Monday, December 09, 2013

At least 309 killed in Iraq so far this month

The reported violence kicked off today with, as NINA reported, an attempt to storm Anbar Province's Karmeh police station.  The assault left 1 police officer dead and another injured.

NINA also notes a Baquba car bombing claimed 4 lives and left ten more injured, a Haditha roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and left two more injured,  and 2 police officers shot dead in Mosul. Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports a Burhiz bombing which claimed 12 lives and left twenty-four injured.  Reuters adds the bombing was near a cafe frequented by Sahwa and quotes bombing victim Ahmed Saied stating,  "I opened my eyes minutes later and dust covered the place.  Many cars were burning and shrapnel was everywhere.  While police were evacuating me, I saw many killed and wounded people at the scene."  BBC News adds, "A roadside bomb exploded near a market in Baghdad's eastern Besmaya district, killing at least two people, officials said.  In a village just north of Baghdad, a car bomb killed three police officers and wounded nine others."

That's 25 reported deaths and 46 reported injured.

On the above reported violence, the Reuters story?  Sylvia Westall and Alistair Lyon were among the journalists responsible.  There's also "a Reuters reporter in Baquba" -- throughout the illegal war, journalists have been at risk -- especially Iraqi journalists.  It's why one of the finest reporters to cover Iraq was Sahar Issa.  The Iraqi female worked for McClatchy Newspapers for many years (until McClatchy lost interest in Iraq) and Sahar Issa is her work name, not her real name.  Like many other Iraqi correspondents, she couldn't use her real name due to safety concerns (for herself, her children, her whole family).

Things are getting worse with more harassment of Iraqi journalists by Nouri's forces.  Let's again note  Aswat al-Iraq November 30th report:

Press Freedoms Observatory reported that the Iraqi police are "pressing" journalists to "sign written pledges not to practice their field work", as well as detaining them for hours in Najaf and Missan cities. 
 Baghdadiya correspondent in Najaf Rasha al-Abidi said to the Observatory that she "suffered reactions by the people when covering the latest floods in the city". 
 She added that one of police officers demanded her to sign a written pledge not to work in journalism "for good" in order to release her, but she refused till some personalities interfered for her release, while her camera was kept with the security force.   

Reporting today on yesterday's violence, Rudaw notes:

In a different incident, a hand grenade was hurled into the home of Kawez Parwez, a Kurdish journalist in Kirkuk working for Zagros TV, which belongs to the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Kirkuk. 
 "I was sitting at home when it happened and I was slightly hurt by smashed glass from a window,” Parwez told Rudaw by telephone. "I don't have any personal feud or social issues with anyone," he added. 
The attacks came only days after the murder of Kurdish journalist Kawa Garmiyani, the 32-year-old editor-in-chief of Rayalla magazine, who was shot dead in the town of Kalar in Iraqi Kurdistan on Thursday.

On yesterday's violence, Iraq Body Count notes 58 violent deaths yesterday and that Sunday's violence brought the number of violent deaths for the month so far to 284.  Adding the 25 so far today, there have been 309 violent deaths for the month so far -- and it's not even the half-way mark.

Tuning to the US, for the 'crime' of issuing a press release,  US political prisoner Lynne Stewart,   was eventually tossed in prison.  The 'crime' happened on Attorney General Janet Reno's watch.  Reno has her detractors who think she was far too tough as Attorney General.  She also has her supporters who see her as a moderate.  No one saw her as 'soft.'  Reno had her Justice Department review what happened.  There was no talk of a trial because there was no crime.  No law was broken.  The Justice Department imposes guidelines -- not written by Congress, so not laws -- on attorneys.  Lynne was made to review the guidelines and told not to break it again.  That was her 'punishment' under Janet Reno.  Bully Boy Bush comes into office and the already decided incident becomes a way for Attorney General John Ashcroft to try to build a name for himself. He goes on David Letterman's show to announce, after 9-11, that they're prosecuting Lynne for terrorism.

Eventually tossed in prison?  Even Bully Boy Bush allowed Lynne to remain out on appeal.  It's only when Barack Obama becomes president that Lynne gets tossed in prison.  It's only under Barack that the US Justice Depart disputes the judge's sentence and demands a harsher one (under the original sentence Lynne would be out now).  Lynne's cancer has returned.

She needs to be home with her family.  Her time is limited and it needs to be spent with her loved ones.  Lynne's a threat to no one -- not today, not ten years ago.  She's a 74-year-old grandmother who has dedicated her life to being there for people who would otherwise have no defenders.  Even now in prison, she shows compassion towards those who have had none for her.  Barack Obama needs to order her immediate release.  If he fails to do so, then it should be a permanent stain on his record.

“HELP BRING ME HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS” a life and death appeal from renowned people’s attorney Lynne Stewart.

“I need to ask once again for your assistance in forcing the Bureau of Prisons to grant my Compassionate Release. They have been stonewalling since August and my life expectancy, as per my cancer doctor, is down to 12 months. They know that I am fully qualified and that over 40,000 people have signed on to force them to do the right thing, which is to let me go home to my family and to receive advanced care in New York City.

“Yet they refuse to act. While this is entirely within the range of their politics and their cruelty to hold political prisoners until we have days to live before releasing us – witness Herman Wallace of Angola and Marilyn Buck – we are fighting not to permit this and call for a BIG push.”

Lynne Stewart, FMC Carswell

Take Action between now and the New Year. 
Telephone and send emails or other messages to Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. and Attorney General Eric Holder.

CHARLES E. SAMUELS, Jr., Director Federal Bureau of Prisons
(202) 307-3250 or 3062;

(202) 353-1555;

Contact U.S. Embassies and Consulates in nations throughout the world

LET US CREATE A TIDAL WAVE OF EFFORT INTERNATIONALLY. Together, we can prevent the bureaucratic murder of Lynne Stewart.


In a new 237-page report entitled “A Living Death,” the American Civil Liberties Union documents unconstitutional practices permeating federal and state prisons in the United States.
Focused on life imprisonment without parole for minor offenses, the ACLU details conditions of 3,278 individual prisoners whose denial of release is deemed “a flagrant violation of the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment” occurring on an increasing scale.
The ACLU labels the deliberate stonewalling as “willful,” a touchstone of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice flagrant violation of the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
These conclusions corroborate the findings of Human Rights Watch in 2012: “The Answer is ‘No’: Too Little Compassionate Release in U.S. Prisons.”
The Report is definitive in exposing arbitrary and illegal conduct that infuses every facet of the treatment accorded Lynne Stewart.
“…the Bureau has usurped the role of the courts. In fact, it is fair to say the jailers are acting as judges. Congress intended the sentencing judge, not the BOP to determine whether a prisoner should receive a sentence reduction.”
Lynne Stewart’s medical findings show less than twelve months to live as stipulated by her oncologist at FMC Carswell.

The Federal Bureau Prisons has failed to file the legally required motion declaring solely that the matter is “with the Department of Justice.” 

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