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U.N. urges Iraq to ratify convention against torture

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • U.N. says Iraq should "intensify" monitoring of torture
  • Official: Iraq come long way but needs to do more
  • 45 member states, including Iraq, have not ratified convention

(CNN) -- The United Nations on Saturday urged Iraq to ratify the organization's convention against torture "in the nearest future."

Ad Melkert, special U.N. representative in Iraq, called on Iraq "to intensify monitoring and investigating allegations of ill-treatment and torture of detainees and prisoners" to make sure those responsible for such actions are held accountable.

"Iraqi has come a long way in recognizing human rights as a priority for building a democratic state where human dignity is preserved and protected but there is yet much more to be done," Melkert said.

The request was made on the annual International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

So far, 147 countries have ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; 45 U.N.-member nations, including Iraq, have not yet signed.

The convention calls on nations "to make torture a crime and to prosecute and punish those guilty of it."