Elite security forces under the control of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are operating secret detention sites in Baghdad at which prisoners are being abused, according to a report by the watchdog group Human Rights Watch released Tuesday. One of the sites is at a military base where U.S. forces maintain an advisory team, the U.S. military confirmed.
Former prisoners who were held at another of the facilities, a military base in the Green Zone that was vacated by U.S. troops last summer, have told Human Rights Watch researchers that detainees there were regularly abused, by being hung upside down, beaten and given electric shocks to various body parts, including the genitals.
The Los Angeles Times first reported the existence of the Green Zone prison, which is being operated by the 56th Brigade of the Iraqi army and the Counter-Terrorism Service, both of which are controlled by the prime minister's office.
Human Rights Watch says it has discovered another secret prison located at Camp Justice in the northwestern Baghdad neighborhood of Kadhimiyah in which detainees are being kept without access to lawyers, family members or prison inspectors, "prompting fresh concerns that the [56th] brigade may be torturing detainees," the report says.