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Report: Iraqi women still subject to abuse

LONDON -- Nearly two years after the invasion of Iraq, women there are no better off than under the rule of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, the human rights group Amnesty International said in a report released today.

The report, ''Iraq -- Decades of Suffering," said that while the systematic repression under Hussein had ended, there was an increase in murder and sexual abuse, including some abuse by US forces.

Washington asserted that Hussein's ouster would free Iraqis from oppression and set them on the road to democracy. But Amnesty International said postwar insecurity had left women at risk of violence and curtailed their freedoms.

''The lawlessness and increased killings, abductions, and rapes that followed the overthrow of the government of Saddam Hussein have restricted women's freedom of movement and their ability to go to school or to work," the group said. ''Women have been subjected to sexual threats by members of the US-led forces and some women detained by US forces have been sexually abused, possibly raped."

Amnesty International said several women detained by US troops had spoken in interviews with them of mistreatment.

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