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U.S. Report Points To Serious Abuses In Iraq --> A police training exercise in Baghdad in January (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, March 9, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The United States says the ongoing insurgency, coupled with sectarian and criminal violence, "seriously affected" the Iraqi government's human rights performance over the past year.

In its annual report on human rights worldwide, released on March 8, the U.S. State Department said a "climate of extreme violence" in which people were killed for political and other reasons continued in Iraq.

The document noted that reports increased of killings by the Iraqi government or its agents that may have been politically motivated, while members of sectarian militias dominated police units to varying degrees and in different parts of the country.

Police abuses included arbitrary arrests, threats, and beatings, as well as the reported use of electric drills and the application of electric shocks.

In addition, the reports said common criminals, insurgents, and terrorists undermined public confidence in the security services by sometimes masking their identity in police and army uniforms.

For an overview of the State Department report, click here.

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