Rights group raps Iraq for arresting protesters
Baghdad: A leading human rights group says Iraq`s central government and regional Kurdish leaders are beating and illegally detaining protesters to try to stop demonstrations calling for reforms.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch called on Iraqi authorities on Thursday to release detained protesters or formally charge those suspected of breaking the law.
The group`s deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork, says Iraqi security forces and "pro-government gangs" have increased their crackdown on protest organisers, activists, and journalists over the last two weeks.
While demonstrations across the Arab world have focused on regime change, most of the protests in Iraq have been pushing for improved services, jobs and an end to corruption.
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