State Dept Report: Human Rights in Iraq, Afghanistan Worsen

Maliki Govt Committing Arbitrary Killings

The US State Department today issued their annual human rights report, and once again the human rights situation in America’s two largest battlegrounds, Afghanistan and Iraq, continued to worsen.

The Afghanistan report, it is unsurprising, focused on the civilians killed in the ongoing war, though it was careful to blame the Taliban for the increase in civilian deaths.

It did however point out other problems with the nation, including human trafficking, restrictions on press and religion, torture and poor prison conditions. Only a brief mention was given the the massive civilian toll from NATO airstrikes, with the dubious claim that the death toll had dropped from the previous year.

The Iraq report however was dicier, as any attempt to blame al-Qaeda for the problems in the nation would run afoul of the stance that the group “has significantly weakened since 2007.”

Instead the report faults the Maliki government for arbitrary killings, torture, disappearances, as well as harsh curbs on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In particular it noted that Iraqi security forces regularly harass and/or attack journalists. Ironically this report comes as US forces killed an Iraqi journalist in Western Baghdad.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.