BAGHDAD - Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday Iraqi authorities were still running a jail they said had been shut over a year ago after reports of prisoners being beaten and electrocuted, but the government denied this, saying the site was empty.

The New York-based watchdog and other critics of the administration of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accuse it of pushing Iraq back towards authoritarianism by cracking down on protests, harassing opponents and torturing detainees.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the prison, known as Camp Honor, is inside Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone, an area that houses most government offices and foreign embassies.

Camp Honor is a former US military base of more than 15 buildings that was handed over to Iraqi forces in 2006. The last US forces left the country in December.

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