Throw Your Shoes at the Iraqi ‘Justice’ System
Abu Aardvark frets that the attention paid to shoe-thrower Muntader al-Zaidi will distract from Human Rights Watch’s brand new report about the kangaroo state of Iraq’s central criminal court. But why? This is chocolate-and-peanut-butter territory. Al-Zaidi is apparently going to be charged with “insulting the Iraqi state.” What sort of criminal-justice system awaits him?
Defendants often endure long periods of pretrial detention without judicial review, and are not able to pursue a meaningful defense or challenge evidence against them. Abuse in detention, typically with the aim of extracting confessions, appears common, thus tainting court proceedings in those cases… [snip]
…the court has failed to provide basic assurances of fairness, undermining the concept of a national justice system serving the rule of law.
Pace George Bush, yeah, that’s right, but so what, right? What’s the big deal about a justice system that keeps people detained without an adequate amount of process to adjudicate their guilt and secure appropriate punishment or exoneration?* *Or that abuses people once jailed? *We got rid of Saddam here, people. *Everything else is a detail. Free people are free to call attention to themselves or make mistakes or subject others to indefinite detention. That’s what it means to be honor bound to defend freedom.