Tuesday, April 02, 2013

4 newspapers attacked in Baghdad

Alsumaria, citing a police source, reports an attack on the headquarters of a Baghdad newspaper where four employees were stabbed with knives.  The assailants demanded and recorded the names of all the paper's employees.  In a later article, the outlet reveals that four daily papers were attacked by "paramilitary" members yesterday.  Journalists are decrying the silence and indifference from the government over the attacks.

Iraq's Journalistic Freedoms Observatory condemned the attacks in a statement today.  They note that along with attacking the employees, the thugs also broke desks and burned cars.  The attacks may or may not be linked to cleric Mahmud al-Hasani al-Sarkhi whose people had lodged complaints about press coverage shortly before the attacks began.  As Khalid Waleed (IWPR) reported last year, al-Sarkhi's followers have violently clashed with those of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistanin in the past.

Right now Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) is the only reporter with a western outlet covering the story.
In addition, Al Jazeera and the Christian Science Monitor's Jane Arraf just Tweeted on it:

  1. officials say 4 Baghdad attacked by armed mob linked to Shia cleric al-Sarkhi, self-proclaimed confidante of hidden Mehdi.

 Instead everyone's focusing on an attack on the Korea Gas Compnay: Fars News AgencyAAP, World Bulletin and AFP.   I keep reading these reports, all filed today and thinking, "Huh?"  From yesterday's snapshot:

Also Mohammed Tawfeeq Tweeted this violence:

  1. 2 local contractors were killed & another was kidnapped when gunmen attacked Akkaz gasfield located in #Anbar #Iraq on Mon, police told #CNN

So it was covered yesterday and is the focus this morning and not the attack on the newspapers? Another worthy topic being ignored is noted in two Tweets by AFP's Prashant Rao:

  1. A dozen Iraqi election candidates have been killed. looked at the aftermath of one candidate's murder:
  2. : We now have confirmation of a 12th election candidate killed. Haitham Ibrahim al-Qaisi (Iraqiya) was shot dead in Ishaqi last night.

In other violence, the National Iraqi News Agency notes that two homes were blown up in Kirkuk, 1 Peshmerga was shot dead in Kirkuk,  and a Kirkuk bomb has left four police officers injured.

Al Mada reports thousands turned out in Falluja yesterday to mark the 100th day of protests.  The sit-ins continue and Sheikh Daham al-Dulaimi noted that a march was held to express the joy of the citizens.  They are calling for a free Iraq with bias and they are recording the events to ensure that this movement is documented.  Iraqi Spring MC adds that the people turned out despite the restrictions and the rain.  National Iraqi News adds that FBS Lieutenant Walid al-Khshmani was arrested yesterday for participating in a sit-in in Tikrit.  NINA also notes that Iraqiya MP Wissal Salim states the committees of activists representing the demonstrators are calling for the forces who killed protesters in Falluja and Mosul to be turned over to the judiciary.

Yesterday's news of British soldiers talking about the abuse they saw carried out by the US at Camp Nama in Iraq gets little coverage.  Al Arabiya is one of the few outlets noting it:

A U.S. detention facility in Baghdad, shrouded in secrecy during the Iraq war, has been disparaged by British military officers speaking out about the human rights abuses they witnessed.
British army personnel from two RAF squadrons, and one Army Air Corps squadron, were given guard and transport duties at the secret prison during the Iraq war, UK newspaper the Guardian reported on Tuesday.
The paper quoted one British serviceman, who served at Nama, recalling the rights abuses he witnessed.
“I saw one man having his prosthetic leg being pulled off him, and being beaten about the head with it before he was thrown on to the truck,” the unnamed serviceman said.

Kitabat covers it here  and the Iraq Times covers it here.

We'll cover other topics in the snapshot later today but we have to note this flagarent abuse of power.  The Iraq Times reports that 2 traffic police officers have been arrested.  No, this isn't a story about crooked police.   They were doing their job apparently and stopped a car because it ran a red light.  Inside the car was the Governor of Dhi Qar who ordered them arrested for stopping him.  The governor is Taleb al-Hassan around whom corruption rumors have long swirled.   He is a member of Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party and ran with Nouri's political slate State of Law in the 2009 provincial elections.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

the associated press
qassim abdul-zahra cnn
mohammed tawfeeq 

prashant rao

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