They estimated the male prison population to be over 40,000.
Both men and women suffer from the severe flaws of the criminal justice system.
Last April, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay issued a scathing indictment of Iraq’s “not functioning” justice system, citing numerous convictions based on confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment, a weak judiciary, and trial proceedings that fall far short of international standards.There, she said, they beat her, shocked her with electric cables, and drenched her in cold water in an effort to force her to admit that she had taken a bribe.Hanan, a manager at a state-affiliated company that approves construction projects, said she realized she was paying the price for refusing to waive through a project in which the contractor had used sub-standard materials. “I didn’t know someone important in the government had a stake in the project.” Beaten and tortured for hours, Hanan said she refused to confess—until her interrogators threatened her teenage daughter.They said “We can take her just like we took you.” I would have said anything at that point.After holding her for more than a day, security forces took her to a judge, who refused to acknowledge bruises and swelling on her face, she said. Four months later, a Baghdad court convicted her of forgery and sentenced her to three years in prison, based solely on her “confession” and the testimony of a “secret informant.” When Human Rights Watch visited Hanan, she had been detained in Baghdad’s Central Women’s prison for more than a year.