Iraq's Interior Ministry has charged 57 employees, including high-ranking officers, with human rights crimes for their roles in the torture of hundreds of detainees once jailed in a notorious eastern Baghdad prison known as Site 4, officials announced Monday.
The charges marked the first time the present Iraqi government has taken criminal action against members of its own security forces for operating torture chambers inside Interior Ministry prisons, said Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a ministry spokesman.
Site 4 is the same secret detention facility that was discovered in Jadiriya; the same district of Baghdad that hosts the HQ of the SCIRI and its Badr militia, so there's every reason to believe that many, if not most, of the officers in charge of that facility were members or affiliates of the SCIRI.
Although this move came late and it addresses only one case of atrocity I must say that I'm impressed that the interior ministry, with all the influence SCIRI has on it, has made this action.
Building rule of law is much more of a difficult task than breaking the law is and the transformation from jungle law to civil law requires patience and determination.
What makes me feel good about this is that we're now moving to prosecute the criminals of the present just like we prosecuted the criminals of the past.
Gangs and militias are stronger today than they were three years ago and the same can be said about the legitimate foundations and institutions of the state, even more, the latter are growing stronger at a faster rate even though that might not be so visible.
Anyways, I think if law-enforcement apparatus, judicial and military alike, are allowed to retain the momentum, then maybe in a year we will be discussing al-Sadr and al-Dhari verdicts.