Thursday, February 24, 2011

Governor states an Iraqi prisoner died of torture

Yesterday's attack on the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory in Baghdad by Iraqi police and Iraqi security forces has been condemned by Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said: “The aim of this criminal raid was to silence an NGO that has been fighting for years for the right of Iraqi journalists to work freely and independently. It has not hesitated to condemn the abuses of the security forces and has often reminded the authorities of their responsibilities.
“We call for an independent investigation into this attack so that those behind it can be arrested and brought to justice. Impunity must no longer be the rule in Iraq, which is a country that aspires to be a democracy.”
This morning’s raid came 48 hours before Iraqi journalists are due to hold a big demonstration to press the authorities to fulfil their constitutional obligations to respect free speech and media freedom.
Since its creation in 2004, the JFO has played a key role in defending freedom of expression in Iraq.

AFP notes, "An AFP journalist who visited the JFO offices Wednesday morning said that the iron locks used to secure the organisation's building had been broken, several of the office's doors were damaged, and paper files and computer screens were lying on the floor."

The assault was a way to terrorize the press and send a message that the government does not want the protests covered. They don't want anything covered but happy news and a number of US outlets are more than happy to take part in the latest wave of Operation Happy talk. Which is why the fact that Nineveh's governor, Ethel Nujaifi, announced yesterday that another prisoner died of torture in Mosul really isn't a story in the US press. Dar Addustour reports the man's name was Khalid Walid Sayf al-Din and that he had been born in 1976. An investigation has been announced and a promise made that those responsible will be punished. AK News reports on it here. And register that this is the governor of the province making the assertions and register the large silence that the US press has offered in response to the assertions. The treatment of prisoners is among the many things that Iraqis have been protesting against in recent weeks.

Meanwhile DPA reports that a Baquba home invasion has killed 1 man and three of his sons. Tang Danlu (Xinhua) reports a Baquba roadside bombing claimed 1 life and left two people injured, that Lt Col Tha'ir al-Obiedi sruvived a sticky bomb attack in Baquba, a Baquba roadside bombing injured two people, and 2 Baghdad roadside bombings left five people injured.

The following community sites -- plus Jane Fonda and -- posted last night and this morning:

Cedric's "Did any of his Chicago friends ever make an honest..." and Mike's "Site warning" and Betty's "Jim Lobe and other friends of rapists" are not showing up above.

Tomorrow Iraq Veterans Against the War holds this event:

February 25, 2011 9:30 - 10:30 am
Busboys & Poets, Langston room
14th & V st NW Washington DC
This report back will be to answer questions from media and the peace movement about the recent trip back to Iraq by members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The war is not over but it is not the same as it was in years past. What is the humanitarian situation in Iraq?
How can we do reparations and reconciliation work?
Speakers are all returning from this delegation and include:
Geoff Millard (IVAW) Hart Viges (IVAW) Haider Al-Saedy (Iraqi Health Now)
Richard Rowely (
Big Noise Films)

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends