GENEVA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Iraq has witnessed great improvements in general security conditions, but the human rights situation in the country remains serious, a UN report said on Tuesday.
"The targeted killings of journalists, educators, medical doctors, judges and lawyers has continued, as did criminal abductions for ransom," said the report on Iraq's human rights situation, which covered the first six months of 2008.
During the reporting period, minorities continued to be the victims of targeted violence, threats, assassination and the destruction of property and cultural sites, said the report, issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
The report highlighted the situation of detainees across the country, including in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region that remains of great concern.
Continuing allegations of widespread torture and ill-treatment of inmates are of particular concern, it said.
The plight of women across Iraq still requires urgent measures to combat gender-based violence, including so-called honor crimes, widely reported from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, it added.
The report also addressed the conduct of security operations in Basra and Sadr City by the Iraqi and multi-national forces in Iraq between March and May 2008.
Heavy fighting in densely populated urban areas, where militia members positioned themselves, resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths and injuries, it said.
The report reminded all parties to ensure full respect for international humanitarian law when engaged in military operations.