Iraq’s al-Maliki takes jab at Sunni vice president over prison visits

Click here: PR-Inside.com – Iraq’s al-Maliki takes jab at Sunni vice president over prison visits

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in an apparent jab at Iraq’s Sunni Arab vice president, said Saturday that he will no longer permit «politically motivated» visits to the country’s jails by government officials.Tariq al-Hashemi, a harsh critic of the Shiite al-Maliki, has been calling for the release of thousands of mostlySunni Arab security detainees who had not been charged with specific crimes. Accompanied by TV camera crews, he has been touring the country’s jails in recent weeks.

Pan-Arab satellite television stations have extensively covered his visits, airing interviews with inmates complaining of torture, poor conditions and pleading innocence.«We will not permit politically motivated visits by government officials to prisons,» an official statement quoted al-Maliki as saying during a meeting with Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, the U.S. deputy commander of detainee operations in Iraq.«Whoever wants to visit those jails must have reforming and improving conditions there as his objective,» said al-Maliki, who also stated his opposition to photographing and video taping inmates, arguing that it violated their human rights…Stone said this month the U.S. military now holds more than 25,000 persons in detention, of whom 83 percent are Sunni Arabs.

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