even years without charge before seeing a judge.The 105-page report, “‘No One Is Safe’: Abuses of Women in Iraq’s Criminal Justice System,”documents abuses of women in detention based on interviews with women and girls, Sunni and Shia, in prison; their families and lawyers; and medical service providers in the prisons at a time of escalating violence involving security forces and armed groups. Human Rights Watch also reviewed court documents and extensive information received in meetings with Iraqi authorities including Justice, Interior, Defense, and Human Rights ministry officials, and two deputy prime ministers.
Photo: Women incarcerated in the Kadhimiyya women’s prison in 2006. Prior to 2009, Kadhimiyya was the only place in Baghdad where women charged with crimes were incarcerated. Security forces now detain women in prisons and other detention facilities across the country; many remain in detention for months and even years without trial. © 2006 Yuri Kozyrev / Noor /Redux
Iraq: Security Forces Abusing Women in Detention

Iraqi authorities are detaining thousands of Iraqi women illegally and subjecting many to torture and ill-treatment, including the threat of sexual abuse. Iraq’s weak judiciary, plagued by corruption, frequently bases convictions on coerced confessions, and trial proceedings fall far short of international standards. Many women were detained for months or even years without charge before seeing a judge.

The 105-page report, “‘No One Is Safe’: Abuses of Women in Iraq’s Criminal Justice System,”documents abuses of women in detention based on interviews with women and girls, Sunni and Shia, in prison; their families and lawyers; and medical service providers in the prisons at a time of escalating violence involving security forces and armed groups. Human Rights Watch also reviewed court documents and extensive information received in meetings with Iraqi authorities including Justice, Interior, Defense, and Human Rights ministry officials, and two deputy prime ministers.

Photo: Women incarcerated in the Kadhimiyya women’s prison in 2006. Prior to 2009, Kadhimiyya was the only place in Baghdad where women charged with crimes were incarcerated. Security forces now detain women in prisons and other detention facilities across the country; many remain in detention for months and even years without trial. © 2006 Yuri Kozyrev / Noor /Redux