Human rights abuses in Iraq remain widespread despite a significant drop in overall violence, the United Nations said on Dec. 2. The situation in Iraqi prisons was particularly acute, the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq said in a report, released ahead of the transfer next year of possibly thousands of detainees from US military control to Iraqi authorities. Many detainees in Iraqi jails had been held for months or years without being charged, granted access to lawyers or even to a judge, the report said. Allegations of widespread torture and ill-treatment were of particular concern. (Reuters)

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