Saturday, April 05, 2014

Nouri's Iraq: Another reporter assaulted, elections are iffy and civilians continue to be killed

Saturday saw another attack on the press in Iraq.  The Journalistic Freedom Observatory in Iraq notes that Al-Ghadeer reporter Karim al-Qaisi was attacked Saturday morning.  The fifty-year-old reporter was severely beaten on the orders of Diyala Province Governor Amir al-Majamyi. Karim explains the governor ordered his security detail to grab him and they beat him in the face and dragged him fifty meters while journalists looked on. Those who attempted to film the assault were threatened with violence.

Will the State Dept bother to weigh in?

Not likely.

The only time they have in the last years has been when an Iraqi male working for a US propaganda outlet was killed.

Iraq is supposed to hold parliamentary elections April 30th. Kitabat notes that the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim declared today that the fate of Iraq was in the hands of the voters, that Iraq is at the crossroads and escaping frustration and despair is in the hands of the Iraqi people. Al Mada reports Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi made similar remarks today, noting the power of the voter.  He also noted a scheme to keep people from participating in the vote.   Hamza Mustafa (Asharq Al-Awsat) reports:

Iraqi parliamentarians said Friday that the government is seeking to send a draft law to parliament that would allow the announcement of a state of emergency ahead of elections scheduled for April 30.
Iraqi parliamentary rapporteur Mohamed Al-Khalidi told Asharq Al-Awsat that parliament had received the draft National Safety Law on Friday, but warned that it would not be able to ratify the bill due to how late it was submitted.

“This bill arrived at a time when parliament is preparing to end its current session, so there is no time to approve this bill. This is something that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, who submitted this draft law on behalf of the government, is well aware of,” he said. 

Friday's snapshot included this, "Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) reports that the Sadr bloc has expressed fear that Nouri may attempt to declare a state of emergency and dissolve the Parliament with Jalal out of the country still to avoid losing the election.  Should that happen, not only will Jalal and his family be the subject of scorn and hostility but the PUK will suffer as well -- this after they already went from leading party in the Kurdistan Regional Government to coming in third -- behind Barzani's KDP and the newly emergent Goran."

Nouri's assault on the civilians of Anbar continues.  NINA noted early Saturday that the military's bombing of Falluja neighborhoods had left 1 civilian dead and nine more injured and then, later in the day, 2 more civilians were killed and six more were injured.

In other violence, National Iraqi News Agency reports Joint Operations Command says they killed 29 suspects in Falluja, a security source says the military killed 11 suspects in Khalidiya, the Ministry of the Interior announced 1 suspect was killed in Salah al-Din, a police source says they killed 3 suspects in al-Qawsiayt, Baghdad Operations Command announced they killed 6 suspects in Baghdad, six suspects were killed in Alhalabsah "with the participation of military aviation," a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers and left two more injured, a Mosul roadside bombing left 2 Iraqi soldiers dead and three more injured,  a Shura roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left two more injured,  Musayyib sticky bombing claimed 1 life and left three more people injured, and a Muqdadiyah roadside bombing left 1 Iraqi soldier dead and two more military personnel injured.  Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) adds that a Garma farmhouse exploded ("booby-trapped") as Iraqi soldiers were searching it and 21 were killed with twenty-four more left injured.

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