Saturday, May 28, 2011

Iraq: Protests and retaliation

False Promises Friday

Al Mada notes that as the end of the 100 days approaches (June 7th, "100 days" refers to the promise Nouri made that he would clean up government corruption and provide services within 100 days) Iraqi security forces seem to be taking a harder line with protesters. They cite as an example what took place yesterday in Baghdad when youth activists protested in Tahrir Square and four were arrested. The paper notes that the forces used "special security measures" that were new to this arrest. Iraqi forces also used some actions that were the same as previous ones: closing the bridges and cutting off roads, etc. The Iraqi Democratic Youth Federation and the Union of Students in the Republic of Iraq issued a statement condemning the arrests, calling for the immediate release of the four protesters and denouncing the "return to repressive authoritarian" measures. Friday was "False Promises Friday." Screen snap above is from Revolution of Iraq's video footage of the protest shot by Rami Hayali.

New Sabah adds that the four arrested were organizers of the demonstration -- they included Ali Abd al-Khaliq and Jihad Jalil. New Sabah also notes the four were carried away in an ambulance and that the youth has been protesting since February 25th. Dar Addustour notes Ahmed al-Baghdadi is also one of the four arrested and, as usual, count on The Great Iraqi Revolution to have all the facts: "THE 4 YOUNG ACTIVISTS WHO WERE ARRESTED TODAY BY QASSIM ATTA AND TAKEN TO A PLACE UNKNOWN - 27.5.2011 - THEIR NAMES ARE: JIHAD JALEEL, ALI ABDUL KHALIQ, MOUAYED AL TAYEB AND AHMED AL BAGHDADI. We pray God to have them released very soon."

They also note of Friday's Baghdad protest -- or in response to it, a smear campaign is being launched on TV, "In the serial of attempting to bad mouth and blacken the Tahrir Square protestors and demonstrators, Qassim Atta and the Iraqiya air photos of one of the detained activists in the Protests and accuse him of several crimes, they then proceed to air a film of a crime whose perpetrators are known to all and sundry, and in the same film some hooded men are heard to accuse that the activist is the person who committed the crime!" And the assault on protesters continued today. Aswat al-Iraq reports:

An eye witness said that a military force raided an NGO, known as Where is My Right, and arrested 11 persons, including its secretary general, in suspicion for their relationship with the organizers of Tahreer Square demonstrations.
"Four Hummer military vehicles and two 4-wheel drive cars surrounded the organization premises in Maidan Square, in the center of Baghdad, where they searched it and destroyed its computers," the source told Aswat al-Iraq.
On the other hand, an activist said on the Facebook page for the Tahreer Square demonstrations, that the organization is an NGO that participated in organizing the demonstrations.
The arrested persons were meeting to discuss how to release the four activists who were arrested last Friday.

All for calling for an end to corruption, calling for basic services, calling for the detainees to be freed, calling for the occupation of Iraq to end.

Friday in Baghdad, as usual women could be found holding photos of their missing loved ones. The woman below is holding a photo of her husband (screen snap from video at Free Iraq uprising).

missing husband

The following community sites -- plus War News Radio, Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan, Military Families Speak Out, Jane Fonda,, On The Wilder Side and Liberal Oasis -- updated last night and this morning:

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends