Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Crackdown on journalists concerns US govt

NPR: 'A surge of protests against Iraq's U.S.-backed democratic government has provoked a violent crackdown on demonstrators and journalists that is raising concerns about a rollback of civil liberties throughout the country.

In recent weeks, journalists and activists have been detained and beaten by Iraqi security forces, TV and radio stations attacked in the dead of night, and protesters blocked from getting to demonstrations. In the most serious incidents, an Iraqi reporter claims he was tortured with electricity and three people who went to a protest turned up dead the next morning.

The attacks on journalists have sparked a rare public demand by the American government for accountability.

"We call on the Iraqi Government and Kurdistan Regional Government authorities to follow through on their pledges to investigate these incidents fully, and punish the perpetrators," the embassy said Monday.'

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