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Human Rights Watch details Iraq crackdowns, warns of ‘budding police state’

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Iraq on verge of police stateIraq “cracked down harshly” on freedom of expression and assembly in 2011 by intimidating, beating and detaining activists and journalists, Human Rights Watch said Sunday in announcing its World Report 2012.

“Iraq is quickly slipping back into authoritarianism as its security forces abuse protesters, harass journalists and torture detainees,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Despite U.S. government assurances that it helped create a stable democracy, the reality is that it left behind a budding police state.”

Many of the problems reported by Human Rights Watch occurred before Dec. 18, when the final U.S. troops left the country. The group reported similar problems last year.

But in its new report, the organization also highlights recent incidents.

In the weeks leading up to the U.S. withdrawal, Iraqi security forces rounded up hundreds of Iraqis accused of being former Baath Party members, according to Human Rights Watch. Most of them “remain in detention without charge,” the group said.

This month, according to Human Rights Watch, Iraqi authorities were able to curtail anti-government demonstrations by flooding weekly protests with pro-government supporters and undercover security agents.

TVNL Comment: Bush's invasion is responsible for every single death of American troops and Iraqis. That guilt has to be shared by every person who supported the crimes of the neocon years that justified their wars.


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