The New Iraq

Freedom is flourishing, for sure...

"They arrested us because of our hair and because we were wearing jeans," said student Mohammed Jasim, adding that the arrests took place two weeks ago in the city, the spiritual heart of Iraq''s newly dominant Shi'ite majority.

"They beat us in front of the people. Then they took us to their headquarters, beat us again, shaved our heads and tore our clothes.

"When we asked what we had done, they said that we had no honor," he told Reuters this week.

Police in Najaf, a conservative city that some residents say has grown more so since
Saddam Hussein was overthrown two years ago and religious Shi'ites gained greater power in Iraq, disputed the students' version of events.



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