A Wife’s Return from Alleged Death Reveals the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Iraq

Ali Al-Jubouri was sentenced to death for a murder that he was found guilty of after the disappearance of his wife during their visit to a religious shrine in Al-Seddah district in Babil Governorate, after which he had to report her disappearance.

The wife’s parents accused him of killing their daughter, therefore he was arrested pending investigation, and after many hours of torture, he confessed to the murder and was sentenced to death.

Two months after the arrest, the National Security services received news indicating that the “murdered” wife was seen in her father’s house.

The security services arrested those involved in this case and release the innocent person who almost lost his life for a murder in which the “murdered woman” was enjoying her life.

Such cases – especially the Al-Jubouri case – draw attention to judicial authorities in Iraq, and to the extent to which corruption has spread insecurity and judicial agencies in the country.

Activist and political researcher Hashem Hamza Al-Jubouri told us that the judicial institution is subjected to partisan control, as independent judges have been replaced by others who work according to partisan agendas, thus turning the judiciary into a political profession that some exploit to achieve political or personal goals.

Al-Jubouri pointed out that there are senior politicians accused of terrorism and embezzlement of funds who get acquitted from these crimes and occupy high positions, while innocent people are tried with severe penalties for being politically unsupported.

For his part, lawyer Alaa Al-Bayati, an Iraqi lawyer, points out that the court’s failure to study the case in all its aspects affects the high rate of innocent people held in prison.

He adds that malicious lawsuits in Iraq lead to an increase in the number of innocent people in prisons due to the lack of law provisions that hold the plaintiff accountable for these cases, which prompted some to take advantage of this matter in order to harm opponents and achieve personal or economic goals.

As a result, innocent people remain imprisoned for years or maybe executed over a false complaint, such as the case of Ali al-Jubouri, which is normal to society. Rather, leaving the prison unharmed is surprising, as cases of death of detainees during investigations are recurrent, according to Al-Bayaty.

The 2020 report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the security forces’ disregard for laws, the arrest of suspects without warrants, and the arbitrary detention of defendants for long periods before bringing them to trial.

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