January 27, 2012
Human Rights Watch said last week that Iraq is reverting into authoritarianism and becoming a police state since the complete U.S. withdrawal of troops, despite U.S. claims of establishing a functioning democracy there, USA TODAY reports. "Iraq cracked down harshly during 2011 on freedom of expression and assembly," HRW said in a statement. Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East director, said, "Iraq is quickly slipping back into authoritarianism as its security forces abuse protesters, harass journalists and torture detainees." HRW added that Iraq remained dangerous for journalists and civilians alike, as well as extremely restrictive on women's rights. "Despite U.S. government assurances that it helped create a stable democracy, the reality is that it left behind a budding police state," Whitson said.