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Iraqi minister defends country's rights record

[JURIST] Iraqi Human Rights Minister Bakhtiar Amin defended his country’s human rights record since the formal dissolution of US occupation last year at a press conference Thursday, reminding critics that Iraq’s treatment of human rights issues is far better than it had been under Saddam Hussein. Iraq has been in a state of emergency since November, which allows for 24-hour courts to issue warrants and gives Prime Minister Iyad Allawi the ability to restrict movement through the country. The Iraqi goverment recently began running a nightly feature of detainees' confessions on state television in an effort to highlight wrongdoing and to show what was being done about it. The interim Iraqi government first came under criticism for its rights record when Human Rights Watch issued a report [HRW text] in January claiming that Iraqi police were abusing detainees, and the concerns were reiterated in the Iraq section of the US State Department's annual report on human rights, released earlier this month. AFP has more.

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