Sunday, August 02, 2020

Even when the criminals are caught on tape, no one gets punished in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi has a stability problem.

Catapulted to power this year amid an outcry over the predecessor government’s mass killing of street protestors agitating against corruption, unemployment and poor state services, Kazemi now faces his own crisis as the nation teeters precariously on the edge of financial and economic collapse.  

A former journalist and Saddam Hussein-era exile who returned to Iraq after America’s 2003 invasion and occupation, Kazemi’s political career was fast-tracked when he was appointed to administer the country’s intelligence services in 2016.

Whether Mustafa is qualified or not is apparently something we'll never know.  The press rushes to excuse him at every turn.  Here's an example, read this from THE NATIONAL:

An Iraqi demonstrator burns tyres to block the road during a protest over poor public services in Najaf, Iraq. Reuters

Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi ordered disciplinary action against the chief of a security force whose members were caught taunting a teenager whose chest was covered in bruises in an online video.

The video showed three members of the Interior Ministry’s Law Preservation Forces, which was set up to handle protests, standing around a boy in his underwear on a chair.

They cursed his mother and threatened the teenager with sexual assault as one of them cut the boy's hair with a blade.

Local media said the teenager was one of dozens of civilians detained for joining anti-government protests.

Another video showed the youth receiving treatment at a makeshift clinic typical of those set up by demonstrators who have been on the streets since October, demanding political change.

“One of them grabbed me by the throat and took me,” the youth said.

Where's the outcry?  Where is anyone being held responsible?  The ones carrying out the torture aren't being held responsible.  The 'punishment' for the chief of security at this point is what?  General Saad Khalaf is confined to his home.  

Are the prisons full?

Confined to his home.

Video evidence and that's the punishment?

Mustafa said in April (he was officially made prime minister May 7th) that he wouldn't tolerate abuse of protesters, that those responsible would be punished.  Now video evidence emerges of a government force carrying out attacks on protesters and violating the law and the response is?

Someone's been sent to their room without dessert?