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Iraq's Kurds Dispute Critical Human Rights Report

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BAGHDAD -- A Iraqi Kurdish official has said that the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) rejects allegations of abuse in a critical report by Amnesty International on the human rights situation in Iraqi Kurdistan.

KRG Human Rights Ministry spokesman Nadhum Delband told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq that parts of the report are out of date, including that on the detention without trial of 13 members of the Ansar Al-Islam militant group who have since been released.

While Delband acknowledged that human rights violations are committed in KRG detention centers, he described such abuses as individual cases in which officials have taken "legal action against the perpetrators."

Said Abu Madduha, a Middle East expert at Amnesty International, says that the report is the result of a year-long inquiry and field visits to Iraq's Kurdish region. He added that there are some 84 people on death row in Kurdish jails.

Delband said that the ministry has presented to the KRG a draft bill abolishing capital punishment.