Though Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seems confident to an almost ridiculous extent in the wake of last weekend’s massive protests, the protesters continue to seethe at their ill-treatment by security forces, and have all the more grievances against the regime.
Indeed, in the wake of a crackdown on the Friday protests that saw at least 29 people killed and hundreds of others wounded, demonstrators are reporting that political activists continue to be detained and beaten, as do journalists who covered the crackdown.
Journalists who were arrested and subsequently released have been reporting that they were threatened with execution for covering the protests in a sympathetic manner, and others are blaming the paucity of coverage for the protests in the domestic media on widespread bribery by the regime.
The Maliki government has promised investigations into the killings but insist that they were the results of a few bad apples in the security forces and not indicative of a general policy of suppressing dissent. For the dissenters, this claim rings false.
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