Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

May 24, 2004

POW's families sit-in strike across from Abu-aGhraib

Lebanese TV, al-Manar reported a demonstration by families of POWs in front of Abu-Ghraib prison demanding release of their relatives. Demonstrators later installed large tents to house a sit-in strike until their demands are met. al-Manar said some previous POWs took part in the demonstration. They quoted one participant as saying his brother was arrested by American soldiers in April 2003 but he couldn't find any clue to his whereabouts, despite his continuous contacts with American occupation military and civilian authorities.

Video exposes General's lying

Arabic language TV stations screened the video of the wedding party which was turned into massacre by American forces in a village near al-Qaiem town west of Iraq, showing many spots which clearly confirm that American occupation spokesman General Kimmit was simply lying when he insisted that it was not a wedding party but a terrorist den that they bombed.

Power Transfer 'misty and superficial' quoted Sheikh Dr.Harith al-Dhari, the president of the Moslem Ulama [scholars] Authority in Iraq as saying the US-brokered transfer of power in Iraq is a huge farce aimed at providing legitimacy to the colonial occupation of Iraq. "How could Americans talk about sovereignty while they control the army and security and demand that the next government should surrender some of it's powers," he said adding that members of the Interim Governing Council are puppets.

al-Jazeera TV commented on the next government for Iraqi, saying it's still misty and vague. "To which Iraqis, authority is to be transferred, sovereignty is complete or incomplete, what the role of American occupation forces would be and what the authority of next Iraqi government over occupation forces would be -- all these questions are without answers," explained the Qatari TV network. It quoted Iraqi political analyst Dr.Salman al-Jumaili of Baghdad University as saying the transfer of power will be a superficial process linked to an American internal agenda namely presidential elections. "Mr. Bush intends to tell American voters that he has a strategy to solve the growing problems and crises confronting the American occupation authority in Iraq," he said, adding that even if straightforward Iraqis are chosen for the next government, it will not be able to stabilize Iraq for a simple reason, i.e., it will be deprived of a lot of sovereign rights such as the control of military, security, economic files. He added the resistance is expected to grow stronger and further spread.

Reports of new resistance attacks said an American patrol of two Humer vehicles were ambushed today afternoon in Garma village south of Falluja town. It quoted eyewitnesses as saying that 5 American soldiers were killed and another was injured. This attack came 24 hours after another attack in a nearby area where 6 soldiers were reported killed in an attack by resistance. said 6 foreigners were killed in two attacks today a few meters away from the main headquarters of American occupation authority in Baghdad.A British official spokesman said two Brits were killed in the first attack while American soldiers prevented Iraqis and all journalists and cameramen from getting closer to the burning vehicle and got the corpses out of it while their spokesman refused to disclose their identity. It added Iraqi resistance fighters in Ramadi,in the west of Iraq, shelled with mortars the headquarters of American occupation forces, from which thick black smoke was seen rising. said resistance fighters shelled with mortars the al-Mu'tasim police station in the city of Samara, north of Baghdad.Muqtada al-Sadr al-Jazeera TV said fighting continued between American occupation forces and Muqtada al-Sadr-led resistance fighters in the holy cities of Kufa and Najaf. In al-Sadr township in Baghdad 19 Iraqi civilians were killed in clashes which were raging throughout yesterday night between American occupation forces and resistance fighters.

al-Jazeera TV said 4 cinema houses in the northern city of Mousil were bombed today because the screened porn films. This is the second time cinema houses showing porn films were attacked. Under the occupation, many formerly prohibited activities such as drug trafficking, prostitution and porn films and videos spread in the capital and main cities, causing a lot of anti-American sentiments in the predominantly conservative Islamic Iraqi society.

Top Iraqi officials have no immunity said American occupation authority has added to the weakness of Interim Governing Council IGC by publicly stating that IGC members enjoy no immunity. It quoted captain Patrick Carol a spokesman of occupation forces as saying that those members are "normal people with no immunity at all," adding that coalition forces and Iraqi police have the right to search every place they suspect.

Claims that Berg video filmed ' inside Abu-Ghraib' commented on the authenticity of Nic Berg beheading video, saying, "The video footage of an American citizen's execution has raised numerous questions concerning its authenticity as evidence grows that the event took place from inside the U.S. controlled Abu Ghraib prison". It presented several points which support its argument.