[JURIST] The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) [official website] warned that ongoing sectarian violence is significantly hindering human rights progress in the country in a bi-monthly report [DOC text; press release] released Tuesday. Execution style killings reached 70 a day in Baghdad in the wake of the February Shiite shrine bombing in Samarra [Washington Post report; JURIST report]. Iraqi officials and international rights workers have blamed gangs within the Iraqi police force and Shiite religious party militias for much of the violence. UNAMI noted particular concern about relatives of judges, politicians, and public administration officials such as police, soldiers, doctors, journalists and academics. Gunmen killed the son of the leader of the Higher Judicial Council [JURIST report] in mid-May. UNAMI called for the creation of an independent National Human Rights Commission to ensure stronger protection of rights within Iraq.
Earlier this month, an Iraqi general serving in the Interior Ministry and 17 others were arrested [JURIST report] in connection with kidnappings and death squads [JURIST report]. The Washington Post has more.