Wednesday, August 03, 2005

U.S. Examining Reports of Abuses in Iraq

U.S. Examining Reports of Abuses in Iraq
By BARRY SCHWEIDThe Associated PressWednesday, June 15, 2005; 2:13 PM
WASHINGTON -- The State Department is investigating "serious and credible" reports that minorities in Kurdish-held areas of northern Iraq have been wrongly arrested and detained, spokesman Sean McCormack said Wednesday.
The U.S. government has conveyed its insistence on the rule of law and its support for minority rights to Iraqi security authorities, McCormack saidThe Washington Post reported Wednesday that police and security forces led by Kurdish political parties, and backed by the U.S. military, abducted hundreds of minority Arabs and Turkmens in Kurdish areas. The newspaper said the abductions began more than a year ago and accelerated after the Jan. 30 election.
McCormack declined to identify the Kurds as being responsible for the abductions, or the Turkmens and Arabs as victims. "I don't want to single out anybody," the spokesman said.