Saturday, January 26, 2013

Funerals for some of the Falluja massacred

Yesterday, Nouri al-Maliki's armed thugs in Falluja fired on protesters killing at least seven (Alsumaria reports another of the victims has died from wounds raising the death toll)  and sixty more were left injured.  Alsumaria notes the Iraq's Literary Federation and the Association for Defending Press Freedom and the General Union of Writers have all called for the protection of the protesters, decried the violence and are calling for early elections.  Uday Hadim (Association for Defending Press Freedom) states that putting the military out there was a mistake to begin with and now the government and the Parliament must tender the resignations and early elections must take place under the supervision of the United Nations.   Writer Fahmi Saleh points out that the Constitution guarantees Iraqis the right to demonstrate and protest. In the KRG, Alsumaria reports, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's political party) has called on Nouri to remove the military from protests and to show restraint.  All Iraq News notes that the Kurdistan bloc in Parliament also condemned the assault and called for Nouri to stop using the military on internal issues.  They also note that the National Alliance (Shi'ite grouping of various slates -- including Nouri's State of Law but I'm sure they're not part of this) is calling for a prompt and thorough investigation into the shootings.  Alsumaria notes Iraqiya announced they will boycott all upcoming Parliamentary votes that are not a no-confidence vote or votes addressing the demands of the protesters.

Alsumaria reports that the military was withdrawn from Falluja today. Kamal Naama Suadad al-Salhy, Ahmed Rasheed, Patrick Markey, Andrew Roche and Jason Webb (Reuters) quote Mustafa Jamal, the brother on one of the 7 shot dead by the military yesterday, stating, "Withdrawing the army from the city is not enough, I do not know how this will benefit me and it won't get my brother back."   The dead and wounded were taken to Falluja General Hospital yesterday.  Al Mada reports that Falluja residents descended on the hospital in large numbers to donate blood.  Kamal Naama Suadad al-Salhy, Ahmed Rasheed, Patrick Markey, Andrew Roche and Jason Webb (Reuters) report that "thousands" turned out for the five funerals in Fallluja today.  Al Mada adds that the mourners chanted and marches calling for soldiers who executed the 7 citizens to be handed over.  Mohammed Tawfeeq and Chelsea J. Carter (CNN -- link is text and video) report that Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha who is a tribal leader and a Sawha leader delivered a statement on television in which he "gave Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government seven days to hand over to Anbar's criminal court those involved in the shootings."  BBC News adds, "Sunni leaders in Anbar province, where Fallujah is located, had earlier told the BBC that they would attack army positions in the province if the government failed to bring the soldiers responsible for the protester shootings 'to justice'."

In other news, Alsumaria reports that four soldiers were kidnapped in Nuaimiya, south of Falluja, 2 soldiers were shot dead in Falluja, the Director of Police Intelligence was shot dead on the streets of Tikrit  and a Mosul armed attack left one person injuredMass arrests continued as well with 97 'terrorists' arrested in Basra alone.  The person shot dead in Mosul is identified by All Iraq News as teacher Shakir Mahmood.  Iraq Body Count counts 318 people killed in violence in Iraq so far this month through Friday.

Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports that Parliament voted today to confine the three presidencies to two terms.  The three presidencies are the President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament.  The Constitution's Article 72 already limits the President to two terms.  170 of the 242 MPs present voted in favor of the law.  Ahmed Rasheed, Patrick Markey and Andrew Roche (Reuters) add, "Lawmakers from Sunni, Kurdish and Shi'ite parties voted for the law, but the legislation still needs the president's approval and will face challenges in federal court after Maliki's supporters rejected it as illegal."

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, Susan's On the Edge, Pacifica Evening News, Tavis Smiley,, Law and Disorder and  Ms. magazine -- updated last night and today:

The e-mail address for this site is

Kamal Naama Suadad al-Salhy, Ahmed Rasheed, Patrick Markey, Andrew Roche and Jason Webb

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