An interesting article from the New York Times about a Kurd dissenter in Iraq sentenced last month to 30 years for defaming the Parastin and Kurdish political leaders after a trial that he said had lasted 15 minutes. From the article:
His case, while extraordinary, is by no means unique. Two journalists from Wasit Province in east central Iraq face 10 years in prison for suggesting that Iraqi judges kowtow to the American authorities just as Saddam Hussein's courts rubber-stamped edicts of the Baath Party. The journalists, Ayad Mahmoud al-Tamimi and Ahmed Mutair Abbas, had also accused the then-governor of Wasit of corruption and labeled him a bastard, a grave insult here.
Taken together, the prosecutions indicate how much remains at play in newly democratic Iraq. The nation has made remarkable steps away from totalitarian rule: the overthrow and prosecution of a genocidal dictator, two national elections and the adoption of a Constitution. But it remains to be seen how far Iraq will ultimately travel toward true Western-style democracy.
Click here to read the article.