Report on the Arab Press from A.

May 13, 2004

1. Interviewed by Lebanese sat alManar, Iraqi Shiite scholar Sheikh Dr.Jawad alKhalisi Secretary General of the Iraqi Constituent Congress to Resist Occupation said the occupiers and thier collaborators sought to discredit and defame the Iraqi resistance by saying that resistance is limited to a so-called Sunni triangle. Then when resistance spread,said alKhalisi, the occupiers invented the term foreign fighters though they couldn't present one single instance to prove their allegations. "Now after young Shiites joined resistance, the occupiers and their collaborators started to say Muqtada alSadr who leads Shiite resistance fighters is isolated and unsupported", he added stressing that alSadr's trend is really the largest among Iraqi Shiite Moslems.

Dr.alkhalisi said the American administration invaded Iraq under the illusion that Iraqi people, of all peoples on earth, would welcome invaders to its land and occupiers of its country. "How come the Iraqi people can be deprived of their right to resist occupation. Resistance is the shadow of occupation. It's a legitimate right for every people whose land is occupied, and it's ordained by all heavenly laws and guaranteed by international law and conventions. This is a self-evident truth, an axiom", explained alKhalisi adding that the occupation authority tried in the beginning to ignite a conflict between Sunni and Shiite Moslem along the lines of the classic colonialist strategy -- Divide and Rule -- but they utterly failed, thanks to the awareness of Moslem religious leaders and Iraqi Moslems in general. "Now they are trying to create a conflict among Shiites," he said.

About the Iraqi Constituent Congress to resist Occupation, Dr.alKhalisi said this Congress is an umbrella organization that brings together all Iraqi political parties and figures,religious trends and independent dignitaries that reject occupation. He added 500 Iraqi dignitaries from Arabs, Kurds and Turkomans, both Moslems and Christians, Sunnis and Shiites from Islamic and nationalist trends attended the meeting. "We will resist the occupation with political and information means, and will soon hold conferences in all provinces to devise the ways and means of resistance so as to express the real will of the Iraqi people." On Iraqi POWs abuse, alKhalisi said it was not only in AbuG hraib prison were POWs tortured. This abuse also occurred in other prisons, including that of the former military intelligence in Kadimiya west of Baghdad.

Qais alKhzali, assistant to Religious leader Muqtada alSadr, taking part in the same interview, said alsadr fully supported the Constituent Congress. He added that Mr.alSadr was offered to be a member of the Consultative Council which was to be formed in the beginning of occupation, and he was also offered to have 2 seats at the Interim Governing Council. "But he rejected both offers", he said adding, "He only seeks the freedom and independence of the country." As for the number of casualties of resistance fighters among Muqtada's supporters claimed by US authorities, he said these were much exaggerated.

2. The former Minister of Interior who was sacked by US governor Paul Bremer said in an interview with Lebanese sat LBC that he and others in the US appointed Interim Governing Council IGC were aware of abuse of POWs since last year. "But US prison authorities used to rearrange the prison whenever an IGC member wanted to visit it, besides putting pressure on them so as to hide the realities in the prison", he added.

3. The London-based daily, alQuds alArabi quoted several ex-POWs as saying that they used to hear cries of tortured prisoners coming from various cells- which refutes US officials' allegations that torture was an isolated incident done by a minority of soldiers. In an article on the POW abuse scandal, the paper said "US army crimes in Iraq reveals a long history of crimes against humanity ranging from the bombing Japanese people of Hiroshima and Nagazaki with nuclear weapons and the Vietnamese people with chemical ones. President Harry Truman commented when he was told the volume of genocide, 'this is the happiest day in my life'", said the paper.

4. London-based daily alHayat criticized the slaying of American civilian Nic Berg, saying it would divert attention from US prison authority crimes in Iraq while an Arab satellite channel raised some doubts about the authenticity of the tape. Two Iraqi sites alkader [voice of the Iraqi communist Party,al-Kader] and supported these doubts asserting that the tape was a hoax. They said Berg was in Mosul when he was kidnapped last March by Iraqi police and handed over to the American authorities [FBI]. Both sites wondered: Why didn't the Americans announce him missing or kidnapped as they did with others? How come he appeared in American jail clothes which are used in Guantanamo and in which Mr.Yakoubi the assistant of the Iraqi religious leader Muqtada alSadr appeared after he was arrested two months ago? The alkader site said the tape is a forgery made by the American authorities to distract attention away from the POW abuse scandal. regards