Basra Governor Speaks on Corruption, Security

Al-Monitor:  Have you encountered any objections to this contract from the ministries concerned with security or the office of the commander in chief of the armed forces?

Nasrawi:  The law allows the province to do this, and the contracts are paid using Basra’s money, not funds from Baghdad.

Al-Monitor:  You talk about security as though it’s a purely technical issue, but what about the social problems feeding disorder?

Nasrawi:  This is correct. Security cannot be achieved though arrests alone. First, it costs a lot of money to put large numbers of people in prison. Most importantly, however, we must address the motives for crimes and the cultural and social reasons standing behind these crimes — and we must work to address them. A culture of security must spread in society, so that each citizen becomes a part of the ingredients for security in the country and is not afraid or reluctant to report any security breach.

Al-Monitor:  What about the malfunction within the security establishment?

Nasrawi:  The causes [of this malfunction] are known. There is corruption as well as political and partisan intervention in the work of the security services. Recently, Basra was able to rein in a large gang involved in theft, blackmail and kidnapping, which was led by a senior police officer. We were under pressure not to arrest [members of the gang], but we were determined to bring them to justice. We will not allow for a shuffling of cards in Basra. We will not stray from our path to purify the security services of any breaches.

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