Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier Tuesday (8 July) met Mrs Wijdan Mikhail Salim, Iraq's Minister for Human Rights, who is currently visiting Berlin at his invitation.
Mrs Salim informed the Foreign Minister about the Iraqi Government's efforts to improve the human rights situation in Iraq. She reported that first improvements in this field have to be viewed in the light of the still problematic security situation in the country. It is her Ministry's duty not only to investigate human rights violations committed in the past, but also to monitor current government action to ensure compliance with human rights. Improving the protection of human and civil rights is, she said, part and parcel of reconstruction in Iraq.
Federal Minister Steinmeier underscored the importance attached by the German Government to improving the human rights situation in Iraq. Germany has thus contributed to the establishment of the rule of law in Iraq by providing training for police officers, judges and public prosecutors under the auspices of the EU Mission EUJUST LEX. The Federal Minister offered the Iraqi Minister for Human Rights further German support in improving the human rights situation in Iraq and consolidating structures to protect human and civil rights.
Examples of German activities so far to promote human rights in Iraq, in cooperation with expert project partners, include:
- Further training in human rights for staff at the Baghdad ministries and government institutions;
- Training for Iraqi journalists on human rights issues by a German non-governmental organization;
- Support for the establishment of two centres for the treatment of torture survivors in northern Iraq.