The State Department on Monday detailed an array of human rights abuses last year by the Iraqi government, including torture, rape and illegal detentions by police officers and functionaries of the interim administration that took power in June.
In the Bush administration's bluntest description of human rights transgressions by the American-supported government, the report said the Iraqis "generally respected human rights, but serious problems remained" as the government and American-led foreign forces fought a violent insurgency. It cited "reports of arbitrary deprivation of life, torture, impunity, poor prison conditions - particularly in pretrial detention facilities - and arbitrary arrest and detention."
In other Iraq news Juan Cole reports on the assault against trade unionists and other activists:
A prominent trade unionist was also assassinated, but apparently only New Zealand cares.
Speaking of which, as a parting gift the interim Allawi government has [Arabic link] dissolved a number of civil society organizations, including the Lawyers' Union. Iraqi attorneys abroad accused the interim government of violating a number of international treaties and agreements to which Iraq is signatory.
US mainstream media appears to have behind the scenes instructions not to mention unions if at all possible (older television actors remember this instruction being explicit back in the 1960s with regard to dramas.)