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Iraq abuse 'as bad as Saddam era' says Allawi

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4475030.stm Iraq abuse as bad as Saddam era Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has said that human rights abuses
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2005
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      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4475030.stm

      Iraq abuse 'as bad as Saddam era'

      Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has said that
      human rights abuses in Iraq today are as bad as those
      during the rule of Saddam Hussein.

      In an interview with the UK's Observer newspaper, Mr
      Allawi said that Iraqis were being tortured and killed
      by secret police in secret bunkers.

      He said militias operated with impunity inside the
      interior ministry and had infiltrated the police.

      He urged action to stop "a disease" spreading
      throughout the government.

      The BBC's Chris Xia says Mr Allawi's comments appear
      to be aimed at setting the agenda for the forthcoming
      parliamentary elections.

      'Contagious'

      "People are doing the same as (in) Saddam Hussein's
      time and worse," Mr Allawi told the newspaper.

      "It is an appropriate comparison. People are
      remembering the days of Saddam.

      "These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam
      Hussein, and now we are seeing the same things."

      His remarks came two weeks after US troops discovered
      170 apparently abused captives in a secret prison
      inside an interior ministry building in Baghdad.

      He said that if urgent action was not taken "the
      disease infecting [the interior ministry] will become
      contagious and spread to all ministries and structures
      of Iraq's government".

      He also warned of the danger of Iraq disintegrating in
      chaos.

      "Iraq is the centrepiece of this region," he said. "If
      things go wrong, neither Europe nor the United States
      will be safe."

      Mr Allawi was Iraq's first interim prime minister, but
      he failed to win January's election which brought the
      current Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, to power.

      He has since formed a coalition to contest next
      month's parliamentary elections.
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