P 171034Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDADTO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8051
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004270
SUBJECT: MOI INTERNAL AFFAIRS CHIEF SAYS HUMANRIGHTS IMPROVEMENT AT MOI
REF: BAGHDAD 00462
Classified By: DEPUTY POLCOUNS ROBERT GILCHRIST FOR REASONS 1.4 (b) and (d).
¶1. (S) Summary. Ministry of Interior Director for Internal Affairs Brigadier General Ahmed Taha al-Mosawi told EmbOffs November 8 that conditions for accountability had improved since Minister Bolani took office. Al-Mosawi, who in February complained to us that Minister Bayan Jabr rarely, if ever,responded to reports of MoI involvement in kidnappings and extrajudicial killings (ref), told us that the Ministry was taking small steps to hold accountable those who commit human rights abuses. Other high level officials such as Deputy Minister for Intelligence Hussein Ali Kamal and Deputy Minister for Polce Affairs Aiden Qader have remarked on the decrease of reports of abuse within MoI over the past few months, but are not yet confident about MoI's capability for accountability- readily pointing out as an example that those linked with the Jadriyah bunker continue to hold high positions in the Ministry. End Summary.
¶2. (C) In a meeting November 8, Ahmed Taha al-Mosawi told EmbOffs that his internal affairs directorate had seen action on numerous cases of abuses, which several months ago had no expectations of reaching resolution. Al-Mosawi said he could point to over 50 cases of human rights abuses where some type of follow-up was being pursued, including that of MG Rasheed Fulayyih, former commander of the first commando unit. Though MG Rasheed's punishment was minor - a transfer to another unit in MoI – al-Mosawi claimed that given the pressures that the Ministry faced, this transfer to a "harmless" position where "he would cause no trouble" was an accomplishment. Al-Mosawi believes that al-Fulayyih may have played a role in kidnappings and/or killings while head of a commando unit. Mosawi warned that the Minister was hesitant to suspend high-level personnel because SCIRI members consistently placed pressure on the Ministry not to do so.
¶3. (C) Separate conversations with MG Ayden and Deputy Minister Hussein Kamal in October indicate they are not as optimistic about accountability,but do believe that human rights abuses committed by MoI personnel may be decreasing. On October 19,Deputy Minister Hussein Kamal told Emboffs that reports of abuse, particularly within detention facilities, had begun to decrease once Minister Bayan Jabr left his position. Kamal, who became visibly emotional as he discussed the reports of abuse that surfaced during Jabr's tenure, told Emboffs that Bolani was working in the right direction and cared about doing the "right thing". He cautioned that full MoI accountability for abuse was still not likely in the near-term.
¶4. (C) MG Ayden seems to share this impression, commenting that Minister Bolani is a "better minister". He expressed to EmbOffs in several conversations in October his continued frustration with lack of accountability at MoI, noting that those responsible for the Jadriyah bunker still hold high positions. For example, he highlighed Bashir Nasser al Wandis (Engineer Ahmed) who was transferred by the former Minister to MG Kamal's Intelligence directorate, where he continues working. MG Ayden also told EmbOffs that militia influence was still strong in the ministry, and he was convinced that there would always be impunity for their actions.
¶5. (C) As these and other Embassy conversations at the MOI have indicated, there are a number of high level MOI officials who appear very interested in accountability and in ending human rights abuses. Fear and distrust of others with in the ministry, however, impede their ability and willingness to act in a coordinated manner. Notably, MG Ayden has told Emboffs on several occasions that as the only high level official with no political ties, he is constantly on guard and trusts no one in the ministry. (Note: Ayden is Sunni Turcoman). Al-Mosawi, who reports directly to the minister, has similarly admitted that he is very distrustful of other MoI elements especially Inspector General Akeel Al-Taraihi who has strong ties to the Dawa party and wants to integrate the IA directorate. Overall, however, there are initial signs that the Ministry is in fact taking some steps to weed out "bad apples". Al-Mosawi confirmed news reports that the Ministry that between 1000-1500 MoI personnel (vice up to 3000 that the media reported) across the country had been fired based on credible allegations of corruption. Robust and credible action against the perpetrators of -- and those responsible for -- torture and other crimes at Site 4 could also send an important signal within the ministry and to Iraqis in general that the MOI is committed to cleaning its ranks.
(Edited and reformatted by Andres for ease of reading.)