IRAQ: Coveted jobs breed diploma fraud

For two years, an assistant dean at Iraq's largest university received threats from a police officer: sign a fraudulent document certifying that the officer had graduated from the university, the dean was told, or he would be arrested or even killed, write Michael S Schmidt and Omar Al-Jawoshy for The New York Times.

The dean, Dr Rahif al-Essawi, steadfastly refused, and on the last day of exams in June, the officer followed through on the threats and beat the dean and threw him in jail, Essawi said.

In Iraq, the police have long intimidated or beaten civilians, whether under Saddam Hussein or during the years since the United States invaded in 2003. But the beating of the dean and similar episodes in recent months represent a growing problem that this weary nation has been forced to confront: rampant diploma fraud. Last year, an investigation by parliament identified more than 5,000 government officials who had lied about their education, including government ministers and members of parliament.
Full report on The New York Times site