Iraq: July 9, 2003

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Thousands of Iraqi policemen have finished their training, received their new blue uniforms (the old ones were green) and gone back to work. Most of these men worked as police for Saddam. All of those police were screened to remove the most corrupt and abusive. Under Saddam, the police were part of the system of repression. Force, random violence and corruption were used to keep the population terrorized and the police were often called in to help out. But most of the time the police just dealt with catching criminals and directing traffic. Their work is complicated because Saddam, in a 2002 "good will gesture", released several thousand of the worst criminals from prison (and kept most of the political prisoners locked up.)

 

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