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Political power in Iraq is concentrated in a repressive 
one-party apparatus dominated by Saddam Hussein.  The 
provisional Constitution of 1968 stipulates that the Arab 
Ba'ath Socialist Party governs Iraq through the Revolutionary 
Command Council (RCC), which exercises both executive and 
legislative authority.  President Saddam Hussein, who is also 
Prime Minister, Chairman of the RCC, and Secretary General of 
the Regional Command of the ABSP, wields decisive power.

Ethnically and linguistically, the Iraqi population includes 
Arabs, Kurds, Turcomans, Yazidis, and Armenians.  The religious 
mix is likewise varied:  Shi'a and Sunni Muslims (both Arab and 
Kurdish), Christians (including Chaldeans and Assyrians), and 
Jews.  Ethnic divisions have resulted in civil uprisings in 
recent years, especially in the north and the south.  The 
Government has reacted against these peoples with extreme 

The Government's security apparatus includes militias attached 
to the President, the Ba'ath Party, and the Interior Ministry.  
Security forces have been responsible for widespread and 
systematic human rights abuses.  They play a central role in 
maintaining the environment of intimidation and fear on which 
government power rests.

The Government controls Iraq's oil-based economy and owns all 
major industries.  Damaged by the Gulf War and subjected to 
United Nations sanctions as a result of Iraq's 1990 invasion of 
Kuwait, the economy continues to deteriorate.  The sanctions 
ban all exports and imports except food, medicine, and 
materials and supplies for essential civilian needs.  The 
Government's failure to comply with U.N. Security Council 
resolutions has led to repeated extensions of the sanctions.

The Government's abysmal record on human rights did not improve 
in 1994, and worsened in several areas.  Systematic violations 
continued in all categories, including mass executions of 
political opponents, widespread use of torture, extreme 
repression of ethnic groups, disappearances, denial of due 
process, and arbitrary detention.  Tens of thousands of 
political killings and disappearances remain unresolved from 
previous years.  Human rights abuses are difficult to document 
because of the Government's efforts to conceal the facts.

*The United States does not have an embassy in Iraq.  This 
report draws to a large extent on non-U.S. Government sources.
Citizens do not have the right to change their government, and 
the freedoms of expression and association do not exist, except 
in Kurdish-controlled areas in the north under the protection 
of international forces.

The regime deliberately targeted civilians in military 
operations against Shi'a Arabs living in the southern marshes.  
In the north, the regime maintained an internal embargo on the 
importation of food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods to 
Kurdish areas.  It imposed additional electricity cut-offs in 
Dohuk governorate, exacerbating the electrical crisis it had 
initiated there in late 1993.  Elsewhere, the regime diverted 
humanitarian supplies to its own supporters and to the 
military.  As socioeconomic conditions deteriorated in 1994, 
the regime introduced new forms of torture for persons accused 
of economic crimes and military desertion.

In violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the 
Government persisted in its flagrant interference with the 
international community's provision of humanitarian 
assistance.  It harassed and intimidated relief workers and 
targeted them for assassination.  A German journalist covering 
the relief effort and her Kurdish bodyguard were shot to death, 
execution-style.  Several other international personnel, 
including United Nations guards and journalists, were 
critically injured in bomb and shooting attacks.  New 
information came to light indicating that the Government 
offered rewards for killing international relief personnel.


Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

The regime has a long record of executing perceived opponents.  
In his October report to the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. 
Special Rapporteur (hereafter referred to as the Special 
Rapporteur) stated that the Government's "aim of killing is a 
political one, with the objective of silencing dissent and 
suppressing opposition."

As in previous years, there were numerous credible reports that 
the regime had executed a number of persons allegedly involved 
in plotting against Saddam Hussein, including some members of 
his family and tribe.  High-ranking civilian, military, and 
tribal leaders were reported among those executed.

On April 12, an opposition figure, Talib Suhayl Al-Tamimi, was 
assassinated in Beirut, Lebanon.  Lebanese security officials 
arrested two Iraqi diplomats assigned to Beirut and charged 
them with the murder.  The suspects admitted their guilt but at 
year's end there was no movement toward a trial.

The Government continued to provide safe haven and logistical 
and military support to several terrorist groups and 
individuals.  These include the Mojahedin-e Khalq, which is 
opposed to the Government of Iran; elements of the Abu Nidal 
Organization, based in Lebanon; Abu Abbas' Palestine Liberation 
Front (PLF); and the notorious bomb-maker Abu Ibrahim.  Both 
Abbas and Ibrahim enjoyed sanctuary in Iraq.

In July the prominent oppositionist, Taki Al-Khoei, and two 
other members of his family and their driver were killed under 
suspicious circumstances in an automobile crash in southern 
Iraq, near Al Najaf.  Strong circumstantial evidence pointed to 
the Government's involvement.  The Government had long targeted 
the Al-Khoei family for harassment and abuse.  The family is 
renowned in Shi'a circles for its religious leadership and 
outspoken condemnation of the regime's human rights record (see 
Section 1.b.).

The Special Rapporteur noted in his February report several 
cases of political killing dating from 1993.  These included 
mass executions of Shi'a Arabs at the Al-Radwaniyah and Abu 
Ghraib prisons in central Iraq.  According to the Special 
Rapporteur, some of those killed had been involved in the 
uprising against the Government in the spring of 1991.

In November 1993, the Special Rapporteur reported that the 
Government had executed several Turcomans whose bodies were 
mutilated before being returned to their families.

As in past years, the Special Rapporteur noted the frequent use 
of the death penalty for such political offenses as "insulting" 
the President or the Ba'ath Party.  His February report 
summarized several RCC decrees that stipulate the death penalty 
for political and civil offenses (see Section 1.e.).

As in previous years, authorities arrested and placed in 
detention centers in central Iraq numerous Shi'a inhabitants of 
the south.  Shi'a witnesses who survived detention later 
reported that some of their comrades had been executed (see 
Section 1.g.).  As the Government strictly controls the 
movement of international personnel in the southern marshes, 
information is not available to confirm the number of persons 

Political killings and terrorist actions were frequent in the 
north and directed against civilians, foreign relief workers, 
journalists, and opposition leaders.  German journalist Lissy 
Schmidt and her Kurdish bodgyguard, Aziz Kader Faraj, were shot 
to death on April 3 in an ambush near Suleymaniya.  Kurdish 
authorities arrested several suspects who reportedly confessed 
that the Government had paid them to commit the murders.

The U.S. Government announced in April it had information 
indicating that the Government of Iraq had offered monetary 
"bounties" to anyone who assassinates United Nations and other 
international relief workers.

Amnesty International (AI) reported that three Kurdish 
political parties in northern Iraq--the Patriotic Union of 
Kurdistan, the Kurdish Democratic Party, and the Islamic Party 
in Iraqi Kurdistan--had committed scores of deliberate and 
arbitrary killings against each other in 1993.  Press reports 
indicated that the Kurdish parties continued to commit 
arbitrary killings against each other in 1994.

In 1994 additional information came to light concerning the 
so-called Anfal Campaign ("Spoils") of 1988, in which tens of 
thousands of Kurds reportedly lost their lives.  The campaign 
is the most prominent example of political killing.  During the 
campaign, government forces arrested thousands of Kurds who 
have never been seen again.  They are presumed to have been 
died in custody (see Sections 1.b. and 1.g.).

In his February report, the Special Rapporteur concluded that 
the Government's policies against the Kurds--in particular, 
against the Barzani tribe--"raise issues of crimes against 
humanity and violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention."  He 
noted "significant similarities" between the Government's past 
policies toward the Kurds and its current policies toward Shi'a 
civilians living in the southern marshes.  The Special 
Rapporteur recommended that "further consideration be given to 
establish the facts and responsibilities associated with 
atrocities committed against the Kurdish population."

     b.  Disappearance

In February the Special Rapporteur reported that he continued 
to receive "reports on the widespread phenomenon of 
disappearance."  He stated that the U.N. Working Group on 
Enforcement on Involuntary Disappearances had conveyed to the 
Government 10,570 names of disappeared persons and planned to 
convey another 5,000.

The United Nations has documented 16,000 cases of disappeared 
persons.  According to the Special Rapporteur, most of the 
disappearances occurred during the Anfal Campaign.  However, he 
estimates that the total figure for disappeared Kurds during 
Anfal could number in the tens of thousands.  Middle East Watch 
estimates the total at between 70,000 and 100,000, and AI at 
more than 100,000.  The Special Rapporteur noted that persons 
continue to disappear, mainly in the southern marshes, where 
the Government is conducting counterinsurgency operations.

New information came to light regarding the Barzani arrests of 
1983, in which security forces detained thousands of relatives 
and tribesmen of the late Kurdish nationalist hero Mustapha 
Barzani.  None of these detainees were ever seen again.  The 
Special Rapporteur observed in February that the regime's 
treatment of the Barzani tribe may constitute violations of the 
Genocide Convention.

The Special Rapporteur and various human rights groups 
continued to make inquiries with the Government regarding its 
arrest in 1991 of the late Grand Ayatollah Abdul Qasim Al-Khoei 
and 108 of his associates.  The Ayatollah died while under 
house arrest in Al-Najaf, and only two of the persons arrested 
with him can be accounted for.  The regime has not responded to 
queries regarding the others arrested with Al-Khoei.

The Government failed to return, or account for, a large number 
of Kuwaiti citizens and third-country nationals detained during 
the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.  It denies having any knowledge 
of the missing persons.  U.N. Security Council Resolution 
(UNSCR) 687 requires the Government to "facilitate" the search 
for and the repatriation of those still missing.  In his 
October report, the Special Rapporteur noted that the 
Government's failure to account for the missing persons 
violates provisions of the various Geneva Conventions, to which 
Iraq is a party.

Middle East Watch estimated that, apart from the tens of 
thousands of persons who have disappeared and are presumed 
dead, another 10,000 to 12,000 persons were being held without 
charge in prisons and detention centers.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

Although the Government is a party to international conventions 
against torture, and the Constitution prohibits the practice, 
the security services routinely torture detainees.  The Special 
Rapporteur continues to note the Government's "systematic" use 
of physical and psychological torture.  According to former 
detainees, torture techniques include electric shocks 
administered to the genitals and other sensitive areas, 
beatings, burnings with hot irons, suspension from ceiling 
fans, dripping acid on the skin, rape, breaking of limbs, 
denial of food and water, and threats to rape or otherwise harm 
relatives.  The tormentors kill many torture victims and 
mutilate their bodies before delivering them to the victims' 

The authorities introduced new forms of torture in September, 
including the amputation of ears and the branding of foreheads 
for certain economic crimes and for desertion from the 
military.  Large numbers of persons reportedly bled to death 
from such punishments.  Opposition media reported that the 
regime's use of ear amputations sparked a large antiregime 
demonstration in Mosul on September 8.  Opposition media also 
reported that the authorities executed several doctors who had 
refused to carry out the amputations.

The regime also introduced the traditional Islamic law 
punishment for thievery--amputation of the right hand.  It 
subsequently stipulated branding of the forehead as the 
punishment for thieves whose hands already had been amputated 
and the death penalty for certain categories of thievery.  An 
official newspaper reported on September 9 that the authorities 
amputated the right hand and branded the forehead of a person 
convicted of stealing a television set.

In his October report, the Special Rapporteur condemned the 
amputations and brandings.  He stated that the practices 
constitute "flagrant and determined violations of Iraq's 
international human rights obligations insofar as they 
prescribe cruel and unusual punishments and insofar as 
implementation of the decrees compounds these violations by the 
conduct of torture."  The relevant obligation in this regard is 
Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political 
Rights, to which Iraq is a party.  The U.N. General Assembly 
likewise condemned what it termed "mutilations" in a December 

Certain prisons are notorious for routine mistreatment of 
prisoners.  Al-Rashidiya Prison, on the Tigris River north of 
Taji, reportedly contains torture chambers in its basement.  
The Al-Shamma'iya Prison, located in east Baghdad, holds the 
mentally ill and is reportedly the site of both torture and 

The Al-Radwaniyah Prison (see Section 1.a.) is a former 
prisoner-of-war facility near Baghdad and reportedly the site 
of torture and arbitrary killings, including mass execution by 
firing squad.  This prison was the principal detention center 
for persons arrested following the civil uprisings of 1991.  
Many persons taken into custody in connection with the 
uprisings have not been seen since.  Middle East Watch 
estimated in 1994 that the Al-Radwaniyah Prison holds between 
5,000 and 10,000 detainees.

The Special Rapporteur, Middle East Watch, and AI cited the 
Al-Radwaniyah Prison and the Abu Ghraib Prison, located in 
Baghdad, as principal sites where torture and disappearances 
continue to occur.  According to opposition reports, in late 
1994 authorities at the Abu Ghraib Prison amputated the hands 
of persons convicted of theft.

The security forces allegedly raped captured civilians during 
the Anfal Campaign and the occupation of Kuwait and the Gulf 
War.  The Special Rapporteur noted in his February report that 
he had interviewed numerous women who continue to suffer severe 
depression after they were raped in official custody.  The 
Government has never acknowledged or taken any action to 
investigate reports of rape by its officials.

Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq also employed torture.  AI 
reported in 1994 that these authorities and Kurdish opposition 
groups used torture on political opponents and criminal 
suspects in 1993.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

Although the Constitution and Legal Code explicitly prohibit 
arbitrary arrest and detention, the authorities routinely 
engage in these practices.  In his February report, the Special 
Rapporteur described "widespread arbitary arrest and detention, 
in violation of Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights," primarily in the southern part of the country.  He 
stated that the military and security services, rather than the 
ordinary police, carried out most cases of arbitrary arrest and 

Opposition sources reported in July that the regime had 
detained 320 people during military operations in the Al-Amarah 
marshes in June (see Section 1.g.)  The opposition conveyed the 
names of the reported detainees to the Special Rapporteur.

The Special Rapporteur reported that the regime continued to 
target the Shi'a Muslim clergy for arbitrary arrest and other 
abuses.  In March international news media reported that the 
regime had forcibly expelled from Iraq the families of the more 
than 100 Shi'a clerics who had disappeared in 1991 after their 
arrests with the late Grand Ayatollah aI-Khoei (see Section 
1.b.).  Many of these clerics and their families are of foreign 
nationality, primarily Iranian and Pakistani.

According to AI and Middle East Watch, several foreigners 
arrested arbitrarily in previous years remained in detention.

The Government's refusal to allow tens of thousands of Kurds 
and Turcomans to return to their homes in Kirkuk and Mosul 
amounts to a policy of internal exile (see Section 2.d.).

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

There are two parallel judicial systems:  the regular courts, 
which try common criminal offenses; and special security 
courts, which try cases involving national security.  However, 
the security courts try many criminal cases.  The President may 
override any court decision.  There are no checks on his 
power.  The Special Rapporteur noted in his February report 
that the executive interferes regularly in "all aspects of 
normal judicial competence in matters ranging from property and 
commercial law, to family law and criminal law."

The procedural rules applicable in the regular courts 
theoretically provide many basic protections.  However, the 
regime often assigns to the security courts cases which, on 
their merits, would appear to fall under the jurisdiction of 
the regular courts.  Trials in the regular courts are public, 
and defendants are entitled to counsel--at government expense 
in the case of indigents.  Defense lawyers have the right to 
review the charges and evidence brought against their clients.  
There is no jury system:  panels of three judges try cases.  
Defendants have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeal and 
then to the Court of Cassation, the highest Court.

The Special Rapporteur reported that the regular courts often 
assign penalties that are "disproportionate" to the offense 
(see Section 1.c.).  Decree 13 of 1992 imposes the death 
penalty for automobile theft.  In 1994 the Government announced 
the death penalty would be invoked for automobile smuggling, 
various categories of thievery, and solicitation for the 
purposes of prostitution.  As of late 1994, the penalty for 
possession of stolen goods was life in prison.

Similarly, the Government shields certain groups from 
prosecution for alleged crimes.  A 1992 decree grants immunity 
from prosecution to members of the Ba'ath Party and the 
security forces who may cause death while in the pursuit of 
army deserters.  A 1990 decree grants immunity to men who kill 
their mothers, daughters, and other female family members who 
have committed "immoral deeds."

There are no Shari'a, or Islamic law, courts as such.  Regular 
courts are empowered to administer Islamic law in cases 
involving personal status, such as divorce and inheritance.  In 
1994 the regime introduced Shari'a punishments for some types 
of criminal offenses and for military desertion (see Section 

Special security courts have jurisdiction in all cases 
involving espionage and treason, peaceful political dissent, 
smuggling, currency exchange violations, and drug trafficking.  
According to the Special Rapporteur, military officers or civil 
servants with no legal training head these tribunals, which 
hear cases in secret.  Authorities often hold the defendants in 
incommunicado detention and do not permit them to have contact 
with their lawyers.  The courts admit confessions extracted by 
torture which often serve as the basis for conviction.  
Although defendants may appeal their sentences to Saddam 
Hussein, many cases appear to end in summary execution shortly 
after trial.

Because the Government rarely acknowledges arrests or 
imprisonments, it is difficult to estimate the number of 
political prisoners.  Many of the tens of thousands of persons 
who have disappeared or been killed in recent years were 
originally held as political prisoners.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 

The Government frequently disregards the constitutional right 
to privacy, particularly in cases in which national security is 
alleged to be involved.  The law defines security offenses so 
broadly that authorities are virtually exempt from the legal 
requirement to obtain search warrants.  In 1994 the authorities 
subjected the Shi'a religious clergy, Shi'a Muslim inhabitants 
of the southern marshes, and various ethnic minorities to 
searches without warrants (see Section 1.g.).  The regime 
routinely ignores the constitutional provisions safeguarding 
the confidentiality of mail and telegraphic correspondence and 
telephone conversations.

The security services and the Ba'ath Party maintain pervasive 
networks of informers to deter dissident activity and instill 
fear in the public.  As the Special Rapporteur noted in his 
February report, "the fear of informers and subsequent severe 
reprisals have prevented virtually the entire population from 
expressing genuinely held opinions which are not consistent 
with those of the Government."

     g.  Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian 
         Law in Internal Conflicts

In 1994 as in previous years, the armed forces conducted 
deliberate artillery attacks against civilians in the southern 
marshes.  The marshes historically have been inhabited mostly 
by Shi'a Muslims, but in recent years they have also become a 
refuge for army deserters and displaced civilians.  As a 
result, the marshes are the site of guerrilla resistance.  The 
Gulf War allies imposed a "no-fly zone" over southern Iraq in 
1992.  It continues to deter aerial attacks on the marsh 
dwellers, but does not prevent artillery attacks or the 
military's large-scale burning operations.

Ongoing military operations have destroyed the traditional way 
of life of the marsh Arab Shi'a.  Credible reports describe a 
continuing process of large-scale environmental destruction in 
the marshes caused by the Government's burning, draining, and 
water-diversion projects.  The army has constructed canals, 
causeways, and earthen berms to divert water from the 
wetlands.  Hundreds of square kilometers of marsh areas have 
been burned, imperiling the marshes' ecosystem.

The Government claims the drainage is part of a land 
reclamation plan to increase the acreage of arable land, spur 
agricultural production, and reduce salt pollution in the 
Tigris and Euphrates.  However, the evidence of large-scale 
humanitarian and ecological destruction appears to belie this 
claim.  Aerial and satellite photography made public by the 
U.S. Government in 1994 depicted the almost total destruction 
of the marshes.  Moreover, the regime's diversion of supplies 
in the south limited the population's access to food, medicine, 
drinking water, and transportation.

As the marshes dried, military units launched land-based 
attacks on villages.  On March 4, the military began the 
largest search-and-destroy operation in the marshes in 2 
years.  The offensive included the razing of villages and 
burning operations concentrated in the triangle bounded by 
Nasiriyah, Al-Qurnah, and Basrah.  The magnitude of the 
operation caused the inhabitants to flee in several 
directions:  deeper into the marshes, to the outskirts of 
southern Iraqi cities, and to Iran.

According to opposition sources, military forces in late June 
attacked several marsh villages in Nassiriya province.  Sources 
said that army engineers burned the village of Al-Abra, 
containing about 80 homes, to the ground.  After the operation, 
the army transported the village's inhabitants from the scene.

According to opposition sources, security forces in early July 
stormed the villages of Al-Sajiya and Al-Majawid in Al-Chibaish 
district, near the main road leading into the marshes.  
Simultaneously, armor units supported by heavy artillery 
attacked the village of Al-Kheyout in the district of Al-Madina.

Also in July, the military conducted large-scale artillery 
bombardment in the Jindala area of the Al-Amarah marshes.  
Opposition sources said the bombardment destroyed several homes 
and injured several individuals.  Security forces reportedly 
detained 15 youths and transported them from the area.  
Simultaneously, the military caused destruction and arrested 
inhabitants in Al-Hashriya, Al-Wasdiya, and Al-Malha.

In September opposition sources reported that military forces 
used incendiary bombs and launched an armored attack against 
the area of Al-Seigel in the Al-Amarah marshes.  The army later 
set fire to the entire area.

In 1994 military operations caused an undetermined number of 
civilian casualties in the marshes.  More than 10,000 refugees 
from the marshes fled to Iran, where they joined between 50,000 
and 60,000 who had fled in previous years.

In January the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution 
characterizing the marsh Arabs as a persecuted minority "whose 
very survival is threatened by the Iraqi Government."  The EP 
resolution described the Government's treatment of the marsh 
inhabitants as "genocide."

According to Middle East Watch and U.S. Government researchers, 
government files captured by Kurdish rebels in 1991 contain a 
military plan for the destruction of the marshes and the people 
living there.  The plan appears to have been approved at the 
highest levels of the Government.  It is being implemented by 
Minister of Defense Ali Hassan Al-Majid, the military leader 
who supervised the Anfal Campaign.

The Special Rapporteur continues to note the similarity between 
the Government's "genocide-type operations" against the Kurds 
and its operations in southern Iraq.  He stated in his February 
report that the extent of violations against the marsh 
inhabitants "places the survival of this indigenous population 
in jeopardy."

In August the Special Rapporteur dispatched two of his 
assistants to the Iran-Iraq border to interview refugees 
fleeing the marshes.  He reported in October that the refugees 
are generally in poor physical and psychological condition, 
having suffered extreme deprivation of food and medicine.  He 
reiterated his "concern over the survival" of the marsh 
inhabitants "as a community."

Regarding the Kurds, the Special Rapporteur reported in 
February that he also holds the Government responsible for 
"serious breaches" of the 1925 Geneva Protocol on the 
Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or 
other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare.  He 
observed that these breaches may demonstrate the Government 
liable under the 1948 Genocide Convention.  According to the 
Special Rapporteur, the activities of the Government during the 
Anfal Campaign "left virtually no Iraqi Kurd untouched."  He 
concluded that "serious violations of human rights committed 
against the civilian population of Iraq both in times of war 
and peace involve crimes against humanity committed under and 
pursuant to the commands of Saddam Hussein and Ali Hassan 

The Special Rapporteur reported that he continued to receive 
accounts of mass graves in southern Iraq.  Observers believe 
these graves contain the remains of persons killed following 
the civil uprising of March 1991.  As the Government does not 
permit international visitors into these areas, forensics 
experts have not yet investigated the grave sites.

However, forensics experts continued to develop information 
obtained from mass grave sites in northern Iraq.  These graves 
contain the remains of hundreds of persons presumed killed in 
the Anfal Campaign.  According to opposition sources, a new 
mass grave, containing up to 250 bodies, was found in April 
near the Al-Sharqat district of Mosul.  Sources said that the 
graves were discovered when heavy rains washed away the 
covering soil.

Based on forensic evidence and government documents seized by 
the Kurds in 1991, Middle East Watch and Physicians for Human 
Rights estimate that between 70,000 and 100,000 Kurds were 
killed, and up to 4,000 villages destroyed, during the Anfal 
Campaign.  The evidence suggests that government efforts to 
eliminate Kurdish communities were widespread, systematically 
planned, and ruthlessly implemented.

The most flagrant example of current discrimination against the 
Kurds is the Government's ongoing internal embargo on the 
north, which includes necessities such as food, medicine, and 
other humanitarian supplies.  Since August 1993, the embargo 
also has included massive electric power cut-offs in specific 
areas, causing the spoilage of medicines, breakdowns in local 
water-purification systems, and the loss of certain hospital 
services.  A disaster was averted only by the prompt action of 
the United Nations and donor governments, who imported and 
installed temporary generators to alleviate the crisis.  
Additional electricity cut-offs were imposed in August 1994.  
The embargo of the north has impacted not only Kurds but 
various other minorities such as Turcomans, who also live in 
the area.

Operation Provide Comfort--the joint U.S., British, French, and 
Turkish command--continued in 1994 to inhibit government aerial 
attacks in the northern "no fly zone."  However, the military 
forces continued intermittent, sometimes heavy shelling of 
northern villages by long-range artillery.  On October 26, 
opposition media reported that shelling of villages in the 
Shawan region had resulted in several civilian casualties, one 

Attacks on humanitarian relief efforts in northern Iraq 
continued throughout 1994.  Two persons were killed in an 
execution-style shooting (see Section 1.a.).  Several other 
international workers involved in the relief effort, including 
six United Nations guards, were injured in bombing and shooting 
attacks in March and April.  On March 27, Iraqi security forces 
permitted a crowd in Mosul to attack and damage a U.N. 
helicopter attempting to airlift wounded guards to safety.  Two 
Swedish journalists were injured in Aqrah on March 14 when a 
bomb exploded under their automobile.

Some terrorist incidents pointed to government involvement, but 
there was insufficient information to determine the 
responsibility for other attacks.

Innocent civilians were the victims of fighting between the 
guerilla forces of the two main Kurdish political parties--the 
Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of 
Kurdistan (PUK).  Heavy fighting between the two parties broke 
out in May, in August, and again in December, producing several 
hundred civilian casualties.

In 1994 civilians near the Turkish border were caught in raids 
by Turkish military forces on suspected hideouts of the 
extremist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).  On August 8, Turkish 
planes bombed a camp near Zakho containing 10,000 Kurdish 
refugees from Turkey.  Although the refugees suffered no 
casualties, 10 Iraqi guards were reported killed and 7 
wounded.  The Turkish Government claimed that PKK terrorists 
were hiding in the camps.

On August 23, Turkish planes attacking a PKK camp in Zele 
bombed the nearby village of Bidewan village, wounding 7 Iraqi 
Kurdish civilians.  On September 8, Turkish planes again bombed 
the large concentration of Turkish refugees near Zakho.  No 
injuries were reported, but several tents were destroyed.

Kurdish villages along the Iranian border were subjected to 
shelling by the Iranian military, as well as to sporadic 
Iranian military incursions into Iraqi territory.  Opposition 
media reported that Iranian artillery shelled civilian areas in 
As-Suleymaniyah province the night of April 17-18.  Iranian 
forces were also reportedly involved in fighting between the 
two main Iraqi Kurdish parties in August and December.

The Iranian military conducted attacks on Iranian opposition 
camps based in Iraq.  On November 6, it launched a SCUD missile 
attack on a Mojahedin E-Khalq base located some 30 miles north 
of Baghdad.  On November 9, Iranian jets bombed an Iranian 
Kurdish Democratic Party base in the town of Koi-Sanjaq in 
northern Iraq.

Land mines in northern Iraq continued to kill or maim 
civilians.  Many of the mines were laid during the Iraq-Iraq 
War, but the army has failed to clear them.  The mines appear 
to have been haphazardly planted in civilian areas.  The 
Special Rapporteur has repeatedly reminded the Government of 
its obligations under the Land Mines Protocol, to which Iraq is 
a party, to protect civilians from the effects of mines.

Based on interviews with victims and eyewitnesses, the U.S. 
Government has concluded that the Iraqi regime engaged in war 
crimes--willful killing, torture, rape, pillage, 
hostage-taking, unlawful deportation, and related 
acts--directly related to the Gulf War.  The U.S. Government 
urged the U.N. Security Council to create an international 
commission to study evidence of a broader range of war crimes, 
as well as crimes against humanity, and possible genocide.

At the end of 1994, Middle East Watch was preparing a charge of 
genocide that it hopes governments will bring against the 
Government of Iraq before the International Court of Justice in 
the Hague.  Middle East Watch reported that its case was based 
on a thorough review of evidence obtained from mass graves, 
government documents, and interviews with eyewitnesses.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

Freedom of speech and of the press do not exist in areas under 
the Government's control, and political dissent is not 
tolerated in those areas.  The Government and the Ba'ath Party 
own all print and broadcast media and operate them as 
propaganda outlets.  They do not report opposition views.

The Special Rapporteur noted in his February report the extent 
to which the Government has criminalized most forms of personal 
expression.  A 1986 decree stipulates the death penalty for 
anyone insulting the President or other high government 
officials.  Section 214 of the Penal Code prohibits "singing a 
song likely to cause civil strife."  Press Act 206 (1968) 
prohibits the writing of articles on 12 specific subjects, 
including those detrimental to the President.

The Government periodically jams news broadcasts, including 
those of opposition groups, from outside Iraq.

Various Ba'ath Party and presidential decrees define political 
dissent as encompassing a wide range of activities.  Persons 
suspected of engaging in dissent are routinely imprisoned 
without charge or trial or after trials that do not meet 
minimum standards of fairness.

In northern Iraq, which is protected by international forces 
and is administered by a local de facto government, several 
newspapers have appeared over the past 3 years, as have 
opposition radio and television broadcasts.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Except in northern areas under the protection of international 
forces, the citizens may not legally assemble or organize for 
any political purpose other than to express support for the 
regime.  By law, the Government controls the formation of 
parties, regulates their internal affairs and closely monitors 
their activies.  Several parties are specifically outlawed, and 
membership in them is a capital offense.  A 1974 law prescribes 
the death penalty for anyone "infiltrating" the Ba'ath Party.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Government severely limits this freedom.  The Provisional 
Constitution of 1968 states that "Islam is the religion of the 
State."  The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs 
monitors places of worship, appoints the clergy, and approves 
the publication of religious literature.

Although Shi'a Muslim Arabs, who are between 60 and 65 percent 
of the population, are the largest ethnoreligious group, Sunni 
Arabs, who comprise only about 12 to 15 percent of the 
population, have traditionally dominated economic and political 
life.  Despite legal guarantees of sectarian equality, the 
Government has in recent years repressed the Shi'a clergy and 
followers of the Shi'a faith.  Security forces have wantonly 
desecrated Shi'a mosques and holy sites, particularly in the 
aftermath of the 1991 civil uprisings.

The following government restrictions on religious rights 
remained in effect throughout 1994:  a ban on the Muslim call 
to prayer in certain cities; a ban on the broadcast of Shi'a 
programs on government radio or television; a ban on the 
publication of Shi'a books, including prayer books; a ban on 
funeral processions; and the prohibition of certain processions 
and public meetings commemorating Shi'a holy days.  Moreover, 
the Government also continued to insist that its own appointee 
replace the late Grand Ayatollah Abul Qasim Al-Khoei, formerly 
the highest ranking Shi'a clergyman, who died in Government 
custody in 1992 (see Section 1.b.).  The Shi'a religious 
establishment refuses to accept the Government's choice.

The Government also continued to harass and threaten members of 
the late Ayatollah Al-Khoei's family.  Circumstantial evidence 
pointed to the regime's involvement in the July deaths of 
several members of the Al-Khoei family (see Sections 1.a. and 

The Special Rapporteur reports that the Government has engaged 
in various abuses against the Christian Assyrian community, 
which numbers about 350,000.  Most Assyrians have traditionally 
lived in the north, and the Government often has suspected them 
of "collaborating" with Kurds.  Military forces destroyed many 
Assyrian churches during the Anfal Campaign, and reportedly 
tortured and executed many Assyrians (see Section 4).

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The Government controls movement within the country of citizens 
and foreigners.  Persons who enter sensitive border areas and 
numerous designated security zones are subject to arrest (see 
Section 1.d.).  Police checkpoints are common on major roads 
and highways.

The Government requires citizens to obtain expensive exit visas 
for foreign travel.  Citizens may not make more than two trips 
abroad annually.  The Goverment reportedly prohibits some 
citizens from all international travel.  Before traveling 
abroad, citizens are required to post collateral with the 
Government which is refundable only upon their return to Iraq.  
There are restrictions on the amount of currency that may be 
taken out of the country.  Women are not permitted to travel 
outside Iraq alone; male relatives must escort them.

The Government continued to pursue its discriminatory 
resettlement policies, including demolition of villages and 
forced relocations of Kurds, Turcomans, and other minorities.  
Middle East Watch reported that the Government was continuing 
to force Kurdish residents of Mosul to move to 
Kurdish-controlled areas in the north.  However, the Government 
directed most of its resettlement efforts in 1994 at residents 
of the southern marshes.  According to the Special Rapporteur, 
security forces relocate marsh inhabitants detained during the 
course of military operations to the main southern cities.  
They were later transferred to detention centers and prisons in 
central Iraq, primarily in Baghdad.

Opposition sources reported in September that the Government 
had relocated more than 300 families from the marshes to a 
detention area in Diwaniya province.  The authorities 
reportedly returned other families who had taken refuge in 
Baghdad to the province of Amara.

Large numbers of Shi'a refugees from southern Iraq fled to 
Iran, particularly after the escalation in military activity in 
March.  It was difficult to estimate the number of persons 
displaced by these operations, due to the lack of international 
monitors in the area.  However, in late 1994 the U.N. High 
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that more than 
10,000 refugees from the marshes were in camps in Iran.  Amar 
Appeal, a charitable organization operating several of the 
camps, placed the number at more than 35,000.  U.S. Government 
analysts estimated in September that more than 200,000 of the 
250,000 former inhabitants of the marshes had been driven from 
the area since 1991 (see also Section 1.a.).

In February 1994, the Special Rapporteur noted that the 
Government in 1993 had expelled several "Faili," or Shi'a, 
Kurdish families.  Faili Kurds, who have traditionally lived in 
the mountainous region bordering Iran, were the victims of mass 
deportations in the 1970's and 1980's.

The Special Rapporteur reported that in recent years the 
Government may have expelled a total of more than 1 million 
persons suspected of being "Persian sympathizers."  According 
to the Special Rapporteur, about 500,000 of these displaced 
persons are believed to live in Iran.

According to the UNHCR, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees 
remained abroad--mainly in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, 
Turkey, Pakistan, and Jordan.  Apart from those suspected of 
sympathizing with Iran, most fled after the Government's 
suppression of the civil uprising of 1991; others are Kurds who 
fled the Anfal Campaign of 1988.  The UNHCR assists many 
refugees, notably in Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey.

Of the 1.5 million refugees who fled following the 1991 
uprising, the great majority, particularly Kurds, have 
repatriated themselves to northern Iraq, in areas where the 
allies have prohibited overflights by Iraqi aircraft.  Several 
hundred thousand Kurds remain unsettled in northern Iraq 
because political circumstances do not permit them to return to 
their former homes in Government-controlled territory.

Moreover, northern Iraq is host to about 10,000 recently 
arrived Turkish Kurds, who have fled civil strife in 
southeastern Turkey (see the report on Turkey), in response to 
the Turkish government's counterinsurgency campaign against the 
PKK.  The UNHCR is treating these displaced persons as refugees 
until it reaches an official determination on their status.  In 
late 1994, the UNHCR relocated the Turkish Kurds to protect 
them from periodic raids by Turkish military aircraft (see 
Section 1.g.).

Students abroad who refuse to return are required to reimburse 
any expenses paid by the Government.  Each student wishing to 
travel abroad must provide a guarantor.  The guarantor and the 
student's parents may be liable if the student fails to return.

Foreign spouses of citizens who have resided in Iraq for 5 
years are required to apply for nationality.  The requirement 
is 1 year of residence for the spouses of Iraqi citizens 
employed in government offices.  Many foreigners thus have been 
obliged to accept citizenship and are subject to official 
travel restrictions.  The penalties for noncompliance include 
loss of job, a substantial financial penalty, and repayment for 
any governmental educational expenses.

The Government prevents many citizens who also hold citizenship 
in another country--especially the children of Iraqi fathers 
and foreign-born mothers--from visiting the country of their 
other nationality.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens
           to Change Their Government

Citizens do not have the right to change their government.  The 
only free and open local elections have been held in 
Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Iraq.  Full political 
participation at the national level is confined to members of 
the Ba'ath Party, estimated at about 8 percent of the 
population.  The National Assembly is completely subordinate to 
the executive branch.

Saddam Hussein wields decisive power over all instruments of 
government.  Almost all powerful officials are either members 
of the President's family or longtime family allies from his 
home town of Tikrit.

Opposition political organizations are illegal and severely 
suppressed.  Membership in certain political parties is 
punishable by death (see Section 2.b.).  In 1991 the RCC 
adopted a law that theoretically authorized the creation of 
political parties other than the Ba'ath, but in practice, the 
law reinforced the preeminent position of the Ba'ath Party by 
prohibiting parties that do not support Saddam Hussein and the 
present Government.  New parties must be based in Baghdad and 
are forbidden to have any ethnic or religious character.

The Government does not recognize the various political 
groupings and parties that have been formed by Shi'a Muslims, 
as well as the Kurdish, Assyrian, and Turcoman communities.  
These political groups continued to attract support 
notwithstanding their illegal status.

In northern Iraq, all central government functions have been 
performed by local administrators--mainly Kurds--since the 
Government withdrew its forces from the area after the 1991 
uprising.  In May 1992, political parties in the north 
participated in elections to choose representatives to a 
regional parliament.  The elections also produced de facto 
local government administrators, who manage the affairs of the 
security zone--which is protected by allied military 
forces--and adjacent areas.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

The Government does not permit the establishment of independent 
human rights organizations.  It operates an official human 
rights group which routinely denies allegations of abuses.  
Citizens have established several human rights groups abroad 
and in northern areas not under government control.

As in 1993, the Government did not allow the Special Rapporteur 
to visit Iraq.  It failed to respond to his requests for 
information on particular human rights cases and condemned his 
recommendation that human rights monitors be stationed 
throughout Iraq.  For the third consecutive year, the UNHRC 
called on the U.N. Secretary General to send human rights 
monitors to "help in the independent verification of reports on 
the human rights situation in Iraq."  The U.N. Subcommission on 
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities 
adopted a resolution reiterating the UNHRC request for the 
deployment of monitors.  In December the U.N. General Assembly 
once again endorsed the request of the Human Rights Commission 
for monitors for Iraq.

The Special Rapporteur dispatched members of his staff--in late 
December 1993 to Turkey and in August 1994 to Iran--to 
interview victims of Iraqi human rights abuses.  The U.N. Human 
Rights Centre hired another part-time employee in 1994 to 
assist the Special Rapporteur who nevertheless asserted that he 
needs further resources to carry out his mandate.

Several major human rights organizations, including Middle East 
Watch and AI, released new reports on Iraq during the year.  
The Amar Appeal, a London-based charitable organization which 
assists Iraqi refugees from the southern marshes, issued a 
study detailing the ecological destruction of the marshes and 
its consequences for the marsh inhabitants.  The U.S. 
Government also issued a report on that subject.

The Iraqi Government continued to defy various calls from 
United Nations bodies to allow the Special Rapporteur to visit 
the marshes and interview refugees.  In 1994 the U.N. Human 
Rights Commission, the U.N. Subcommission on Prevention of 
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and the U.N. 
General Assembly all adopted resolutions condemning the 
Government's human rights violations.

The Government failed to comply with the provision of UNSCR 
688, which insists that the Government afford immediate, 
unrestricted access by humanitarian workers to all those in 
need of assistance in all parts of Iraq.  Throughout 1994, the 
Government threatened, harassed, and assaulted employees of the 
United Nations and nongovernmental organizations (see Section 

Throughout 1994 the Government refused to implement UNSCR 
Resolutions 706 and 712, which would allow it to sell oil and 
purchase humanitarian goods, the equitable distribution of 
which the United Nations would monitor.  The Special Rapporteur 
noted in his February report that the Government failed to 
provide for the basic humanitarian needs of its civilian 
population and that it is obligated to do so as a signatory to 
the United Nations Charter.  The Special Rapporteur reported 
that in September the Government cut food subsidies by 
one-third.  He once again called on the Government to implement 
UNSC Resolutions 706 and 712.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status


The Government claims that it is committed to equality for 
women, who make up about 20 percent of the work force.  It has 
enacted laws to protect women from exploitation in the 
workplace and from sexual harassment; to permit women to join 
the regular army, Popular Army, and police forces; to require 
education for female children; and to equalize women's rights 
in divorce, land ownership, taxation, suffrage, and election to 
the National Assembly.  It is difficult to determine to what 
extent these protections are afforded in practice.  Reports 
indicate, however, that the application of these laws has 
declined as Iraq's political and economic crisis persists.

Familial violence against women, such as wife beating and rape, 
is known to occur, but little is known about its extent.  Such 
abuse is customarily addressed within the tightly knit family 
structure.  There is no public discussion of the subject, and 
the Government issues no statistics.  Spousal violence 
constitutes grounds for divorce and criminal charges, but suits 
brought on these charges are believed to be rare.

The Special Rapporteur has commented on the high incidence of 
rape committed by the armed forces and security services (see 
Section 1.b.).  He noted that an unusually high percentage of 
the northern population is female, due to the disappearances of 
tens of thousands of Kurdish men in the Anfal Campaign.  The 
Special Rapporteur has reported that the widows, daughters, and 
mothers of Anfal victims are economically dependent on their 
relatives or villages because they may not inherit the property 
or assets of their missing family members.  Other reports 
suggest that economic destitution has forced many women into 

Evidence concerning the Anfal Campaign of 1988 indicates that 
the Government killed many women and children, including 
infants, by firing squads and in chemical attacks.


No information is available on whether the Government has 
enacted specific legislation to promote the welfare of 
children.  However, the Special Rapporteur and several human 
rights groups have collected a substantial body of evidence 
pointing to the Government's continuing disregard for the 
rights and welfare of children.

The Government failure to comply with relevant U.N. Security 
Council resolutions has led to a continuation of economic 
sanctions.  As a result, general economic and health conditions 
throughout Iraq have deteriorated dramatically.  Children have 
been particularly susceptible to the decline in the standard of 
living.  Increases in child mortality and disease rates have 
been reported.

The Special Rapporteur has observed that, under these 
circumstances, the Government has special obligations to ensure 
that the most vulnerable groups in the population have adequate 
food and health care.  The Special Rapporteur stated in his 
February report that Iraq's refusal to implement U.N. Security 
Council Resolutions 706 and 712, which would permit a one-time 
sale of oil in order to finance the import of humanitarian 
goods, has had an adverse effect on vulnerable populations, 
including children.

In October the Special Rapporteur reported that "the obvious 
imbalance between military expenditure and resources allocated 
to the fields of health care and education clearly illustrates 
the priorities of the Government."  The Special Rapporteur has 
repeatedly observed that the ongoing bombardment of civilian 
settlements in the southern marshes has resulted in the deaths 
of many innocent persons, including women, children, and the 

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The cultural, religious, and linguistic diversity of society is 
not reflected in the country's political and economic 
structure.  Sunni Arabs, a small minority of the population,
have effectively controlled Iraq since independence in 1932.  
Shi'a Arabs, the overwhelming majority of the population, have 
long been economically, politically, and socially 
disadvantaged.  Like the Sunni Kurds of the north, the Shi'a 
Arabs of the south have been targeted for particular 
discrimination and abuse, ostensibly because of their 
opposition to the Government.

The security forces in 1994 reportedly were still encamped in 
the shrine to Imam Ali at Al-Najaf, one of Shi'a Islam's 
holiest sites, using it as an interrogation center.  The former 
Shi'a theological school in Al-Najaf, which the Government 
closed following the 1991 uprising, was used as a public market 
in 1994.  Security forces continued to expel foreign Muslim 
clerics from Al-Najaf, under the pretext that the clerics' 
visas had expired.  Other aspects of government repression of 
the Shi'a are discussed in Section 2.c. and various parts of 
Section 1.

The Kurds, who make up approximately 20 percent of the 
population, historically have suffered political and economic 
discrimination, despite the token presence of a small number in 
the national Government (see Sections 1.a., 1.b., and 1.g.).

Assyrians are an ethnic as well as religious group (see Section 
2.c.), and speak a distinct language--Syriac.  Public 
instruction in Syriac, which was to have been allowed under a 
1972 decree, has never been implemented.  In 1994 the Special 
Rapporteur stated that in late 1993 the Government dismissed or 
expelled hundreds of Assyrian teachers and students from 
universities and public positions.

Citizens considered to be of Iranian origin must carry special 
identification and are often precluded from desirable 
employment.  Over the years, the Government has deported 
hundreds of thousands of citizens of Iranian origin (see 
Section 2.d.).

     People with Disabilities

No information is available on the Government's efforts to 
assist people with disabilities.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

Although Iraq is a party to the 1919 Constitution of the 
International Labor Organization (ILO), which guarantees the 
freedom of association, trade unions independent of government 
control do not exist in Iraq.  The Trade Union Organization Law 
of June 2, 1987, prescribes a monolithic trade union structure 
for organized labor.

Workers in private and mixed enterprises and cooperatives--but 
not public employees or workers in state enterprises--have the 
right to join local union committees.  The committees are 
affiliated with individual trade unions, which in turn belong 
to the Iraqi General Federation of Trade Unions.  The General 
Federation is linked to the Ba'ath Party, which uses it to 
promote party principles and policies among union members.  The 
General Federation also is affiliated with the International 
Confederation of Arab Trade Unions and the formerly 
Soviet-controlled World Federation of Trade Unions.

The Labor Law of 1987 restricts the right to strike.  No strike 
has been reported over the past two decades.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The right to bargain collectively is not recognized.  Salaries 
for public sector workers (the majority of the employed) are 
set by the Government.  Wages in the much smaller private 
sector are set by employers or negotiated individually with 

The Labor Code does not protect workers from antiunion 
discrimination, a failure that has been criticized repeatedly 
by the ILO's Committee of Experts.  There are no export 
processing zones in Iraq.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Compulsory labor is theoretically prohibited by law.  However, 
the Penal Code stipulates prison sentences, including 
compulsory labor, for civil servants and employees of state 
enterprises accused of breaches of labor "discipline," 
including resigning from the job.  According to the ILO, 
foreign workers in Iraq have been prevented from terminating 
their employment to return to their native countries because of 
government-imposed penal sanctions on persons who do so.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Employment of children under age 14 is prohibited except in 
small-scale family enterprises.  Many children are encouraged 
to work to support their families.  The law stipulates that 
employees between the ages of 14 and 18 work fewer hours per 
week than adults.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

Theoretically, most workers in urban areas work a 6-day, 
48-hour workweek.  Hours for government employees are set by 
the head of each ministry.  In practice, the rate of 
absenteeism was abnormally high in 1994, as socioeconomic 
conditions deteriorated.

Working hours for agricultural workers vary according to 
individual employer-employee agreements.

Occupational safety programs are in effect in state-run 
enterprises.  Inspectors theoretically inspect private 
establishments, but enforcement varies widely. (###)

[end of document]


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