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Iraq: Release of Hizbollah Activist

(May 14, 2012) An Iraqi court has decided to release an activist affiliated with the Lebanese political party Hizbollah who was detained and handed over to the Iraqi government by the American forces upon their withdrawal from Iraq at the end of last year. The detained man, Ali Dakdouk, was accused of involvement in killing U.S. troops in January 2007 in southern Iraq and was arrested in July of that year by the U.S. forces. (An Iraqi Tribunal Releases Hizbollah Activist, Ali Kakdouk [in Arabic], AHRAR NEWS PORTAL (May 7, 2012).)

According to Dakdouk's attorney, Abd a-Mahdi al-Matiri, the court's decision was prompted by the lack of evidence implicating his client in the crime of which he was accused. In January 2007, an armed group in Karbala', Iraq, killed one U.S. soldier and kidnapped four others who were later found dead. The United States had confirmed that Dakdouk traveled to Iraq to train the rebels. (Id.)

Pursuant to article 22(4) of the 2008 Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq, the United States was required to provide to the Government of Iraq available information on all detainees who were being held by them, turn over to Iraqi authorities custody of those detainees wanted by Iraq, and release all remaining detainees in a safe and orderly manner. (Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq on theWithdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities During Their Temporary Residence in Iraq (Nov. 17, 2008), OPERATION NEW DAWN [official website of the United States Forces – Iraq].)