IRAQ’S AMNESTY LAW AND ITS DAN­GER­OUS REPER­CUS­SIONS

The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - ARAB MEDIA -

Al-Mada, Iraq, Oc­to­ber 27

Just when we thought that Iraqi pol­i­tics can­not get any more cyn­i­cal, it has been re­vealed that an undis­closed Iraqi par­lia­men­tar­ian who is on trial for sev­eral cor­rup­tion cases has re­cently been ap­pointed to Iraq’s Com­mis­sion of In­tegrity, tasked with in­ves­ti­gat­ing cor­rup­tion at all lev­els of the Iraqi gov­ern­ment. This spe­cific mem­ber of par­lia­ment has sup­pos­edly em­bez­zled over $70 of Iraqi tax­pay­ers’ money in the past few years.

I per­son­ally be­lieve that the out­rage should not be over this in­di­vid­ual’s ap­point­ment to the Com­mis­sion, but rather over his ap­point­ment to par­lia­ment in the first place. This re­veals a huge prob­lem with the Iraqi po­lit­i­cal sys­tem, which was cre­ated in the af­ter­math of the pass­ing of the 2016 amnesty law. Ac­cord­ing to this con­tro­ver­sial bill, in­tro­duced to quell Sunni-Shi­ite ten­sions in Iraq, any Iraqi con­victed of a crime be­tween 2003 and 2016 would be el­i­gi­ble for amnesty, ex­cept for those con­victed of se­vere crimes that re­sulted in death, rape, or per­ma­nent dis­abil­ity.

This bill paved the way for nu­mer­ous cor­rupt Iraqi politi­cians into the par­lia­ment. Many of them faced trial and were con­victed, only to later be ex­on­er­ated by the law. A hand­ful of them ended up in par­lia­ment, and some, as we now know, even en­tered the Com­mis­sion of In­tegrity.

This, I’m con­vinced, is just the tip of the ice­berg. I have al­ready learned of nu­mer­ous Iraqi politi­cians who hold fake de­grees from fake in­sti­tu­tions, who used le­gal loop­holes to pay their way into par­lia­ment and avoid pros­e­cu­tion.

This state of cor­rup­tion in Iraqi pol­i­tics should be alarm­ing to any­one who cares about the fu­ture of this coun­try. The Iraqi peo­ple have over­thrown their despot only to have him re­placed by a rul­ing group of cor­rupt busi­ness­men who bought their way to par­lia­ment while bury­ing their crimes.

– Ud­nan Hus­sein

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